MONACO PAYS TRIBUTE TO LONG FORGOTTEN LOCAL ARTIST HERCULE FLORENCE

Nouvelle expo à ne pas manquer à Monaco. New not-to-be-missed exhibit in Monaco.

Villa Paloma in Monaco hosts a new exhibition of the works of long forgotten local artist and explorer, Hercule Florence.

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He may have developed a method for printing photographic images using silver nitrate and urine in 1833, and had his experiments published in a Rio de Janeiro journal, but Monegasque-Brazilian artist Hercule Florence nonetheless lived most of his life in relative obscurity. He never got the place he deserved in history for his contributions to modern photographic processes.

A new exhibition of his works being held at Villa Paloma in Monaco is thankfully rectifying this, and finally giving him the proper credit he should have received much earlier.

Born in Nice to a surgeon in Napaloeon Bonaparte’s army and to a Monegasque mother, Augustine Vignalis, Hercule Florence grew up in the Principality. At the age of 20, he was hired as a cabin boy on the French ship Marie-Thérèse, which was touring the world and it was during a stopover in Rio in 1824, that he decided to stay in the city. A year later he was selected by the Baron of Langsdorff to document his scientific expedition to South America.

For five years, Florence was in charge of collecting information about the flora, fauna, and native tribes of the Amazonas. To do so, he invented what has been dubbed the Zoophonie to record the musical notation of bird songs as well as the Polygraphia, a printing method based on the principles of photography.

He also produced a series of drawings documenting the culture of coffee in the north of Sao Paulo and the native populations, put together a “Picturesque-Celestial Atlas” that depicted clouds in the sky of Campinas, and also produced many scientific manuscripts and biographical diaries, in which he detailed his research as well as the Langsdorff expedition which came to a tragic end..

Part of theses drawings and manuscripts are among the 400 pieces of art on display in Monaco alongside the first photographic copy of the history of the Americas as well as works created specifically exhibition by international artists such as Lucia Koch, Jochen Lempert, Leticia Ramos and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané.

‘Hercule Florence, Le Nouveau Robinson’ exhibit at the Villa Paloma runs until the 11th of June 2017. Tickets costs €6 and the exhibition is open daily from 11am to 7 pm.

CONTACT DETAILS
Villa Paloma
56, boulevard du Jardin Exotique
98000 Monaco

Tel: +377 98 98 91 26

FOR THE LOVE OF DANCE: MONACO CELEBRATES ITS BALLET COMPANIES

Deux expositions pour le prix d’une cet automne à Monaco. Two exhibitions for the price of one this fall in Monaco.

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Two exhibitions currently underway at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco highlight the important role played by dance in reinforcing Monaco’s standing on the international cultural scene.

It is undeniable that the history of Monaco is closely linked to that of dance. From Serge Diaghilev’s famed Ballets Russes, which revolutionized ballet at the beginning of the 20th century with its fusion of art, movement and music, to the modern-day Ballets de Monte-Carlo who are in high demand worldwide thanks to the avant-gardist works of his artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot, the tiny principality boasts a long tradition of excellence and innovation in the field of choreography.

Two exhibitions currently underway at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco serve to reiterate the influence of dance on the Monegasque cultural scene.

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The first one “Designing Dreams, a celebration of Leon Bakst”, which is running until the 15th of January at the Villa Sauber is bringing into focus the creations of stage-designer Leon Bakst who designed sets and costumes for the Ballets Russes in the 1910’s and early 1920’s. Drawing his inspiration from the ancient cultures of Greece, Persia and Siam but also from Russian folk art, Bask managed to perfectly combine the atmosphere of Slavonic orientalism with a more modern style. Famous for his love for bright colours and his extravagant designs with refined details, the artist’s sets and designs were definitively a huge part of the success of Diagilev’s productions, such as Cleopatra (1909), Scheherazade (1910); Narcisse (1911) andDaphnis and Chloé (1912).

In total, more than 150 drawings, models, and costumes from the collection of the museum itself and from the permanent repository of the Société des Bains de Mer, as well as works by artists such as Jean Cocteau, Valentine Hugo and George Barbier, who contributed to the diffusion of the famous “Art Décoratif de Leon Bakst”,are displayed in a unique scenography inspired by the concept of dreams.

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Simultaneously, the Villa Paloma is plunging visitors into the exciting world of choreographic creations. Inaugurated last September by H.R.H. Caroline of Hanover, the “Dance, Dance, Dance exhibit is a three-phase projects that focuses on body movements and different rhythms, from rehearsal to public performances. It thus includes various live performances but also a workshop that brings together dancers, choreographers and stage designers as well as many debates on the multifaceted aspects of this art.

Designing Dreams, a Celebration of Leon Bakst runs until the 15th of January, 2017.
Dance, Dance, Dance runs until the 8th of January, 2017.

 

The museum is open every day from 10am until 6pm. Closed on the 1st of January, 2017. A ticket for both villas costs 6€.

 

CONTACT DETAILS

NMNM – VILLA PALOMA
56, boulevard du Jardin Exotique
98000 Monaco

Tel: +377 98 98 48 60

 

NMNM – VILLA SAUBER

17, avenue Princesse Grace
98000 Monaco

Tel: +377 98 98 91 26

 

All images courtesy NMNM

DUANE HANSON AT VILLA PALOMA – A SLICE OF MIDDLE AMERICA

Un goût d’Amérique profonde cet été à Monaco avec l’expo Duane Hanson. A taste of Middle America this summer in Monaco with the Duane Hanson exhibit.

Duane Hanson

Throughout the summer and running until 28th August, the Villa Paloma in Monaco presents the work of the late American sculptor, Duane Hanson.

Duane Hanson was an artist who, throughout his 40-year career, insisted on showing the other side of the American dream, thanks to his hyper-realistic representations of working-class citizens, warts and all.

I want to achieve a certain tough realism which speaks of the fascinating idiosyncrasies of our times”, Hanson once said. The work he left behind certainly does that, creating powerful vignettes of real life.

The artist has always been fascinated with ordinary people, many of whom he believed had been marginalized by society. Born in Alexandria in rural Minnesota in 1925, Hanson lived in Germany from 1953 to 1960 where he worked as an art teacher for the U.S. Army school system. It was at that time that he started experimenting with polyester resin and fibreglass.

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Back in his native country, where he continued working as a professor in a variety of universities, he submitted a controversial piece entitled Abortion to the 1965 annual Sculptors of Florida exhibition, depicting a young pregnant girl on a table covered in a white linen sheet. While some of the artist’s early life-sized tableaux represented soldiers killed in action, police brutality and homeless people, this sculpture drew lots of criticism and shocked the public. This negative reaction did not stop Hanson from producing radical works and making strong political statements.  Repairmen, waitresses, bricklayers, security guards … the subjects of his sculptures confronted the viewers with largely untold stories, and while Hanson was inspired at first by the pop movement, his art actually grew out of a highly developed social conscience.

To give such a sense of realism to his work, Duane Hanson often used live models, including family and friends. The sculptures were then painted in great detail before being finished with hair, clothing and accessories.

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Duane Hanson,

Nouveau Musée National de Monaco Villa Paloma Duane Hanson,

The Duane Hanson exhibit at the Villa Paloma runs until the 28th of August. Tickets costs €6 and opening hours are from 11am to 7pm daily.

CONTACT DETAILS
Villa Paloma
56, Boulevard du Jardin Exotique
98000 Monaco

Tel: +377 98 98 91 26

All images courtesy Nouveau Musée National de Monaco; © NMNM/François Fernandez