From El Greco to Dalí – the Great Spanish Masters

Dali+l'ascension+du+christ+1958 Text: Tiffany Tang
Image: Salvador Dali, L'Ascension du Christ

The Musée Jacquemart-André presents a prestigious collection of paintings by the Spanish masters, assembling more than 50 masterpieces by 25 renowned painters from the past four centuries, offering a selection of paintings that has never been exhibited in France before. Among them are works by acclaimed artists from the Spanish School such as El Greco, Ribera, Murillo, Sorolla, Picasso, Dalí and Miró. The exhibited works are selected from the private collection of Juan Antonio Pérez Simón, an important Hispano-Mexican businessman and celebrated art collector who began to build his collection in the 1970s.

The exhibition is structured into eight rooms by  both themes and by chronology. The first room opens with a selection of the sixteenth century court paintings commissioned during the heyday of the Spanish kingdom under the reign of Charles V (Charles I of Spain) and his successors - the first sovereign of the newly unified kingdom, described "the empire of which the sun never sets". The period is also marked by a celebration of regional traditions through customs, costumes, feasts, and an inspection into people's condition of life of its qualities and defects, which all these elements are represented in Anglada Camarasa's Feria de Valencia, depicting the scene of festivities with the use of rich palette.

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John Rockwell at the Arts Arena

John-editedsmallBW2Text: Brendan Seibel

Find yourself alone at a cocktail party? Finger's crossed you'll be standing next to John Rockwell, who has written about an astonishing variety of arts for over forty years. A student of dance under the tutelage of Anna Halprin, a graduate of Harvard, and holding a master's of German history at the University of California Berkeley, Rockwell has lived in Germany, France and both coasts of the States. His columns and reviews appeared in several newspapers, including multiple stints at the New York Times, and he was the inaugural director for the annual celebration of performing arts, the Lincoln Center Festival.

Covering opera, dance, film and music, Rockwell has amassed an inspiring amount of general knowledge. Attacking subjects in a conversational tone his writings on the more esoteric arts never alienate the tourist. Between background and context each column becomes a learning experience, more an excited act of sharing than a stodgy recitation of facts. As his populist approach inhibits in-depth critique his insights weaken on any given subject the reader know well, but Rockwell acts not as an academic so much as a talented host who gently sends guests into conversation with strangers.

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Manifestation - Art Protest Monday 29th March Palais-Royal

Manif Text: Rooksana Hossenally

Calling all in the arts sector! Artists, delegates, curators, gallery owners, part-timers, full-timers, flexi-timers, directors, administrative members, festival organisers, associations, and curious lay people.  The national protest is against reforms, to be discussed on Monday at the Senate, which would arguably undermine the autonomy of regional arts groups.  There are coaches leaving from large French cities such as Lille, Lyon, Brest, Rennes/Caen, Dijon and Rouen.

Flyers have been distributed, emails sent out, and the myriad associative and official websites have all posted the PDF flyer indicating the details: ‘BIG PROTEST IN PARIS TO DEFEND ART AND CULTURE ON MONDAY 29th MARCH’ You can download the flyer

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La Fabrique des Images at Quai Branly

Pouppe Text: Brendan Seibel
Image: Kachina hopi doll

For an education in art appreciation stop by Musée Quai Branly's special exhibition La Fabrique des Images. Curated by social sciences professor Philippe Descola, this collection of folk art presents an anthropological study of people's perceptions of belonging in the world and the relationships between man and beast. Arranged in ontological clusters and bolstered with simple information, the highly illustrative show will spark discussion and contemplation amongst audiences of all ages.

The basic tenet of Descola's curation is that human expression can be broadly divided into four forms: Animism, still typical in Japan with shared origins amongst polar and South American tribes; Naturalism, a Northern European form which was born amidst the Renaissance; Totemism, unique to the aboriginal people of Australia; Analogism, popular throughout Southeast Asia, the Americas and Africa. The exhibition's antechamber presents bilingual introductions to each of the four forms, augmented by an example.

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Crime and Punishment at Musée d'Orsay

Tmp_9c630613266689ba88e28014a899048e Text: Brendan Seibel
Image: René Magritte, The Menaced Assassin

The contentious realm of law has inspired art as much as debate over the course of history. Musée d'Orsay's exhaustive new exhibition Crime et Châtiment examines the relationship between societal attitudes and movements of artistic expression. Devised by Mitterand's Minister of Justice Robert Badinter this collection presents a comprehensive, although flawed, academic overview of work spanning two hundred years.

Beginning in the murkiness of morality, a dimly lit and somber chamber confronts the Biblical concepts of sin, evil and redemption. Pierre-Paul Prud'hon's powerful romanticism informs Jean-Baptiste Regnault's injection of revolutionary themes and mockery of religion. Later interpretations express emotional ambiguities, as evidenced by Gustave Moreau's proto-Fauvist pieces and William Blake's work. Two modernist paintings by Dadaist George Grosz and Nikolai Nivolaevich Ge's painful meditation on the crucifixion are strikingly irreverent amongst the old vanguard, expressing the freedom artists now enjoy.

Draped in black cloth, a guillotine, as menacing as death itself. This horrific contraption emerged from storage specifically for this exhibition, the first appearance of the The Widow since France ended capital punishment in 1981. Dark lacquered wood and the dull gleam of metal imbue a bloody history inextricably tied to France, and the towering frame stops you in it's tracks without the aid of Franz Von Stuck's Lucifer buried in the corner.

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Lucien Freud: Artist in the Studio

Dog Text: Kay Roberts
Image: Girl with a White Dog

Lucian Freud's own voice clarifies his attitude to painting throughout this overview of his work from 1944-2005 on display at Centre Pompidou. He is, like many artists of his generation, equally gifted in his thoughtful explanations, with each gallery having a specific theme: interior/exterior/reflexion/on painting/as flesh, along with photographs by David Dawson, Freud's assistant in the studio. On entering the first room, one sees Freud's statement on how there is a  light from a person and a light around them, how he aims to paint the space around a person. In the small catalogue reads a further insight "I want paint to work as flesh .... I would wish my portraits to of people not like them. Not having the look of a sitter, being them... As far as I am concerned the paint is the person, I want it to work as flesh does."

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Arts Arena Activist Arts: Cultural Interaction Through the Creative Arts

2024 is UNESCO’s International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures. As part of this initiative, and in partnership with UNESCO, Melody for Dialogue Among Civilizations, and the International Music Council, the Arts Arena presents the inaugural forum of a four-part series that will run from March through October, 2024 and examine how the creative arts can be used to build understanding among cultures.

This inaugural forum will focus on the visual and performing arts and film. A distinguished panel will include Ellen Sorrin, Director of the George Balanchine Trust and Managing Director of the New York Choreographic Institute, New York City Ballet; Fred Ritchin, Professor of Photography and Imaging, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University; French television producer Alexis de Gemini; and installation artist Kirstie Macleod, pictured above. A reception follows.

STOP PRESS: Alan Riding, former Paris bureau chief and European cultural correspondent of the New York Times and best-selling author, will be joining the presenters.

Contact VINGT PARIS for reserved seating: news[@]

THE ARTS ARENA PRESENTS: Activist Arts: Cultural Interaction Through the Creative Arts

23 March, 6:30pm
The Grand Salon
31 avenue Bosquet
75007 Paris

Chopin at Musée de la Vie Romantique

Delacroix14 Text: Nick Forrester
Image: Frédéric Chopin by Eugène Delacroix

To celebrate the bicentenary of Chopin's birth the Musée de la vie Romantique is presenting an important exhibition and homage to the composer. The museum, formerly Ary Scheffer’s Villa, was frequented by Chopin, who was Scheffer’s friend and neighbor during his time in Paris between 1831 and 1848.

The exhibition, dedicated to these Parisian years, links together literature, painting, music and a range of correspondences between Chopin’s circle of "Nouvelles Athenes" artists. There is a wide variety of interesting paintings and sketches including Delacroix’s portrait of Chopin and Eugene Lami’s depictions of social gatherings and concerts, attended by a fantastic array of artists.

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Ni Putes Ni Soumises Dresses Marianne in a Burqa

DSCN2713 Text and photo: Sarah Braasch

Ni Putes Ni Soumises (NPNS -- Neither Whores Nor Submissives) organized a rally in defense of women’s rights, at the Place de la République, in Paris, France, on Saturday, March 6, 2024, at 12 pm.  NPNS is an international human rights organization that advocates on behalf of women’s rights as universal human rights without compromise.  Two professional rock climbers draped a giant burqa over the “Equality” pedestal figure of the Marianne statue in the center of the Place de la République.  All of the participants dressed as Marianne in her distinctive, red Phrygian liberty cap.  Marianne is the national icon and symbol of the French Republic’s foundational values of liberty and equality.  The rally was held in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2024.  The President of Ni Putes Ni Soumises, Sihem Habchi, roused the crowd with a speech.  She proclaimed, “For this generation, the crucial issues are secularism, gender equality and gender desegregation, in order to create a feminist movement based upon living together in harmony throughout the world, and not only in France.”

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Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir at Théâtre du Soleil

Naufrages400-ea82f Text: Florian Holtzente

Théâtre du Soleil is one of the last institutions in Paris devoted whole-heartedly to dreamers and idealists.  Arianne Mnouchkine, the company’s septuagenarian director, combines mime, improvisation, Japanese theater and her own warm and fuzzy brand of utopian socialism to create art experiences that aim to undermine bourgeois exclusivity and awaken a spirit of brotherhood and delight in her public.  To what extent she succeeds in her new piece, Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir, is up for grabs, but no one can deny that she does a hell of a job trying.

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