Paris Colors: White Night, Gold Fish, Cara Black
I hate to admit it, but last week returning from the south and settling back into life in Paris, I totally forgot that Saturday night was “La Nuit Blanche“…but thank goodness I didn’t miss it!
This is the annual event rendering the city sleepless while museums, private and public art galleries, and other cultural institutions open free of charge all night long, with the center of the Paris itself being turned into a public gallery, providing spaces for temporary art installations, performances, themed social gatherings and other activities.
This year, two women were in charge of artistic direction: Chiara Parisi and Julie Pellegrin. Chiara Parisi is currently the head of cultural programs of the Monnaie de Paris and Julie Pellegrin is the founder of Le Store in Belleville.
As usual, the streets were jam packed with people moving from one exhibition to another. Some had long lines of spectators waiting to get a glimpse. Others flowed freely. Dodging the humanity and vehicles of every kind was an urban obstacle course.
We took in a few of the relative sights in Le Marais before turning into a pumpkin at midnight, but my few photos don’t hold a candle to those on the official Web site at: quefaire.paris.fr/. Clearly we must have missed some of the best installations, because I can’t say that any we saw were particularly impressive (compared to years past) with the exception of the iPhone wallpaper and animation display on a store front on rue des Francs Bourgeois.
One window display, not a part of the event, caught our eyes at La Chaise Longue — something we deemed a “Code Rack” — a ‘coat rack’ made in the form of a ‘product code’ — and we can only surmise that’s the point of the joke!
Still, no installation has been able to top one from 2007 (See the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® report) — at the Eglise Saint-Paul, Robert Stadler had installed a giant lit question mark suspended over the pews. Made of large orbs (paper?) hung at various lengths and straggled at varying positions, it was a magnificent sight, backdropped by the ornately decorated apse. I will never forget its glow.
Sunday I raced to see the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit at the Centre Pompidou before it closes November 4th. The line to enter was long, so I took a short cut to the elevator to the left of the entry that is designated for diners going to “Georges,” the restaurant on the roof-top terrace. You take it to the 1st floor, bypassing the ticket-takers! (Most people don’t know this little secret and I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy that I’ve let the cat out of the bag!)
I’m truly sorry I hadn’t been to this first comprehensive retrospective of his work sooner. His work is powerful and full of life and humor. Naturally, I was drawn to the pieces that were influenced by Matisse such as “Still Life with Goldfish Bowl and Painting of a Golf Ball, 1972.” One might recognize it immediately as “Matissien.” In an article from July of this year, the BBC questioned “Is Lichtenstein a great modern artist or a copy cat?“.
Maybe both, but great he was. So, rush to see it and take the shortcut if you can!
Also, be sure to stop by tomorrow’s Parler Paris Après Midi (3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais) to see and hear national best-selling author Cara Black talk about her 13 published Private Investigator Aimée Leduc murder mysteries that take place in Paris with one soon to be released and another in the works! See Parler Paris Après Midi for full information.
A la prochaine…
Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
(Just after a new cut and style!)
P.S. Don’t miss “Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton in Lowells Early Workshop: Fierce Friendships and Raw Rivalries” — a presentation from “With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz and Others” by Kathleen Spivack, Thursday, October 10th, 7 p.m. at Shakespeare & Company, 37, rue de la Bûcherie, 5th. For more information, visit shakespeareandcompany.com.
P.S.S. Thanks to all of you who wrote to inform me that the new plants on the balcony of Le Matisse were “Kalanchoes!” “Kalanchoe, also written Kalanchöe or Kalanchoë, is a genus of about 125 species of tropical, succulent flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae, mainly native to the Old World. Only one species of this genus originates from the Americas, 56 from southern and eastern Africa and 60 species in Madagascar. It is also found in south-eastern Asia until China.”(Wikipedia.org)