PUSHING BOUNDARIES WITH PHILIPPE PASQUA IN MONACO

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

Local artist and sculptor Philippe Pasqua takes centre-stage in the Musée Océanographique in Monaco this summer with a monumental exhibition.

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For the past few years, the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco has been inviting numerous renowned contemporary creators, from Damien Hirst and Huang Yong Ping to Mark Dion and Marc Quinn, to establish a welcome dialogue between poetry and environmental commitment.

This summer is proving to be no different with the display of 12 gigantic custom-made works and sculptures by Grasse-born artist, Philippe Pasqua.

Entitled “Borderline”, this truly monumental exhibition consists of 12 monographic pieces, 7 of which have never been shown in public before, standing alongside the museum’s permanent collection on the square in front of the building and the panoramic terrace perched on the cliff.

Inspired by artists such as Francis Bacon as well as voodoo and fetishes, Pasqua thrives on provoking emotions rather than producing aesthetically pleasing pieces. His images are violent and powerful, always flirting with the notion of limits. They are made with materials that symbolize solidity and strength, such as bronze and onyx, but also eternity and purity, such as marble and silver, to create an œuvre as disturbing as it is fascinating.

Pasqua questions, raises concerns and unsettles his audience, but never leaves them unmoved”, explains Robert Calcagno, the Museum’s director, noting that the artist’s “work provides the ideal trigger for raising awareness about marine and terrestrial life”.

This philosophy is probably best summarized in the work ‘Wheel of Time’, which impresses not only with its dimensions (weighing in at 7 tons, with a diameter of 7 metres and a height of 6 metres), but also by its multiple components (Tyrannosaurus Rex carcasses, rats, an electric chair, a parasol…), representing a time that seems to have stopped.

 

My commitment to protecting the environment is partly tied to my personal journey. As a father of three, I am forced to think of my children and of their future and to be proactive through my art,” Pasqua says of his work. “It seems that we now have reached a breaking point and this fear of rupture was a source of inspiration for the title of the exhibition, Borderline”.

The exhibition, Borderline, runs until the 30th of September; 2017 at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. The museum is open every day from 9:30 am to 8 pm until the end of August and from 10 am to 7 pm in September. Tickets cost 11 € for adults, 7 € for teenagers aged 13 to 18 and for students with an ID card, and 5 € for children aged 4 to 12.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée Océanographique
ave. St-Martin
MC 98000 Monaco

Tel : + 377 93 15 36 00

 

Image courtesy Musée Océanographique

SPIRIT OF DIOR VERY MUCH ALIVE IN GRASSE THIS SUMMER

L’expo à ne pas manquer cet été à Grasse. The not-to-be missed exhibition this summer in Grasse.

The International Perfume Museum in Grasse is celebrating the fashion designer’s love for the South of France with a summer exhibition entitled “Esprit de Parfums”.

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Just a year after the renovation of the Château de la Colle Noire, the provencal holiday residence of Christian Dior, “Esprit de Parfums” is an exhibition that highlights the artist’s life, but also his most famous olfactory creations.

Located near Grasse, the splendid property, set on several hundred hectares, is where the French couturier found the inspiration to craft some of his most famous fragrances.

Close to the land, a stone’s throw away from my vineyards and jasmine, I always feel comforted”. – Christian Dior

But Dior’s love affair with the French Riviera started well before his purchase of the 12,900 square foot château in 1950, his “haven of peace”. As early as 1934, his recently widowed father decided to leave Granville, in Normandy, and move with his daughter Catherine and governess to Callian, in the Var. The young Christian who was already living in Paris at the time, regularly went to stay with them, even taking refuge in the family home in the early 1940’s. After the war, he often visited his sister who had become a flower trader, working as an intermediary selling flowers grown in the South of France to the rest of the country.

It was thus natural that the designer chose to base his first fragrance, Miss Dior, on rose and jasmine. That was in 1947, and the perfume became an immediate success. But the fascination for the region did not stop there. Following in the footsteps of Paul Vacher, Dior worked with a string of Grasse’s perfumers to concoct some of his best fragrances. These included the self-styled ‘perfumer/composer’ Edmond Roudnitska, who created Diorama, Eau Fraîche, Diorissimo and Eau Sauvage, and Edouard Fléchier, the man behind Poison. The region has always been central to Christian Dior scents – even nowadays,  the official perfumer and fragrance designer for the Maison Dior is Grasse-born François Demachy, who has held the position since 2006.

The exhibition, which runs until the 1st of October 2017, serves as an opportunity to display the museum’s large collection of bottles and posters, as well as some masterpieces belonging to the Maison Dior, and pieces on loan from both public institutions and private establishments. Meanwhile, videos and interactive terminals provide an historical context which call on all the five senses.

The Musée International de la Parfumerie is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm, and the entrance fee is €6

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée International de la Parfumerie
2, boulevard du Jeu de Ballon
06130 Grasse

Tel: +33 4 97 05 58 00

 

BONNARD AND VUILLARD REUNITED IN LE CANNET THIS SUMMER

L’expo de l’été à ne pas manquer au Cannet. The not-to-be missed summer exhibition in Le Cannet!

Pierre Bonnard would have turned 150 this year, and the museum that bears his name in Le Cannet is celebrating this milestone with a special summer-long exhibition.

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This exhibition, ‘BONNARD/VUILLARD La collection Zeïneb et Jean-Pierre Marcie-Rivière’,is centered around masterpieces on loan from the Musée d’Orsay. In total, 25 of Bonnard’s paintings and 94 of his drawings, as well as 24 paintings, 3 pastels and 2 drawings by Édouard Vuillard, taken from the collection of Zeïneb and Jean-Pierre Marcie-Rivière that was generously donated to the Parisian museum, are on display, showing the friendship and close artistic bond that existed between the two artists at the time of the Nabi Movement.

The two met at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and remained friends until the death of Vuillard in 1940, which devastated Bonnard. As Vuillard wrote in his last letter to his friend on the 4th May of that year: “If I wrote to you every time I think about you, our past, painting, etc., you would have enough letters to fill a library”.

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Throughout the years, they shared their discoveries and experimentations, but also friends and exhibitions. In the 1890’s, they had both taken an interest in the same subjects, with a preference for intimate scenes representing their daily surroundings, with furniture and accessories playing the most important role. They also both adopted a very similar, evocative style, favouring small formats, mysterious compositions, and images from the avant-garde symbolist theatre and the music of Wagner.

The exhibition clearly demonstrates the affinities between the two men and the similarities in their artistic approach, by creating a link between the various artworks. But it also shows their differences. For instance, where Bonnard’s radiant nudes were usually bathed in light, Vuillard, who observed his models from a distance in the privacy of their homes, preferred instead to represent them as ghost-like figures.

The exhibit, “BONNARD/VUILLARD La collection Zeïneb et Jean-Pierre Marcie-Rivière” runs until the 17th of September at the Musée Bonnard in Le Cannet.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée Bonnard
16, boulevard Sadi Carnot
06110 Le Cannet

Tel: +33 4 93 94 06 06

Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm

LAGERFELD’S FORMER MONEGASQUE VILLA HOSTS NOMAD DESIGN FAIR

Une des plus belles villas de la Côte d’Azur. One of the most beautiful villas on the French Riviera.

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The inaugural Nomad Design Fair, which ran from the 27th to the 30th of April, provided the visitor with a unique opportunity to discover what is widely considered as one of the most beautiful properties on the French Riviera – La Vigie.

Built in 1902 for Sir William Ingram, the villa boasts magnificent panoramic views of the Mediterranean, the Principality, and the bay of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. At the time of its construction, the gardens were full of rare animals, tropical birds and predators, including eagles and condors, and served as the perfect location for the owner’s extravagant parties.

The atmosphere, however, changed dramatically during World War II when the villa became an observation post for the occupying German forces, who did not think twice about turning the gardens into trenches covered with barbed wire and mine fields.

Thankfully, the grounds were restored to their former glory in the 1950’s and the villa became home to the Grimaldi family. Later on during the 1990’s, it was the residence of one of the world’s most famous fashion designers, Karl Lagerfeld.

These days, La Vigie is an exclusive hotel catering to high society guests, and can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis.

With its monumental entrance hall, impressive staircase, high ceilings, its many columns and fireplaces, large terrace, tree-covered park and private road, the property definitely provides for a chic and trendy getaway.

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As for Nomad, it will now live up to its name, travelling to different destinations each year in order to offer art aficionados an original experience, and create “an event that is bespoke, intimate and that presents work in a radically new context”. Nonetheless, with their choice of La Vigie this year, the organizers have well and truly set the bar very high for future venues to follow!

 

All images courtesy Nomad Monaco

THE FRENCH RIVIERA TO CELEBRATE CENTENARY OF JFK’S BIRTH

JFK aurait eu 100 ans cette année. JFK would have turned 100 this year.

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To celebrate the centenary of the birth of JFK, famed writer and producer Frédéric Lecomte-Dieu will be curating a one-off photo exhibition “John F. Kennedy 1917 – 2017” in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

The exhibition runs from the 15th to the 30th of May at the Mairie in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, one of the Kennedys’ favourite holiday destinations, and will shed light on the life and career of the most popular American president in history. Just one of the many events that will be organized in 2017 on the French Riviera in honour of JFK!

In parallel to the main exhibition, 100 captioned pictures will be available for 24 hours only on the centenary website. This temporary display will take place on the 29th of May, the actual birthday of the late president.

On the 21st of July, Lecomte-Dieu will present his one-man show, “Dallas ! On a tiré sur le président Kennedy” at the Palais de l’Europe in Menton. For an hour and a half, he will give a voice to some 10 characters, including Lyndon Baines Johnson, Robert Kennedy, J.Edgar Hoover, Martin Luther King, Pierre Salinger, and Richard Nixon, as they pay their respects to the 35th president as his coffin lies in repose in the East Room of the White House.

Lecomte-Dieu has been working as a biographer of the famous clan since 1995, in collaboration with the U.S. National Archives and the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. His extraordinary work has earned him praise from the highest levels of American government, notably during the 1998 exhibition, “Kennedy – The American Dream”. Since then he has continued to show his extensive collection of pictures throughout the world. The “Generation Kennedy” exhibition in 2001 at the Métropole Shopping Centre in Monte-Carlo attracted nearly 300,000 visitors. He is also regularly invited to speak at conferences, and is usually the first port of call for the French-speaking media each time there is some breaking news concerning the Kennedys.

NICE SHOWS SOME AMERICAN LOVE WITH NEW EXHIBIT

Nice se met à l’heure américaine cette année! Nice is showing some American love this year!

When US Congress declared war on Germany on 6th April, 1917, the Niçois city fathers decided to rename its famous « Quai du midi » to « Quai des Etats-Unis ».

A century later, it was thus natural for Nice, which has been commemorating the First World War with a series of yearly exhibitions since 2014, to celebrate the impact the American presence had, not only on the city, but also the entire French Riviera.

1917 Nice l'américaine expoEntitled « 1917: Nice l’Américaine », the exhibit starts in 1787 with Thomas Jefferson, who was the first known American to travel to the south of France, and follows with Uncle Sam’s soldiers on “rest and recreation” as they showed locals the pleasures of bathing and sunbathing. Soon after, with the region transforming itself from a winter to a summer resort, it was the turn of the crème de la crème of American high society to flock to the region’s villas, private beaches and night clubs, to rub shoulders with famous artists from the ‘Lost Generation’.

The region had by then earned its reputation as a hedonistic paradise, and became a mixture of opulence, glamour, joie de vivre, and jazz music. Cole Porter rented a house on Cap d’Antibes for two summers in 1921 and 1922 and played in American-owned cocktail bar le Pam Pam. The wealthy Murphys took advantage of the strong US dollar to escape Prohibition at home and to make the Riviera their home. There, they entertained their many friends from the artistic community. Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Man Ray, and John Do Passo were just a few of the A-listers who participated in their wild parties, while F. Scott Fitzgerald perfectly captured the atmosphere of the era in his famous novel ‘Tender is the Night’.

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While the roaring 20’s came to an abrupt end in 1929 with the stock market crash, the interest in the Côte d’Azur never really waned, and American money played an important part in the region’s development. Billionaire Frank Jay Gould opened the magnificent Palais de la Méditerranée right on the Promenade des Anglais, while American director Rex Ingram rescued the Victorine Studios from bankruptcy, giving them an international dimension.

The exhibition ‘1917: Nice l’Américaine’ is being held at the Archives Municipales in Nice until the 29th of September and will also include conferences, educational workshops, jazz sessions, and a cycle of American films held at the Cinémathèque de Nice.

photos © RIVIERA BUZZ

STEP INTO THE SECRET WORLD OF CHINA’S LAST EMPERORS THIS SUMMER IN MONACO

Un bel été en perspective à Monaco! A beautiful summer on the horizon in Monaco!

The Forbidden City comes to the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco this July, promising another spectacular summer exhibition to rival past editions.

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Each year the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco takes us on a wonderful journey through history and art with its summer exhibition:  Moscow, Splendours of the Romanovs, Queens of Egypt, The Grace Kelly Years, and Art Lovers Stories of Art in the Pinault collection are just some of the more recent triumphs.

The 2017 edition will be no different, offering visitors a unique chance to immerse themselves in China’s rich past and get a glimpse into the extraordinary life of the country’s imperial life, as more than 250 artifacts from the Forbidden City will be on display from the 14th of July to the 10th of September.

The exhibitionThe Forbidden City in Monaco. Life of the Court of Emperors and Empresses of China”, jointly curated by Jean-Paul Desroches, Honorary General Curator, and Wang Yuegong, Director of the Imperial Court Life Department at the Forbidden City, will shed light on the mysterious life inside the world’s largest imperial palace, which the last imperial Chinese dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911), called home but which was off-limits to all but the emperor, his family and thousands of servants, including concubines and eunuchs.

 Located in the heart of Beijing and named as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, the palace is a grandiose complex spanning approximately 727,000 square metres and made up of more than 980 buildings, as well as approximately 8,700 rooms. It became a museum in 1925, one year after Fu Yi, the Last Emperor, went into exile, and houses the largest collection of China’s imperial collections of paintings, ceramics, and decorative objects.

This summer in Monaco, visitors will be able to admire these national treasures, including portraits, ceremonial costumes, furniture, precious art objects and scientific instruments, straight from the Emperors’ former palace, as well as other masterpieces on loan from major European and American collections, including the Musée du Louvre in Paris and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

16 years after the Grimaldi Forum’s successful exhibit “China of the First Emperor”,the Principality is getting ready to once again celebrate all the splendour and magnificence of a civilization that still fascinates centuries later.

The Forbidden City in Monaco. Life of the Court of Emperors and Empresses of China”will take place from the 14th July to the 10th of September. Pre-sale tickets are currently available for purchase online for just €5.

CONTACT DETAILS
Grimaldi Forum
10, avenue Princesse Grace
98000 Monaco

Tel: +377 99 99 20 00

 

MAMAC CELEBRATES GUSTAV METZGER, THE FATHER OF AUTO-DESTRUCTIVE ART

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

The Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain in Nice (MAMAC), presents a retrospective of the work of Gustav Metzger, running until the 14th of May.

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Gustav Metzger, best-known for his auto-destructive art and left-wing activism, was born in Nuremberg in 1926 to Polish-Jewish parents. For more than six decades, he has been using everyday materials like newspapers, cardboard, and paper bags to address issues close to his heart, such as extinction, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, terrorist bombings, climate change and environmental pollution.

The art, architecture and design world needs to take a stand against the ongoing erasure of species – even where there is little chance of ultimate success. It is our privilege and our duty to be at the forefront of the struggle. There is no choice but to follow the path of ethics into aesthetics. We live in societies suffocating in waste. Our task is to remind people of the richness and complexity in nature; to protect nature as far as we can and by doing so art will enter new territories that are inherently creative, that are primarily for the good of the universe.” – Gustav Metzger

Metzger’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions around the world, from The New Museum in New York (2011), to the Serpentine Gallery in London (2009), but calls for public participation are really what lies at the core of his artistic practice.

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In 1961, for instance, wearing a gas mask, Metzger performed one of the most famous acts of auto-destructive art when he threw hydrochloric acid at a sheet of nylon on London’s South Bank.

This is why, in parallel with MAMAC’s main exhibition, Remember Nature, the public were invited to witness the reenactment of two are Metzger’s main creations. Aside from the aforementioned South Bank demonstration which was recreated earlier this month, students from the École de Condé also recreated Mobbile, a sculpture placed inside a clear Plexiglas box, affixed to the roof of a car that was driven through the streets of Nice for a week at the end of January.

Remember Nature runs daily from 11am to 6pm until the 14th of May (closed Mondays).

CONTACT DETAILS
MAMAC
Place Yves Klein
06364 Nice cedex 4

 

TWO NEW EXHIBITIONS AT MUSÉE JEAN COCTEAU IN MENTON

Pour sa réouverture, le musée Cocteau à Menton présente 2 nouvelles expositions. For its reopening, the Cocteau museum in Menton presents 2 new exhibitions.

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The Musée Jean Cocteau collection Séverin Wunderman recently reopened its doors and is celebrating this “re-inauguration” with two new temporary exhibitions, running until mid-March.

The first exhibition, “Démarche d’un poète” (A Poet’s Approach), based on Cocteau’s eponymous essay, focuses on the mythological itinerary of the multi-talented artist who believed that “the secret of poetry is to take things from the places in which habit has set them and reveal them from a different angle as though we see them for the first time.”

Cocteau’s career, which encompasses novels, plays, poems, films, essays, autobiographical writings, journalism, painting, and a voluminous correspondence, is marked not only by its profusion and diversity, but also by its creativity. As James P. Mc Nab wrote in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, “Cocteau’s willingness and ability to turn his hand to the most disparate creative ventures do not fit the stereotypical image of the priest like—or Proust-like—writer single-mindedly sacrificing his life on the altar of an all-consuming art. But the best of his efforts, in each of the genres that he took up, enriched that genre.”

Meanwhile, the second exhibition, “De aquis confusis (Mingled Waters), is dedicated to the work of Frédérique Nalbandian, an artist who uses plaster and soap to create pieces that oscillate between sustainability and ephemerality, a balance that bodes well with the spirit of the museum. Opened in 2011 and located in a striking building which evokes a labyrinth, the goal of the Jean Cocteau Museum is to present the different aspects of the artist’s genius, but also to show the man behind the myth.

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The works, which include some 1,190 drawings, prints, paintings, ceramics, tapestries, jewellery, books and manuscripts by Cocteau himself, as well as photographs relating to the artist and works by fellow artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, and Di Chirico, are arranged based on seven specific themes that each correspond to an important stage in the artist’s career: the topic “Blood of the Poet” for instance, is connected with Cocteau’s most renowned literary works, such as “Les Enfants Terribles” and “La Machine Infernale”, while another one, “Mysteries”, features the poetry and films Cocteau created post-WWII, such as “La Belle et la Bête”.

Moreover, since Cocteau is considered to be one of the fathers of modern art, it is fitting that these temporary exhibitions serve to highlight the works of current contemporary artists.

Admission to the museum also includes access to the Bastion, the abandoned Fort Menton’s “adopted son”, restored and decorated with mosaics and tapestries to house some of Cocteau’s own artworks.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée Jean Cocteau collection Séverin Wunderman
2, quai de Monléon
06500 MENTON

Tel: +33 4 89 81 52 50

All images courtesy Musée Jean Cocteau collection Séverin Wunderman

ALL ABOUT PINAUD THIS YEAR IN MUSEUMS ACROSS THE REGION

Cette année offre la chance de découvrir le travail de l’artiste local Pascal Pinaud dans les musées de la région PACA. This year offers the chance to discover the work of local artist Pascal Pinaud in museums across the PACA region.

With no less than three exhibitions of his works taking place in the region, 2017 is definitely going to be the year of Pascal Pinaud.

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The first two exhibitions are currently underway at the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence, and at the Espace de l’Art Concret in Mouans-Sartoux, both running until the 5th of March. The third one will take place this summer at the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain (FRAC PACA) in Marseille. Recognition indeed for one of the major artists of the Côte d’Azur of our time!

Born in Toulouse in 1964, Pascal Pinaud has been living and working in Nice for over 20 years, proving that after Yves Klein, César, and Arman, the South East of France remains a prime location for creativity and research in arts.

Having exhibited from early on in his career, the graduate of the Villa Arson is known for reinventing abstract painting in a quest for new directions, replacing frames and brushstrokes with technical originality and humour. Through his paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations, he likes to blend the history of our creative and transformative capacities with the origins of art, as well as questioning the possible future of his creations. He also brings a certain poetry to his works and likes to make the spectators experience “a thousand lives”.

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If his art bears some similarity to that of Gérard Gasiorowski, Bertrand Lavier, John Armleder, Noël Dolla, or with certain American painters from the 1980s such as Philip Taaffe or Jonathan Lasker, Pinaud has become one of the leading figures of post-modern painting. He has been granted solo exhibitions in numerous museums and art centres around the world, from the Museum Ludwig in Vienna and the Verrière Hermès in Brussels, to the Busan Biennal in South Korea and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Santiago, Chile.

The retrospective exhibition at the Fondation Maeght “Sempervivum retraces his practice through several series such as Tôles and Diptyques, but also presents some unique works such as Arbre à fèves and Tel Quel,while “C’est à vous de voir…” at the Espace de l’Art Concret offers an instropective look at his already long career.

All photos by François Fernandez