Paris Art – New shows at Pompidou, Luxembourg, Jacquemart-Andre

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Fall means a fresh line-up of temporary art expos in Paris. Here are 3 shows not to miss.

• Are you a fan of the Beats and the poets and painters who inspired them? Centre Pompidou has a terrific show, through October 3, tracing their travels from 1943-69, culminating in their Paris sojourn.

Musée du Luxembourg, a small museum located in the French Senate building, in the Luxembourg Palace, hosts two shows a year – and these are some of the best expos in Paris. The current temporary show, ” Henri Fantin- Latour. À fleur de peau,” organized by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux in collaboration with the Musée d’Orsay, looks at the French artist’s creative process. Advance purchase tickets recommended. Sept 14 – Feb 12.

• Musée Jacquemart-André, one of Paris’ lesser known museums, has been beautifully restored, from its neoclassical facade to its unusual winter garden, grand staircase, and elegant private apartments. The temporary show, “Rembrandt,” looks at 3 periods in the artist’s life: his early work, his portraits in Amsterdam, and his later life. Sept 16-Jan 23, advance purchase tickets recommended.

Have you seen any of these shows? let us know what you think!

Chagall at Musée du Luxembourg

The more I learn about the 20th century Russian painter Marc Chagall, the more I appreciate his work. The current show at the Musée du Luxembourg, “Chagall, Between War and Peace,” taught me this: however much Chagall’s work seems to depict imaginary worlds, the artist was grounded in reality.

The expo examines the artist’s life and work against the backdrop of 2 World Wars, exile, and intermittent moments of peace. As imaginative as his paintings appear, Chagall’s subjects came from his immediate environment.

Paintings of his wife Bella, who he married in Russia in 1915, express safety within the intimacy of family, despite a world at war. Drawings of wounded soldiers in the streets of Vitebsk, near the Russian front, chronicle the ravages of war. Later, Chagall drew on his Jewish roots in his sets for the Jewish Theater in Moscow, and in a series of gouaches in preparation for Bible illustrations.

The show contains more than 100 works, including oil paintings on canvas and paper, ink drawings, preparatory gouaches, watercolors, and pencil drawings. The works evoke a magical world—inhabited by life as Chagall knew it.

Until July 21.

Have you seen the show? Let us know what you think.

Cézanne et Paris at Musée du Luxembourg

There are so many block-buster (read overcrowded) art expos in Paris that it’s a treat to see a small show in a small museum. Organized in collaboration with the Petit Palais, and drawing on private collections from around the world, Cézanne et Paris at Musée du Luxembourg is a gem.

Eighty major works are organized thematically, to give an idea of Cezanne’s life in Paris. Dimly lit rooms are dedicated to his friends (among them Zola), compact urban scenes, still lives, and the countryside around Paris, where his new language for rendering landscape began to take shape.

One painting, Les Toits de Paris, has never been shown in public before; another, La Pendule noire, was only shown once, in 1939. The Musée du Luxembourg has its own interesting history. As you climb the steps to the museum, take a minute to look at the superbe bronze doors at the entrance.

Until Feb 26.

Paris Museum Update

louvre_titianChange is in the air as Paris museums open new expos – and a few favorites close for renovation.

New shows:
LouvreTitian, Tintoretto, and Veronese – Rivals in Renaissance. The presence of these great artists in Venice 1540-1590 stimulated new ideas and techniques. Gorgeous only begins to describe the works. Sept 17-Jan 10, 2010.

Grand PalaisRenoir in the 20th Century. One hundred paintings, drawings and sculptures shed light on this crucial yet little-known period during Renoir’s career – and explore his influence on Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard and Maillol. Sept 23-Jan 4, 2010.

Musée de la Musique – After two years of renovation, the museum is open, and better than ever. They have completely revised the presentation of the permanent collection; added a new area dedicated to the 20th century; doubled the space for world music; added more sound samples to accompany displays, mostly recorded on instruments from the collections.

Musée RodinMatisse & Rodin. The expo compares the sculptural and graphic works of the two artists, who met when Matisse was 30 years old and Rodin 60. This is the first show to focus on Matisse’s sculpture since 1975. Oct 23-Feb 28, 2010.

Musée du LuxembourgLouis Comfort Tiffany: Colors and Light. 160 works reveal Tiffany’s contribution to the glass industry and to decorative arts in general.  Visitors will regale in vases, lamps, jewels, drawings, watercolors and photographs, and four stained glass windows that were specially dismounted, studied, restored and transported from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – a technical and logistical feat. Sept 16-Jan 17, 2010.

Closures:
Musée Picasso will be closed for renovations until 2012.

The Catacombs, recently vandalized, have been closed until further notice.