One Stop Art at the Pompidou
Last week I mentioned the articles written by BBC and Le Monde after I was interviewed regarding the short-term rental issues here in Paris. This morning, the BBC World News TV report ran, as reported by Hugh Schofield. Here it is now.
Le Centre Georges Pompidou is a one-stop art ‘shopping’ experience these days. There is so much to see, that you should plan on spending a lot of time there to take it all in.
While the line to enter the museum’s “Bibliothèque Kandinsky” (named after my favorite artist) was literally around the block on both Saturday and Sunday, as it gets most of the action by the young, the line to enter the museum was nil, even on the first Sunday of the month, when entry to the permanent collections is free.
“The Kandinsky Library is the documentation and research centre of the MNAM-CCI. It is one of the leading libraries specialized in the arts and all fields of the visual arts are represented. It contains a rich collection of books by artists, private archives and 20th century manuscripts originating from collectors and also major artists. The Kandinsky Library is open to researchers with appropriate credentials.” (centrepompidou.fr)
Some museums in Paris, such as the Musée Carnavalet, the Musée de la Vie Romantique and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, offer free entry every day, all year round. Others offer free entry on the first Sunday of each month, including the Musée d’Art Moderne, the Musée d’Orsay and of course, the Centre Pompidou. Other museums, like the Louvre, the Conciergerie and the Sainte Chapelle, are free all year round for people under the age of 26. Late night visits are possible, too, notably at Maison Européenne de la Photographie and the Musée des Arts et Métiers.
This is one big reason to live in Paris. If art and culture is your thing, there is simply no better city to experience it on a daily basis. I’d put even New York or London up against what Paris has to offer in the way of art exhibitions…and whether you like the architecture or not of the Centre Pompidou, it’s one of the greatest museums in the world. Fortunately, it’s a 15-minute walk from my apartment and always has something amazing to offer.
Sunday we took in three exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou: Marcel Duchamp, Jeff Koons and Frank Gehry. Marcel Duchamp closed yesterday, but Frank Gehry is on till January 26, 2015 and Jeff Koons is on till April 27th, 2015.
Frank Gehry’s architectural signature on the face of the planet, many buildings of which are located here in France, such as the new Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois du Boulogne, is worth noting. The exhibit at the Pompidou is a cornucopia of his drawings and models of buildings around the world, one more captivating than the next. I can honestly say, having seen several of them in person, that some are among the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen in my life, way up there with the Taj Mahal and yes, the Eiffel Tower.
Jeff Koons’ work is totally audacious. He is simply laughing at the world and all of us while we’re having just as much fun wondering if what he creates is art or just total nonsense and bad taste. One room of works might shock you, so hold on to your hats and your kids when you enter the works titled “Made in Heaven.” Koons challenges artistic taste once again by depicting his sexual life with his wife, the Italian porn-star Ilona Staller, also known as Cicciolina. One photo is particularly as explicit as any hard core porn you may have ever witnessed, it’s about five times life size! (He wishes!)
My first thought was: “Would they show this in America?” But that’s another reason to see art in Europe. There are no holds barred for how far an artist can take his statement to the public without censorship. We are not children, and fortunately we get to decide for ourselves if it breaks the boundaries or not…or if there are boundaries at all.
Since you have no opportunity to see it for yourself, I’ll make no comment other than to say Duchamp was Duchamp, but there were lots of wonderful works by other artists in the exhibition to support the theme and add to the power of the display, including a few Kandinskys.
We didn’t find the time, but Robert Delaunay “Endless Rythms” is still on untill January 15, 2015 as well as a few others…so don’t let Duchamp’s closing keep you from a visit. Hint, if you don’t mind ‘cheating’ a bit: If the line to enter is unduly long, go to the elevator at the left of the entry marked “Georges.” Explain you are going to the restaurant “Georges.” When you exit the elevator on the first level, you’ll have to go down to the ground level to get your entry tickets to the exhibitions, but otherwise, you will have bypassed the security line completely. (And please don’t tell them I told you!)
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
(interviewed by the BBC)
P.S. I dare you to NOT BE MOVED by my Erica Simone’s latest Huffington Post: Batéy 106: Portraits from a Dominican Sugar Cane Plantation.
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