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Cultural Highlights – Visual and Performing Arts Coming to Paris Spring 2019

Cultural Highlights – Visual and Performing Arts Coming to Paris Spring 2019

Spring 2019 Cultural Highlights

Visual and performing arts again take center stage when planning a trip to Paris.  Along with organ concerts and musical performance at many churches, take a look at this super short list of exciting events.  They may be enough reason to start planning now.

Visual Arts

Love Oceania?

Musee du Quai Branly

Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac hosts a comprehensive exhibition on Oceania from March 12, 2019 until July 7, 2019. On the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific region, encompassing the 25,000 islands of Oceania, he introduced the Western world to Oceanic peoples and their art. From the museum’s website, “Across this vast, scattered territory in which each archipelago island and land has managed to preserve its own unique characteristics, artists nonetheless share universal questions, issues, and reflections. Featuring painstakingly sculpted canoes, jade ornaments, ritual figures, and contemporary videos and installations, Oceania reveals how tradition and ancestral memory coexist with the visionary and sometimes critical perspective that these artists have of their society and the rest of the world.”

Palais de Tokyo

Palais de Tokyo

Various exhibitions and site-specific installations fill the huge spaces here. From Julien Creuzet, Theaster Gates, Julius von Bismark, to Louis-Cyprien Rials and more. These young artists are exploring world societies norms and histories and putting it right in front through cutting edge art.  Open from noon to midnight every day except Tuesdays. Buckle up and take a look at the exhibits filling the Palais de Tokyo.

Calder-Picasso

Calder-Picasso

“Calder-Picasso” is on view from February 19, 2019, until August 25, 2019, at the National Picasso Museum Paris (Musée National Picasso-Paris).  This exhibition will be a rare chance to see together approximately 150 works by these two 20th century masters. Negative space or the void is the focus of the show. Should be an interesting mash-up.

The Orient of the Painters, from Dream to Light

Orient of the Painters

From March 7, 2019, until July 21, 2019, the Musée Marmottan Monet mounts “The Orient of the Painters, from Dream to Light.” This show presents Orientalist paintings along with the theory that abstraction had its birth in these Orientalism paintings. (During the 19th century, the “Orient” to the painters in Europe was generally the Middle East and North African countries. The distant exotic lands had only been revealed through Napoleon’s conquests and the return of stories and trophies.) The paintings are alive with vivid color and fantastical scenes. May have to make a return trip to see this show or at least hope for a catalog.

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Closed for rehanging and installation.  Reopens March 15, 2019.

Performing Arts

Opéra National de Paris – Bastille

Opera Bastille

Over at the Opéra Bastille, enjoy timeless favorites by recognized masters of opera. Or, see the experimental, Tree of Codes. What about the not too often performed, Prince Igor by Borodine? Or, Rameau’s opera-ballet, Les Indes galantes?

Palais Garnier

Opera Garnier Interior

Celebrate the 350th anniversary of Opera in Paris at the Palais Garnier on 08 May 2019. The incredible diva, Anna Netrebko, will perform along with Yusif Eyvazov. Throughout the remainder of the spring season, Mozart, Verdi, and Donizetti are on the stage, as well as many ballet performances. All are in the sumptuous red velvet and gilded surrounds of the famous opera house.

Philharmonie de Paris

Philharmonie de Paris

photo © William Beaucardet

Find a variety of concerts, chamber music, choral works and solo singing performances in the spring.  Berlioz’s Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s Vespers and even Benjamin Brittan’s War Requiem.  Where else can you hear these?

Modern Dance

Theatre National de Chaillot

Theatre National de Chaillot

Théâtre National de Chaillot offers a selection of interesting and arresting dance performances.  Just reading the titles of the works is enticing:  Some Hope for the Bastards by Canadian, Frédérick Gravel; Nederlands Dans Theater’s, Subtle Dust; Catherine Diverrès’, Blow The Bloody Doors Off!

 

Exhibits at The Met – Gardens and Versailles

Exhibits at The Met – Gardens and Versailles

Are you thinking Paris is too far away for the weekend?  Then head to New York City to explore exhibits on French gardens and Versailles.  That’s right, through the end of July, go see Paris in New York City!  Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence and Visitors to Versailles 1682 – 1789.  Both mounted in the halls of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and full of treasures from France.

Exhibition #1 – Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence

In Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence, The Met, “explores horticultural developments that reshaped the landscape of France and grounded innovative movements—artistic and green—in an era that gave rise to Naturalism, Impressionism, and Art Nouveau.”  All of these artistic movements are well-represented through works presented in this exhibition.

Past urbanites are no different from today’s.  People living in developed cities flock to gardens and parks to be outdoors, enjoy the air, stretch out in the wide open space and delight in the beauty of nature.  To illustrate this love of gardens, the exhibition features a wide range.  Sections include Parks for the Public, Revival of Floral Still Life, Portrait in the Garden and Private Gardens.

Exhibits of Ceramics, Drawings and Paintings to Photography

Choosing works from its extensive holdings, The Met displays drawings, etchings, paintings, glassware, ceramics and even early photographs.  Although the objects show gardens and parks in other parts of France, the majority is focused on Paris and surrounding areas.  Garden lovers will delight in seeing works depicting Fontainebleau, Parc Monceau, Bagatelle, Jardin du Luxembourg, Tuileries, Versailles, along with many other well-known and even less well-known gardens.

Love still life paintings of flowers and garden scenes?  Then this exhibition is for you.  Works by heavy hitters like, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Cézanne, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, August Renoir, Eugène Atget, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Mary Cassatt and many more hang from the walls.

Do 18th century Sèvres porcelain vases with garden scenes painted on them get you going?  What about Art Nouveau glass with elegant flower designs in the glass?  Do you enjoy the details of garden plans and garden furnishings?  Then this is exhibit is also for you!  They are all there in cases and on the walls.  Really, anyone who is at all interested in gardens in Paris and in France would enjoy this exhibition.

Even if you cannot make it to New York to enjoy the show in person, the exhibition features an accompanying catalogue.

Exhibition #2 – Visitors to Versailles

In Visitors to Versailles 1682 – 1789, The Met, “highlights the experiences of travelers from 1682, when Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles, to 1789, when the royal family was forced to leave the palace and return to Paris.”  The objects demonstrating this experience range from souvenirs for the visitors to gifts to the royalty and what the visitors wore and saw.

Sections of the exhibit include, Incognito and Private Visitors, To See the King, Getting Dressed for Court, the Gardens and Going to Versailles.  The dedicated rooms in the museum present men’s suits and hunting clothes, women’s court dresses, riding habits, shoes, ball gowns and fans, sculpture, tapestries, rugs, miniature portraits in diamond surrounds, hats, swords, military outfits, furniture, porcelain and objects of art.  Also, very interestingly, paintings of visitors.

And, it is convenient that the garden exhibit in another section of the museum is on at a similar time.  Gardens at the palace were a major part of court life.  You will see multiple illustrations of gardens.  Royalty wanted to be outside too.  Versailles had unending garden delights for royalty and visitors.

Everything is Over the Top, In a Good Way

Like Versailles itself, nearly everything on display is over the top.  Many things are gilded, handmade items have the most intricate detailing, master craftsmen used precious stones and rare and exotic materials – it is all here.  Just take a look at a set of ivory buttons decorated with scenes of Versailles and the gardens – talk about limited edition.  The description explains that the buttons, “intended for a man’s coat may have appealed to tourists.”  Of course, they would!  Fascinating.  And, beautiful.

Along with many items focused on the multiple kings called by the name, “Louis,” Marie Antoinette figures in the exhibition.  Likewise, multiple objects depict the visitors to Versailles.  For example, a Tunisian ambassador, several Asian dignitaries, and would be Americans, like, Benjamin Franklin!  Paintings of Ben and even some of his clothes are on display.  From 1776 until 1785, Benjamin Franklin was the representative to France of the American colonies that revolted against England.  He was at the French court all the time.

Adding to master works from The Met’s holdings, more than 50 lenders, including the Château de Versailles, offered works to the show.

Don’t miss the statue of a monkey riding a goat!

Like Exhibition #1, even if you cannot make it to New York to enjoy the show in person, the exhibition features an accompanying catalogue.  On the cover is an illustration of the gardens of Versailles and visitors enjoying their time in the landscape.

Praise for the exhibition:  ” A fascinating window into how the court would have appeared to foreigners and day trippers alike…. ” -Artnet

Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence

Where:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met Fifth Avenue)
Address:  1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028
When:  March 12 – July 29, 2018
Admission:  Entrance fee for museum which includes exhibit
Official websitehttps://metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2018/public-parks-private-gardens

Visitors to Versailles 1682 – 1789

Where:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met Fifth Avenue)
Address:  1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028
When:  April 16 – July 29, 2018
Admission:  Entrance fee for museum which includes exhibit
Official websitehttps://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2018/visitors-to-versailles

Rockefeller Collection on View at Christie’s Paris

Rockefeller Collection on View at Christie’s Paris

Want to have a museum experience without going to a museum?  Then head over to Christie’s to see the Peggy and David Rockefeller collection on view.

David Rockefeller was the grandson of John D. Rockefeller – oil magnate and industrialist who founded Standard Oil Company.  David and his wife, Margaret – or Peggy – travelled extensively and collected voraciously.  But, only of the best of the best.  And, supposedly, they both had to agree on any purchase.

If you don’t think it is the best of the best, then take a look at what is hung on the walls of the Christie’s showroom.  Spend your time wisely ogling absolute masterpieces from a list of painters that span much of art history.  Along with collections (plural) covering all of art history from ancient Chinese bronze and porcelain, to French Sèvres porcelain made for the Emperor Napoleon I. The collection even includes  hand-carved duck decoys.

You will find paintings by Eugène Delacroix, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and Auguste Renoir. And, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Alexander Calder, Georgia O’Keefe, even Diego Rivera.  Oh, wait, and a lot more!

The Water Lilies of Giverny on Display

A water lily painting by Claude Monet, Nymphéas en fleur, will transport you instantly to Giverny, Monet’s estate outside Paris.  Pablo Picasso’s Fillette à la corbeille fleurie (Young Girl with a Flower Basket) is from 1905. Gertrude Stein bought this work from Pablo Picasso himself.  There is also Henri Matisse’s, Odalisque couchée aux magnolias, which according to Christie’s, is “among the greatest of Matisse’s paintings in private hands.”

Where can you see things like this?  At auction houses in Paris.  So, if you want a small dose of museum quality art, and maybe even on a very specialized subject, check out the auction houses.

Remember if you decide to purchase something at this auction, all revenues from the sales will be donated to philanthropic causes. Estimates start as low as $200. Because of this, plan to get your wallet out.

If you are in Paris during this extraordinary exhibition, go to Christie’s to see a collection that will likely never be together again.

The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller

Where:  Christie’s Paris
Address:  9 Avenue Matignon
Arrondissement:  8th
Nearest Métro:  Franklin D. Roosevelt
When:  March 16-21, 2018
Official website:  https://www.christies.com