Thursday, January 28, 2010

Paris Paris

Everybody knows how I passionately love Paris. By that I mean that I also love criticizing its bad sides, which are many [like in any other big city], but I always find a little corner, a little street, a little bit of history related to any given building or a façade, always something to remind me how blessed I am to be able to thoroughly enjoy this charm and beauty around me...

Last week I managed to visit Musée d'Orsay, one of my favorite places that I'm coming back to as if it was a shrine. It's an old Railway Station, very cleverly restructured  to host the most amazing permanent collection you could ever dream of. The collection is steadily updated and each visit is a new surprise (even if there were no updates I'd go anyway, to admire everything and especially my absolute favorite - Cézanne). This time I noticed a new painting by Pierre Bonnard called "Nu Bleu" [Naked Blue],

but that's not what I wanted to post about. Musée d'Orsay is currently hosting two exhibitions which will close in a week, so if you get a chance to visit Musée d'Orsay, with the same ticket you can visit these two gems too.

The first one brings you a magnificently reassembled set of works by James Ensor. It is not too big (so you don't get stuffed with art and you can still see a few halls of the permanent collection) but it gives you an excellent overview of his work and his various creative phases. It maybe dives too deep into expressionism, which is not what I like the most but that's still OK. What I found fascinating is his talent for derision, for mockery. Even when he decided to be consensual and calm, you could tell he was passing one tacit "Screw you!"-kick through the colors and faces staring at you. If you walk through several rooms of this exhibit you'll maybe have a similar impression... Here is only one pic I managed to take.

The second exhibit is about the revival of Art Nouveau, and it is a collection of various designs which basically depict the 60's, 70's and 80's; And it's lots of fun. It makes this museum breathe in a way no other Parisian museum does ;)  [c.f. this video, in French]
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I let my camera speak...

Gaudi's Mirror

La Mouche by Francois-Xavier Lalanne (1966)

Phantasy Landscape, Verner Panton (1972)

Naturalism by Allen Jones

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