Art Archive

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Icons of Modern Arts: the Shchukin Collection – at the LV Foundation – A perfect excuse to come to Paris

24.10.2016 Posted in Art No Comments

Icons of Modern Arts: the Shchukin Collection -an exhibition currently held at the LV Foundation in Paris and a perfect excuse to come to Paris. In Paris, in the Louis Vuitton Foundation opened the exhibition “Icons of Modernism. Shchukin Collection”. This extraordinary exhibition highlighting around 150 masterpieces  (Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Degas, Renoir and many other world renowned painters) opened to the public on October 22 and goes on until the end of February. One of the greatest world collections of French art is reunited together for the first time in 90 years since Shchukin has left the mansion at Znamenka in 1918 after which his collection has been nationalised by the Soviet state.  To get a preview of a preparation for the exhibiton here is the video installation by Peter Greenaway & his wife.  The 478 page catalogue  is available in French, English & Russian (49,90 €) and includes forwards by Francois Hollande, Vladimire Poutine, Bernard Arnault, the great grandchildren Arielle Badou and André-Marc Delocque-Fourcauld who spent years compiling data on the great Russian merchant & collector (http\://www.collectionchtchoukine.com). For more information about the exhibition: http\://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en/expositions/icones-de-l-art-moderne-la-collection-chtchoukine.html  

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Chinese Red Propaganda Poster

10.10.2014 Posted in Art 3 Comments

I have already written in one of my blog posts about the beautiful and meaningful Soviet Propaganda Posters. A few days ago a friend of mine offered me a book about the Chinese Propaganda poster, printed by Taschen Publishers. The book was a real revelation. Besides being totally Red – Red being the dominant color on just about every poster – it presented impressive images of Chinese communist propaganda. There are representations of  young smiling people working in the factories, thriving industry and agriculture, the easy-going life of women and children and dominating above it all – the portraits of Mao Tse-Dong, the leader of the nation. Certainly for many Chinese, at the time when these posters were created, the images might not have seemed as gorgeous. Because of the Cultural Revolution and the policies of Mao, millions were sent to the forced labor camps, were accused of treason and executed or died of starvation. In this sense, the Chinese poster is very similar to the Soviet one. The posters in the book made me think about all these similarities between the historical evolution of both countries. Just as with the Soviet posters, the Chinese ones remind us today of many events of the past and their consequences. They have also become rare items of art and objects of collection. However, coming from Russia and beeing accustomed to a rather ‘masculin’ Soviet poster, I found that the Chinese posters have a pretty  and ‘feminin’ touch of the Chinese culture, whether it be […]

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The Most Sought-After Living Red French Artist

11.07.2014 Posted in Art, Lifestyle No Comments

From 14 May to 22 September 2014 The Pompidou Center Museum in Paris is holding an exhibition of Martial Raysse. The author of the renowned “Red” Made in Japan –La Grande Odalisque, 1964.  The exhibit presents over 200 works (many of which are tinted with red), covering all periods of Raysse’s working life. From the most amazing and innovative works of Pop art which made this artist famous in the 1960s, in which he mixes the familiar images with different techniques— adding neon lights, film, flowers, flies and towels to the paintings, to pictorial and sculptural oeuvres made in the 1970s, and recently made large canvases.  Martial Raysse has been considered the most sought-after living French artist since 2011, when, during a public auction at Christie’s, his painting, Quinze Août, was sold for a record amount of money 1.777.500€.  So if you are in Paris during the time of the exhibition, it is worth a visit— as is the Centre Pompidou, with its loft-like space and mechanical stairs covered with transparent tubes which take you to the top floor. The view of Paris is magnificent. Complete you trip with a short stop at Le Georges, one of the Costes Restaurants, situated on the sixth and last floor. Transparent walls offer an amazing panoramic view of Paris. The restaurant is on the pricey side (starting from 20€per course), the service can be a bit pretentious, but it is still worth a visit. So stop by for a coffee or a glass of wine. […]

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Viva Frida!

14.01.2014 Posted in Art No Comments

A few days ago I visited a beautiful exhibition of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera paintings which was going on in Paris at  the Musee d’Orangerie. I think it was  the first time I had seen so many paintings by  Frida Kahlo. Her exhibitions are rare. Most of her works of art are in Mexico and hardly ever come to Europe. I have always been fascinated by Frida Kahlo, as a woman and an artist. I have been attracted by her strong nature, ability to overcome so many difficulties that life had reserved for her – illnesses, handicaps, inability to have children– besides she was unattractive and lame. And yet she  always came across as the most beautifully-dressed woman, who had many romantic liaisons  and who continues to inspire artists and designers even today.  I’m also interested in her because she is a Red Woman. Frida Kahlo was a communist.   And she was a painter. A great painter. Among others, the exhibition showed the most impressive  series of her  self-portraits.  With  incredible exactitude, they show the inner nature of a beautiful and talented young woman, portrayed with her favorite monkey, or her preferred jewelry, her hair decorated with Mexican flowers and ornaments, living through much pain and suffering because of her recurring illness. The exhibition also included  a separate room with the photos of her and Diego Rivera.   Even if I have seen most of the photos and paintings in books as reproductions, seeing the originals is always […]

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Soviet Posters and the Stories They have to Tell

11.10.2013 Posted in Art No Comments

An excellent example of Red Art is the Propaganda poster. The posters were used by the Soviet leaders as visual propaganda of communism. They remained a part of Soviet daily and cultural life until perestroika in the mid-1980s, when they were replaced by regular advertising. Produced in various quantities between 5.000 and 100.000, the posters often had a short life-span and were later destroyed. Today many have become rare items, and recently collector’s items, sold at  auction houses at prices often largely exceeding the initial estimate. The message and appearance of the poster depended on the changing ideology within the country. Some posters have interesting stories to tell. Nikolai Kupreyanov. Citizens, preserve historical monuments! 1919. The beginning of the Cultural Revolution caused tremendous damage to buildings, books, and works of art. Thousands of books are lost during the first years of the October Socialist Revolution, burned in the stoves or used as cigarette papers. Untold numbers of monuments and churches were destroyed by the Bolsheviks. This poster, as many others, is an effort to change people’s perception of cultural values of the monarchist, capitalist past. Its aim is to explain the importance of culture as well as the value of knowledge and education.     I. Boym The duty of every worker, 1930s. A remarkable poster created at the end of the 1930s, this shows an ideal life that does not yet exist but will come into being in the near future if the Soviet people put more effort into […]