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As We Saw It – Part 4: Brushing Art in Paris

Paris without art is inconceivable. The art world permeates the city at all levels. It impacts people’s lifestyle, what they eat and its aesthetics, their fashion, their filmmaking, their architecture.

As We Saw It – Part 4: Brushing Art in Paris is a potpourri of art seen during the summer of 2018. The focus was on alternatives to traditional tourist art-sites such as the Louvre and the Orsay museums.

The biggest surprise was the Palais de Tokyo. Sitting next door to Paris’ Museum of Modern Art, this place it has an intense program of avant-garde contemporary art that includes all media. In spite of its name, the artists – many women – shown are from many countries. We found remarkable the works of Anita Molinero, Caroline Achaintre, and Laure Prouvost.

The Museum of Modern Art, besides its own collection, also has periodical shows. During our visit we so a retrospective of Judit Reigl’s fantastic work. She continues to be productive at age ninety-five!

The Centre Pompidou had a large exhibition on the Russian avant-garde in Vitebsk during the 1918-1922 period. Very well curated, it showed artworks by Marc Chagall, El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich.

The Picasso Museum was a surprise, not so much for the collection of the master’s work – that can’t match those shown at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona – but of Picasso’s own collection of other artists works, such as Miro and Modigliani.

We found the relatively small Musée de l’Orangerie collection exquisite for the quality of the works exhibited. Besides Claude Monet’s large paintings of water lilies, the show included first-rate works by Matisse, Soutine, Picasso, Modigliani, Renoir, Utrillo, and Pollock, to name some.

The Guimet Museum of Asian Arts has an extraordinary collection of Chinese, Cambodian, and Indian art. On both the Orangerie and the Guimet, the presence of children being taught about art was uplifting. Its renovation was sensibly designed by architects Henri and Bruno Gaudin.

Other visits included the Grand Palais‘ retrospective on the work of František Kupka, the Petit Palais with great art from the late 1800s, and the new Louis Vuitton Foundation, by Frank Gehry, shown in Part 2: Paris Builds.

Street art in Paris has become part of the urban components, as in many other cities. Some are very good, like the works of JR.

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