on view at the musée des beaux arts de la ville de paris from 11 March to 29 August is the first and definitive retrospective of the life and works of preeminent fashionisto Yves Saint Laurent. from the guide (my translation):
A voyage in blinding quality, though time, through history. Nearly 300 models of haute couture, accompanied by a selection of photographs, drawings and films. It offers a panoramic vision of forty years of creation by one of the biggest artists of the era. A parcours in the steps of the prince of couturiers, of a revolutionary who dreamed of “giving to women a grander confidence in themselves.” And he realized his dream.
And how: The sheer scale of works on exhibit is staggering on all levels. The quantity of outfits multiplied by the meticulously crafted detail within each piece reveals a dazzlingly intricate universe of colors, forms, textures, many of which refer directly to popular culture of the time. For example, in the room “YSL et les Femmes,” or just across the way, “Catherine Deneuve, Une Rencontre,” we’re afforded the opportunity to link the personalities of Hollywood and European royalty to the exquisite gowns shown. And in Deneuve’s case especially, there’s invitation to link her off-screen and on-screen personae to the YSLs designed for her. In “Dans le Miroir De l’Art” salon, tributes to Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and Bambara styles are curated together. The grand finale, la bouquet finale, “Le Dernier Bal,” (the last ball) is five dozen ball gowns created between 1980-2000, marking the end of an era– perhaps not the end of haute couture, but rather the end of royalty as spectacle and all its accoutrements. And on the far wall, against an inky black backdrop, an army of black Smoking Suit-sporting mannequins (4 high by 20 or so wide) survey the ball-scene below. They almost disappear into the space behind them. And at the same time, they’re emerging from that space: the stage lights’ll go up any minute now…
11 German, Suiss-German, Austrian, and Norwegian artists teamed up to present a mega-open studio tour the night of the 25th .
the artists included were :
and as ever, i highly recommend following the links posted just above. congrats !
this was of course followed by a “reception,” though unfortunately no dance party to speak of, just more stripes than you could shake a stick at…or a candy cane at…
On this, the final day in belgium, I bit the bullet, and decided to brave the art fair (which i’d serendipitously gotten passes to while at a museum in Ghent). And, you know, it really wasn’t so bad. There’s few folks I know who’ll readily admit liking art fairs, vernissage or after. Rather, it’s just something you ought to do, like eating your brusselsprouts and liver. Well, the way the fair entrance is situated, one must first explore the halls of the newer galleries before getting to the older more established set. So, if you’re pinched for time, as I was, those works enticing further contemplation, photographing, and bio-reading are first-seen, and those artists and galleries with which you’re already familiar can be sprinted by at the end. ok, i didn’t sprint, but only made cursory “oo’s” and “aah’s.”
here’s a short list of noted artists and galleries & links to more information about each :
Ádam Kokesch . Martin Asbaek Gallery . Suzanne Tarasieve . Art & Language . Wentrup Gallery . Phillip Pareno . Martin Mertins . Dorothea Golz . Julien Prévieux . Joris Van De Moortel . Hans Langer . Catherina van Eetvelde . Marc Paulin . Peter de Meyer . Stijn Cole . Ian Burns . Galerie Volker Diehl (Audience by rAndom International) .
and here’s a smattering of imagery :
30-34 Quai des Charbonnages houses an exceptional enclave of innovative gallery/residency/laboratory spaces. I’d gone looking for iMal, which was unfortunately closed that day. iMal space’s purpose is to offer time and facilities for experimentation in the field of new-media arts. The exhibition space (from their online photos) looks to be pretty stellar too. Just around the corner, in what’s really an enormous industrial courtyard, is a community of laboratory spaces. It’s beyond utopia. I stopped by FoAM, where I was invited in to see the residency space, pictured below. It’s a two level loft, with ample room for meetings, performances, installations, and living for several artists. and then there’s the gourmet kitchen. Apparently, Foam acquired the space from a previous program who’d done a lot of major revamping. I highly recommend checking out both websites. ..and also these guys : OKNO … & RYBN
As you can see in the photo, it’s something between grain-loft and industrial facility.
When I was leaving, the woman from iMal stopped by to talk to Lena, the directrice, and I got to snap this photo of the two of them.
Friday night openings & goings on … a very brief account::
Rineke Dijkstra @ Jan Mot exhibiting two new video works : Weeping Woman and Ruth Drawing Picasso. In the former three channel video work, we are confronted by a dozen school children (in uniform, between ages 7-12 I’d guess) describing Picasso’s Weeping Woman…why she appears the way she does, why the artist rendered her so, and so on. It’s hilarious and poignant, and you leave in awe of how much is inferred by those with relatively limited life experience…rather, the potential causes of sadness the children imagine reveals their innate wisdom.
le musée du point de vue, by jean daniel berclaz
Filles du calvaire (exhibiting : Dominique Blais, Mira Sanders, Lisa Tan)
Alice Day exhibiting “Bambaataa,” curated by Der Kommissare François Curlet & including works by Robert Watts, Haim Steinbach, Liza May Post, Dewar & Gicquel, Fédéric Platéus, and Natalia Brilli. this was easily the pick of the night (notwithstanding the full buffet, open bar, and 5M radial crowd spilling onto the sidewalk).