21.10.19

FIAC outdoors ... in the rain


FIAC stands for “Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain” (International Contemporary Art Fair). It has been occurring on a yearly basis since 1974 and lasts only some three days. The main exhibition takes of course place indoors, in the Grand Palais, but there is also a lot to be seen in some temporary tents along the Champs Elysées.

Part of the “show” takes place outdoors - here first a few things which you could find between the Grand and the Petit Palais.


So… I made only the outdoor part this year. I didn’t look for “everything”… there should have been things to be seen at the Place Vendôme, but… Well, of course it’s a temporary exhibition.

I crossed the Place de la Concorde and then went into the Tuileries Gardens. It was raining… You may recognise a few artists - César, Calder, Ungerer…



I found also this one, behind the Petit Palais, close to Koons’ Tulips (see previous post). Obviously, it was not officially placed here - the word “Fiac” had been replaced…

Well, I think that I was again, like each year, distracted, attracted by the beautiful autumn leaves.





16.10.19

The black cat... again


Yes… again. I already wrote about the famous cabaret ”Chat Noir” here and about the monthly journal with the same name here… Last weekend, the team behind the journal met and created a bit of publicity at Montmartre. I’m not actually part of the team, but I feel that they need a lot of encouragements! 

The original “Chat Noir” journal appeared for the last time in 1895, but the publication resumed last year. In the previous version of the journal, texts and illustrations were signed Allais, de Maupassant, Hugo, Goncourt, Verlaine, Gounod, Steinlen, Willette, Léandre, Caran d’Ache… Today you find a team of enthusiastic persons behind it (who may not YET have the reputation of their predecessors) led by Romain: Rodolphe (known for the bestseller “Paris secret et insolite” and other books), Champo, Binu, Mathias, Philippe…

They all kindly signed my copy. You can subscribe, but the (very low) cost depends on in which country you live and the postage. I suggest that you send a message to journallechatnoir@gmail.com or look here.  

The sales were preceded by a meal in the famous “La Maison Rose”, painted by many artists (here Utrillo) and for a while managed by the Pichot couple - Germaine (who was the reason for the suicide of Picassos’ friend Carlos Casagenas and who appears on Picasso’s famous “At the Lapin Agile” painting, see here and here) and her husband Ramon, also a painter and friend of Picasso. The last decades “La Maison Rose” has perhaps been a bit of a tourist trap, but it’s now run by this charming lady and you can have a more than decent meal (I have no commission).  
    

10.10.19

Reducing...


After some 12 years of blogging and having had the pleasure to have some 3.5 million “page views”, I feel that I have to slow down my blogging activity. I have a number of other activities and the feeling that I “must” publish two posts per week is somehow getting “too much”. I feel that, from now on, I will post in a more irregular way, when I really believe that I have something to tell or show… maybe once a week, maybe more ... or maybe even less. But, I will continue. … and in the meantime, I have the pleasure to meet a great number of visitors from all over the world, people I have had the privilege to learn to know thanks to my blogging.     

7.10.19

Koons' tulips


I already talked about Jeff Koons' “Bouquet of Tulips”, which he so generously “offered” to the City of Paris, here, when I also talked about the 2.400 € bags he had created. You may guess that I’m not an absolute fan of his works. These tulips should thus first have been installed in front of the Paris Modern Art Museum, but severe protests changed the decision and they have now been placed in a more discrete way in the park behind the Petit Palais (see my post here). The tulips were inaugurated last week. My photos were taken a bit later, in rain, and may not quite reflect the real colours. Sorry.

This is obviously officially to be considered as a gift by the US (different American investment funds … and also LVMH…) to the City of Paris, in remembrance of the last years’ terrorist attacks. The 12th tulip in the bouquet is symbolically missing.

I’m definitely not against modern art, definitely not, but… What will these tulips look like in a number of years? I think that there is a chance that the little sculpture close to the tulips will survive them.

On the way home I passed this little nice fountain, close to what I referred to as the “rotating showers” in a previous post. I repeat… I’M NOT AGAINST MODERN ART, but… (Sorry about the rain, but we needed it.)


3.10.19

"Célestins"


The “Caserne des Célestins” is where you find the headquarters of the “Garde Républicaine”. Passing by the other day, I was struck by the extraordinary decorations of the main building, the entrance…

But first, maybe some information: 

The “Garde Républicaine” (Republican Guard) is part of the French Gendarmerie and, in its turn, part of the national police forces. Their responsibilities include guarding of public buildings in Paris, like the residences of the President and of the Prime Minister, the Senate, the National Assembly… They also accompany the highest national personalities and important foreign guests (“state visits”), including with horses, music… 

Maybe some explanation with regard to the name of these headquarters. “Caserne” is obviously translated into “barracks”. “Célestins” refer to monks belonging to a religious order, created in 1254, by a man called Pierre de Moron and who became Pope under the name of Célestin V.  Why give such a religious name to some military barracks? Well actually this is where, until the French Revolution, you could find the Convent of the Celestines. Created during the 13th century, it disappeared thus with the French Revolution. The area was then used for different activities until it was decided to build the present barracks, completed in 1895.

We can see on the maps below - one from 1780, the other one from today - which area the convent covered, compared with the present barracks. The Boulevard Henri IV was created during the 1870’s and changed the physiognomy of the area. Also, we should know that the Canal Saint Martin with its Port de l’Arsenal was created only in the beginning of the 19th century. One detail – we can see the roof of the horse riding course, by Eiffel, originally placed elsewhere for the 1889 World Fair, then moved here.  

So, as we can see - the buildings, the main entrance… are extremely well decorated. This is just the outside… maybe one day I will try to get inside!