Besides public galleries and foundations, we enjoyed popping into the many private art galleries in Paris. We made 2 dedicated visits to look at contemporary art: the galleries in the St Germain des Pres area on the Rue du Seine and Rue des Beaux Arts, and to the galleries behind the Centre Pompidou in the winding, small streets of the Marais district. We found a fabulous guide, the Metropolitain Art Paris, which is a listing of 70 contemporary art galleries and has a very handy map. So what did we see? Well, lots. Lots of thought provoking art. Lots of sculpture, lots of paintings, slick, well put together paintings and good photography. My favourites, photographs included here, were: Carmen Mariscal (installation), at the Instituto Cultural de Mexico ; Cyril Lancelin (sculpture) at Galerie MR80;
(S)CRYPTE by Sergio Verastegui (encaustic on paper) at the Galerie Thomas Bernard;
Hessie (textile art) at Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre; Francis Bacon (prints), at JSC Modern Art Gallery;
Exposition Bruit Blanc (works on paper), at Topographie de l’Art.
We also saw Tomoko Yoneda: Dialogue avec Albert Camus (photography). We didn’t get to the Anselm Kiefer show in the Pantin area because we couldn’t figure out how to get there – next time – it might be a very interesting area to visit.
I have seen better exhibitions at the Pompidou than what we saw this time. It was a bit of a mishmash of stuff, older contemporary pieces. There wasn’t really any sense to it, and maybe that was the point? I enjoyed Bruce Nauman’s Dream Passage with 4 corridors, 1984, a Jannis Kounellis, sans titre, 1968, and a Claude Viallat, Le Refuge du Passe, very nice. The Jim Dine donation is huge but I can’t say that the collection appealed to me. What was interesting was the Sheila Hicks exhibition of fibre art. Sheila Hicks is an American artist living in Paris, lucky woman, who took up the study and practice of fibre arts in the 60s. She travelled and lived in Mexico, Chile, India, Africa and Morocco. In each country she studied the techniques with the practitioners of these arts and crafts and then “put my own spin on them”, as she says in the video interview. Large colorful works are the result and were very impressive to see.
We spent the last two weeks of April in wonderful Paris. On our second day we visited the amazing Fondation Louis Vuitton, a contemporary art gallery in a building designed by Frank Gehry and located in the beautiful Bois de Boulogne. What a fabulous place! We loved the contemporary art collection on view including works by Gerhard Richter, Mark Bradford, Kiki Smith, Pierre Huyghe and many other international artists. We greatly admired the video Nightlife created by Cyprien Guillard. We were dazzled by the Takashi Murakami
exhibition, (photographed here). We ate rose flavoured ice cream on the terrasse from which you can see the modern architecture of the Defense, and, the Eiffel Tower. But nothing compared to the architecture of this fabulous Frank Gehry creation. We were thrilled every minute inside this building, and outside. Wow – what a great building!
During a recent trip to Montreal we visited the fabulous exhibition A Crack in Everything, a tribute to Leonard Cohen, at the Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal. What a great show – lots of clips of Cohen interviews and concerts in the company of enraptured fans. Many very interesting interpretations of Cohen’s work by contemporary, mainly video, artists. And I bought the tee shirt. We enjoyed walking around the Plateau district following the Wall2Wall walking tour of amazing murals and graffiti art. We visited the Belgo building at 372 Ste Catherine ouest and its 4 floors of contemporary art galleries enjoying paintings by Michael Smith, Marie Bineau, Patricia Walton and numerous other artists as well as peeking in at yoga studios and some cool design studios. The Tourist Office couldn’t help us locate a gallery guide but we found one – ART MLT, in the Belgo building and will go there first thing next time. We also enjoyed galerie MX, DHC/ART, and very much enjoyed an exhibition of paintings by Peter Hart at Galerie Peter W. Hart. In Old Montreal, in the evenings, there is a series of amazing video projections called Cite Memoire which truly is some of the best contemporary art I have seen. All in all, a very interesting and diverse art experience.
We went to catch the Carl Beam show at the Art Gallery of Windsor on Saturday before it closed on the 22nd. I love Carl Beam’s work and it was nice to see so many works together. We also saw an excellent photo show by Brenda Francis Pelkey. Out of curiosity we went to see Caesar’s Casino. What a riot! We were amazed by how large it was and dazzled by all the lights. The theme song from the Godfather ran through our heads and Donald Trump was on the big screen TVs. We got a good laugh out of that. It is so cheesy that we expected to find pole dancing somewhere. What I don’t get is this, out of all the money they bilk those suckers out of, why do they buy such cheap gaudy reproductions of Italian art? Anyway, the cheesy “glamour”, the disconnect between authentic Italian classical art and the tacky stuff they use in casinos like this is worthy of an art project.
Went to the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery to see the exhibition Kent Monkman: The Four Continents. We loved these paintings! The detailed imagery, the humour, the story telling, the mixing of contemporary and classical art. Great stuff! Thank you KW Art Gallery for bringing that show.