CHAGALL, MALEVICH AND THE AVANT-GARDE AT THE GRIMALDI FORUM IN MONACO

Une exposition à ne pas manquer cet été à Monaco. A not-to-be missed exhibit missed this summer in Monaco.

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As part of the Year of Russia in Monaco, a new exhibition is underway at the Grimaldi Forum featuring the works of Russian avant-garde artists.

Since the start of the year, a number of events have been organized to celebrate “The Year of Russia” in the Principality, and the strong links that exist between the two countries. One of the highlights is taking place this summer at the Grimaldi Forum with the exhibition ‘De Chagall à Malévitch, la revolution des avant-gardes’ (From Chagall to Malevich, the revolution of the avant-garde).

Running until the 6th of September, this exhibition brings together 150 artworks (some of which have never previously left Russia), from artists who made up avant-garde art scene in Russia for a quarter of a century from 1905 to 1930, and shook up centuries of convention and academism.

Altman, Baranoff-Rossin, Burliuk, Chagall, Chashnik, Dymchits-Tolstaya, Ender, Exter, Filonov, Gabo, Gavris, Goncharova, Kandinsky, Kliun, Klucis, Kudryashov, Larionov, Lebedev, Lentulov, Lissitzky, Mashkov, Malevich, Mansurov, Matiushin, Medunetsky, Mienkov, Morgunov, Pevsner, Popova, Puni, Rodchenko, Rozanova, Shevchenko Stenberg, Stepanova, Sterenberg, Strzeminski, Suetin, Tatlin, Udaltsova, Yakulov…. The list is impressive and in order to be able to offer such a program, the exhibition curator Jean-Louis Prat, former honorary director of the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul de Vence, had to secure these works on loan from major Russian institutions such as the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the Pushkin Museum and the Tretyakov State Gallery in Moscow, and also from some of the most famous European museums such as the George Pompidou Center in Paris.

As Prat himself says, “What makes [the exhibition] original is the presence of all the artists who lived through that dense and tragic epoch and the sensation of living, unceasingly, thanks to them, in discovery. They are all opposed and opposable. The title of the exhibition underlines the confrontation between two major artists of the 20th century: Chagall and Malevich. They lived during the same period, each with rich and contradictory styles. Tolerance is present in that unending “opening up” that is what all artists offer.”

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He continues “The exhibition will cover 25 years of creation, from 1905 to 1930. I chose 1905 with the idea that with the first revolt by the St. Petersburg population, everything violently changed sides. The Empire was approaching its end, and the artists had already felt for many years that need to say things differently. I end the exhibition in 1930, the year of Mayakovsky’s suicide, the poet of all the avant-garde.”

A bilingual catalogue, richly illustrated and comprised of essays by specialists on avant-garde art has also been published for this unmissable event, which runs every day until the 6th of September from 10 am to 8 pm (10 pm on Thursdays) at the Grimaldi Forum. Admission is €10 (concessions available).

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CONTACT DETAILS
Grimaldi Forum
10, avenue Princesse Grâce
98000 Monaco

Tel: +377 99 99 20 00

All images via Grimaldi Forum website

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AND GOD CREATED LA TARTE TROPÉZIENNE!

Dernier article en date pour Riviera buzz. Latest article to date for Riviera Buzz.

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The tarte tropezienne has just turned 60 earlier this month, and we just couldn’t let this glorious occasion pass without paying homage!

Each town in France seems to have its own culinary speciality: Marseille has its famed bouillabaisse, Nice its pissaladière, socca and farcis among many others…and Saint Tropez its tarte tropézienne.

Often imitated but never equaled, the original and delicious desert, whose recipe is a jealously guarded secret, is a combination of two velvety creams used to fill a delicious brioche-style cake with a generous coating of sugar. The tart can be found in basically every bakery in St. Tropez but it has also given its name to a chain of patisseries of the same name that is slowly taking over France.

Of course, the success of the Tarte Tropézienne has as much to do with the fact that it is still made today entirely by hand using only the freshest ingredients, as with the colourful story of its creation. Indeed, it all started in 1955 when Alexandre Micka, a recent immigrant from Poland, opened a small bakery on Place des Lices, right in the heart of the little Provencal fishing port, and started making some of his grandmother’s recipes. Asked to cater for a film crew working in nearby Ramatuelle on a film called “Et Dieu créa la femme (And God Created Woman), featuring the then unknown actress Brigitte Bardot, he brought with him his “cream cake”, which soon became a hit on set. Rumour has it that Bardot herself was so in love with the desert, she suggested that Micka rename it “la tarte de St. Tropez” (the tart of St. Tropez). The rest is history… In 1985, Micka passed his business on to his manager, Albert Dufrêne, but the popularity of his creation just keeps on growing.

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And great news now for the Niçois; if you fancy a piece of Bardot’s favorite tart, you don’t have to brave the hordes of tourists that inevitably flock to St. Tropez at this time of year: you can simply head to our very own Tarte Tropézienne in Terminal 2 at the airport. So, Bon appétit!

All images courtesy La Tarte Tropézienne

HITTING THE TINTIN TRAIL IN BRUSSELS

Souvenirs d’un week-end sympa pour Riviera Buzz. Souvenirs from a nice weekend in Brussels for Riviera Buzz

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No trip to the Belgian capital is complete without paying homage to the city’s finest, albeit fictional, son — the one and only Tintin!

Yes, you have the chocolates, the waffles, the beer, the French fries and the mussels. But what makes Brussels really stand out from all other capitals is the myriad comic strips that the city has produced, and in particular, Tintin. Created in 1929 by Belgian cartoonist, Georges Remi (aka Hergé), the young reporter, along with his faithful fox terrier Milou (Snowy) and his friend Captain Haddock, have become some of the most globally recognisable European comic-book characters of the 20th century, with 24 books being translated into more than 100 languages.

Whether you are a fan or not, hitting the Tintin trail is a great way to discover the city’s most famous historic sites as well as some of the more remote and charming districts. And it’s fun too!

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And you don’t have to wait until you’re in Brussels to come face to face with Tintin — If you travel with Brussels Airlines, chances are you that you will fly in one of the company’s new Tintin planes (see lead image and video above), whose entire fuselage has been decorated in the style of Professor Calculus’s shark submarine. And if you stay at the Hotel Amigo in the heart of the capital, you may be lucky enough to spend the night in one of the two suites entirely dedicated to the towheaded boy.

As for the city of Brussels itself, Tintin figures quite prominently, alongside other well-known comic strip characters. There are some 49 murals spread out all over town dedicated to our ageless reporter and the likes of Lucky Luke and the Smurfs. Here you can follow the adventures of your heroes and acquaint yourself with the sights, including the Manneken-Pis, the Grand Place, the magnificent Galerie du Roi, the Vieux Marché and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, the concert hall that inspired the Hippodrome in The Seven Crystal Balls, where Tintin and Captain Haddock go to see a magic show.

Over at the Centre Belge de bande Dessinée (the Belgian Comics Strip center), the permanent and temporary exhibitions pay tribute to the creators and characters of the 9th art, while the Musée de la Figurine Originale (Museum of Original Figurines) offers a unique collection of life-sized statutes that include Tintin and all his companions.

For a well-deserved culinary break you can then head to the Comics Café where you will be greeted by a huge statue of Tintin and Milou and will be able to dine on an Obelix hamburger.

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And finally, to round off your adventures in the world of the ageless reporter, a visit to the architecturally-striking Musée Hergé in Louvain-la-Neuve (easily accessible by train), is a must. With more than 80 original plates and about 800 photographs, documents and other objects on display, here you can find out all about Tintin’s creator, and the origins of all the main characters.

Brussels Airlines and EasyJet offer daily flights to Brussels from Nice airport.

Life is too short to be a perfectionist

Mon histoire avec le cancer pour le site communautaire I had cancer. My story with cancer for the I had Cancer community website.

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Before being diagnosed with cancer, Florence was a 20-something year old French girl living the American dream and focused on perfection. After cancer caused everything to change, she learned to let go of perfection and love her new life. 

When I arrived in San Francisco, I was a shy and naïve 22-year old French girl who dreamed of a perfect life. I always had a smile on my face and loved being a “foreigner” in a new country. I finished law school and got a job. Along the way, I made new friends and fell in love. After 9 years in California, I had it all. I just did not know it then.

Call it the American dream syndrome maybe but I kept wanting more. Always more. The next step was to have kids, move to a nice house and get a dog. I had big dreams and everything seemed possible, but life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next, I know it now. In a matter of just a few days, my world came crushing down.

Cancer.

I was in my thirties. I was fit, ran 10k, and took kickboxing each week. I had never smoked a cigarette in my life, drank moderately and ate relatively healthy. How on earth could I have cancer?

For the perfectionist that I was, this diagnosis caused havoc in my life and I had to learn to let go of everything I thought I knew. For a year, I obediently followed doctors’ orders, living only one day at a time, trying to find one thing to look forward to each morning to distract from the side effects of treatment.

I lost my hair, my nails, my fertility and a few friends I counted as my closest. That was hard! But through it all, I managed to keep my spirits up. I was scared and had bad days but somehow I always believed I would win that fight. And while a lot of my compatriots tend to see the glass half empty, I now see it as half full.

This positive attitude, conditioned by my time in California, made me realize how lucky I was and I have grown incredibly grateful ever since. Grateful for the doctors who saved my life, for the nurses who made me laugh during chemo sessions and for the therapists who eased my pain. But grateful also for being alive today.I got to fulfill dreams I thought were unattainable for a girl like me, who until moving to San Francisco had some serious self-confidence issues.

Obviously getting a cancer was anything but a pleasant experience. Nonetheless, it was a life-changing lesson. I have way less options than before, that’s for sure, but I am okay with it. I strongly believe I still have much more to accomplish but I am taking my time now. What must happen will happen, and I no longer make long-term plans or worry about things I cannot control. I have accepted my scars, my weaknesses and my own limitations. Life is not perfect and the new one I am building for myself is far different from the one I was dreaming of when I was 20- but that doesn’t matter anymore.

My time in California – a time of innocence and self-discovery – is now behind me and it is bitter sweet. But I am healthy again and for as long as I can will cherish those memories and this imperfect, yet wonderful, life of mine. As we say in French: “La vie est belle!”