Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Popular Exhibitions Extended…

Inguimberty’s beautiful view of the Calanque de Sormiou

If you love Provence and  haven’t seen ‘Poesie de Joseph Inguimberty’ yet, you are in for a treat.  This Marseille-born artist painted the town and the calanques (wonderful pictures), then Vietnam where he was a teacher for most of his career.  The exhibition is at the Musée Regards de Provence in Marseille (opp MuCEM) and is now extended until 3rd December.

Their other exhibition ‘Escales Méditerrannéennes’ which I  have yet to visit is also extended until 28th January which is good news as it looks interesting.  There are 80 works by different artists painting their impressions of different ports and landscapes from the Vermilion Coast to the Côte d’Azur, from Algeria to the Adriatic. 

Martigues as captured by Marseille-born Antoine Ponchin, to be seen in the ‘Escales Mediterranneennes’ show


Two good reasons to visit the Musee Regards de Provence!


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A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the sculptures on show around the port at Saint-Tropez – it seems that other communities are promoting open-air exhibits to delight visitors – and prolong the tourist season.

Lovely Mougins is one such community. Their ‘Monumental’ exhibition which I have only just come across runs until Sunday 15th October – so this would be a brilliant time to visit this ancient village.  It’s the 3rd such exhibition they have had, and the sculptures are dotted through the tiny ‘places’ and passageways.

I will look out for this next year and post it more promptly!

If you do go to Mougins, don’t forget to visit the wonderful Musee d’Art Classique Mougins, posted here: https://aixcentric.com/2016/11/12/an-unmissable-new-museum-in-mougins/

It was opened by Christian Levett, a British businessman fascinated by Classical Art, and it now has over 700 artworks.

All sorts of Egyptian, Greek and Roman pieces are displayed next to, and in dialogue with, some one hundred drawings, paintings and sculptures by Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Henri Matisse and Picasso.  It really is different and I thoroughly recommend a visit!

This weekend also provides the last chance to see ‘Sisley the Impressionist’ at the Caumont Centre d’Art in Aix.

Their next exhibition is ‘Botero: Dialogue with Picasso’ which begins on 24th November.

They say, ” 80 masterpieces of Botero and Picasso! The exhibition will present the Columbian master’s rich oeuvre from a unique perspective, through the prism of his artistic and cultural affinities with Pablo Picasso. Botero’s imaginary dialogue with the great master of modern painting draws its inspiration from shared roots and pays an eloquent tribute to Picasso”. 

Here is a taste of Botero’s work:



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If you fancy a day with a difference in Avignon, the annual ‘Parcours de l’Art’ has just begun.

This trail takes visitors around 11 locations in the old town to see the work of 30 artists. It’s the 23rd time this festival has taken place and is growing in popularity. Until 22nd October.

Details and downloadable programme here: https://www.parcoursdelart.com/



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Here are some ideas for Sunday which promises to be action-packed. (more…)

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Grand plat ovale aux trois poissons, Vincent Buffile


An exhibition across four venues in Aix is celebrating the work of the Atelier Buffile, a family business which has been successfully producing ceramics in the town for 70 years.

Original work from Atelier Buffile at the Musée du Vieil Aix

It all started with Léonie and Jean Buffile whose work from the post-war period is shown at the Musée du Vieil Aix.  It is vibrant and imaginative, and laid the foundation for the creativity of the present generation, Monique and Vincent Buffile and their son Romain.

This generation still draw on natural imagery for decorating their plates, dishes and jugs.

Their work is on show at the Pavillon Vendome and it is one of the best, most colourful exhibitions I have seen at this venue.  Alongside it is a short film with Vincent explaining and demonstrating how he works, transforming wet clay into graceful ceramics.

Elan Cosmique Tripode, Louis Molle

Upstairs the focus widens to include other artists from the same field who work with the studio.

The 2 other venues are La Gallery Camille Moirenc and Galerie Franck Marcelin.  The exhibition runs until October 1st, which is also a free entry Sunday, according to their brochure.  Otherwise you can buy a coupled ticket for the Pavillon Vendome and Musee du Vieil Aix, 5,50 euros.

Their website is here: http://www.buffile-ceramiste.com/

If you can’t make it to see their work, here is a terrific film introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GalTDMJqyPU

Grand plat jaune avec pieuvre, Vincent Buffile


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Aixcentric is a bit in ‘catch-up mode’ having spent the summer in cooler climes.  But on  my return, I was very keen to see the work of Annie Liebovitz in Arles.  Firstly to see the exhibition of the early work of this important American photographer but also to find out what is happening at the new fast-developing Parc des Ateliers arts centre.

The Luma Foundation is building this cultural complex on the site of the 19th century railway sheds and sidings, renovating the big engine sheds and adding the ‘Luma Tower’ which is a 56m piece of modern architecture with an  observation deck on the 10th and top floor – think of the views across the Camargue and over to the Alpilles.


The Luma Tower designed by Frank Gehry

It has been funded by the Hoffman family who own Swiss pharmaceutical companies and have had links to Arles for years.  Maja Hoffman, an art-collector, art patron and entrepreneur, is a board member of the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh and the Tate Gallery in London.  She enlisted architect Frank Gehry to design the tower, and Annabelle Selldorf to renovate the existing railway buildings.

The development will include premises for the Ecole National de la Photographie as well as local publisher Actes Sud, gallery space, conference rooms, cafés and places for the annual ‘Rencontres d’Arles’ photo show to exhibit.

More here following President Macron’s visit last month: http://www.laprovence.com/article/societe/4576438/arles-eldorado-de-la-culture.html

At the moment, it is a work-in-progress, with ‘chantier’ signs and access by road tricky.  But it’s worth persevering if you want to see this  imaginative development in its infancy.  There is parking on site (5 euros for the day) in the area which will be a landscaped park.  The Luma Tower is up, but unfinished.  On the other hand, La Grande Halle, which is the massive space where they made boilers for train engines, is fully functioning and this is where they are showing part of their newly acquired archive of 8000 Annie Liebovitz photos.

This show focuses on her early work in the 70s as a reporter-photographer for Rolling Stone, for which she covered political rallies, pop band tours, political turmoil in the Lebanon, as well as scenes of American  life.  It’s all in black and white and of course the subject matter is fascinating.  She was certainly in the thick of things – her tour with the Rolling Stones gave her unprecedented access.  Now is your chance if you ever wondered what Keith’s bedroom looked like….

But I do have two comments on the layout.  Firstly, there are no descriptions by each photo.  Sections have a numbered list of subjects and you have to look for a little red pin in the corner (if there is one) and go back to find out who, in this case #11 was.  It was Art Linkletter, sadly no wiser. It is very American-focused, naturally, so some of the subjects won’t be known to the audience.  Perhaps some more information/interpretation is needed, especially for the numerous young students attending.

Then have a look at this display of her work.

There is no way anyone could see the top rows, and you could only see the bottom ones by getting down on all fours and crawling along which is not ideal in a gallery.  Yet the opposite wall was empty…..

Anyway, the work itself is really interesting. ‘Annie Liebovitz, The Early Years’ is the first of a series of exhibitions. It takes us up to 1983 where she started to work in colour, and moved to be a portraitist at Vanity Fair. Presumably that will be the subject of the next one?

Press release with more background here: press-releaseannie-leibovitzen13.03.17

The exhibition runs daily until September 24th.

Those interested in architecture may like to visit the Construction Centre where, on Saturdays at 5pm, they can don hard hats and have a 1:30 hr free tour, in English, of the Parc des Ateliers.



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Museums Will Charge Tomorrow!

Thanks to local guides ‘Secrets d’Ici’ for pointing out that ‘Free First Sundays’ don’t restart until 1st October, by which time the ‘Passion d’Art’ at the Musée Granet will have finished.  What a shame!

So visitors will have to stump up 8 euros entry.  But it’s an interesting exhibition and art-lovers will no doubt

‘Paysage de Sicile; by Nicolas de Stael, one of the treats on show at the Musee Granet.

think it’s worth while.

The next exhibition at the museum will be ‘Cézanne at Home’ which opens on 20th October.  It will bring together the Granet’s

collection of 15 works (oils, watercolours, drawings), with a new oil painting on loan from the Collection of Henry and Rose Pearlman:  ‘Vue vers la route du Tholonet pres du Chateau Noir’.

This exhibition will include, courtesy of the family of Charles Camoin, six letters written by the artist to the young Camoin who was stationed in Aix while on military service.

And a final piece of Cézanne-news, an American curator, John Spike, from the Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA, has identified a painting as being an early work by Cézanne. It is a copy of an image by Tintoretto that the artist admired, and looks nothing like the style we are accustomed to.  Have a look  – and do read the fascinating methodology employed to identify it.  http://www.societe-cezanne.fr/2017/07/23/une-affaire-a-suivre/

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