Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Italian Theme for 2022 Les Baux Show

News from the Carrieres des Lumières about the 2022 program:
Venise la Serenissima is going to whisk us to the Grand Canal, over little bridges and through the shady walkways between beautiful buildings and churches. The 45 minute image and music show will immerse visitors in Byzantine art and the golden mosaics of Saint Mark’s Basilica, as well as focusing on the masterpieces of Tintoretto, Bellini and Canaletto. The usual short film (12mins) will provide a contrast with the work of Yves Klein.  ‘L’Infini Bleu’ promises to be stunning as his works were executed mainly in his beloved Mediterranean blue – they will surround the visitor on the 16m high walls of to the ancient quarry.
The new show begins on the 4th of March 2020 and runs until the 2nd of January 2023.
If you haven’t seen the current Cézanne/Kandinsky show, it is on until the 16th of January and is well worth catching before it ends.

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A visit to Les Carrieres de Lumieres is a must for art-lovers in Provence.  The disused quarry walls provide a brilliant backdrop for projecting massive paintings simultaneously in a head-spinning display, accompanied by specially-chosen music which can add another layer of meaning.

The themes this year, 2021 to Jan 16 2022, are Cézanne for the 30 minute programme, with Kandinsky for the shorter session.


Looking forward to the Cézanne, I was amazed that it was the Kandinsky show that blew my socks off.  His brightly coloured abstract motifs whirled out of their frames, spinning across the rough surfaces like constellations. (more…)

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Laura Owens & Vincent van Gogh

from 19 June to 31 October 2021

Opening next weekend, the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles will present an exhibition bringing together new works by the American artist Laura Owens with seven paintings by Van Gogh, most made in and around Arles.

Van Gogh hardly needs an introduction but here’s what the gallery writes about Laura Owens:

“Owens is one of the most celebrated American artists working today. For twenty-five years she has asked probing questions about the parameters of painting. She has expanded painting’s possibilities by breaking through the boundaries between painting and other fields of visual and material culture such as embroidery, design, children’s illustrations and digital drawing. In this exhibition, Owens’s works will host and respond to Van Gogh’s paintings. Owens spent most of 2020 living in and around Arles, and her new work comes out of meticulous research into the history of the city and of Van Gogh’s connections here”.

The seven Van Gogh paintings to be shown at the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles include loans from museums with which Owens has a deep connection. Hospital at Saint-Rémy (1889) comes from the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the city where she lives when not in Arles. Other key loans include The Fields, painted in Auvers-sur-Oise shortly before Van Gogh died.

“Laura Owens has often addressed the spaces where she has exhibited. For this exhibition she has created a vast painting, in the form of a unique hand-painted and silkscreened wallpaper installation, which will cover the entire walls of the rooms where the Van Gogh works will be exhibited.

Van Gogh’s interest in setting up an artists’ community in Arles is echoed in Owens’s career-long efforts to create spaces for other artists to exhibit. In collaboration with Maja Hoffmann and LUMA Arles, Laura Owens has also started a parallel project in Arles. She has turned an apartment building, located in the town centre, into a studio and living quarters for artists who will spend short residencies there; this space will slowly be filled with their, and her art.”

Details: http://www.fondation-vincentvangogh-arles.org/en/expositions/laura-owens-vincent-van-gogh/

Vincent van Gogh, Hospital at Saint-Rémy,
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, October 1889
Oil on canvas, 92.2 × 73.4 cm (36.3 × 28.9 in)
Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation
Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles
© The Armand Hammer Collection


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Art at the Vineyards

Two new exhibitions to mark on your calendar, both in nearby vineyards. 

At Rognes, the Chateau Bonisson is showing the work of two artists, Nicolas Chardon and Michel Verdux, under the heading ‘Cercles et Carres’.


The Le Dorze family from Bourgogne acquired the 10-hectare domaine in 2017 and have created an art centre, comprising 4 rooms dedicated to contemporary work.  ‘Cercles et Carres’ opens on Wed 16th June and runs until 26th September.  Free guided tours are available by reservation on Wed, Sat and Sundays.  Take the opportunity too for wine tasting and stocking up on their olive oil and honey.

Nicolas Chardon & Michel Verjux

Meanwhile, over at Puyloubier,  preparations are advanced for the forthcoming exhibition of the work of Alexandra Pitz (sculptures) and Manuela Donatini (collages) at the Domaine le Loup Bleu.

Alexandra is a Berliner living in Provence.  Her background is in set-design and costume creation for the theatre, opera and ballet.  She took up sculpture in 2013.  Her intriguing work at this show harnesses natural materials into melodic compositions.

There are two vernissage days 26th and 27th June, 10-19:00 and the show will stay open until 15th August.  The domaine proprietor is Sylvie Dubois who works with the ‘Art-et-vin’ organisation, a really useful resource for finding out what’s on over the summer.  Here’s her website: https://www.le-loup-bleu.com/

Thanks to Jules for his recommendation of these creative spirits!

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Wise communities are shifting their emphasis on to the outdoors this summer – here are two current shows you might enjoy. (more…)

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Jeff Koons at MuCEM

  • Jeff Koons. Lobster, 2007-2012. mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating. 57 7/8 x 37 x 18 7/8 inches ; 147 x 94 x 47,9 cm. Edition 1 from an edition of 3, plus artist’s proof. Pinault Collection © Jeff Koons, photo: Marc Domage/Courtesy Almine Rech Gallery
    Jeff Koons. Lobster, 2007-2012. mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating. 57 7/8 x 37 x 18 7/8 inches ; 147 x 94 x 47,9 cm. Edition 1 from an edition of 3, plus artist’s proof. Pinault Collection © Jeff Koons, photo: Marc Domage/Courtesy Almine Rech Gallery 

    This stainless steel lobster is one of the 20 items from the Pinault Collection that will be on show at MuCEM, all being well, from 19th May. The artist has chosen, in addition, 350 everyday items from the museum’s own collection with which his creations will ‘dialogue’.

    ‘Je suis tres fier de cette exposition, c’est un bijou’, Koons told the Marseille press conference from New York.

    In a first, the whole exhibition will take place in daylight, that is without protective screens across the windows. I have seen one of the galleries like this and the sunshine streaming through the black lacy concrete casts wonderful patterns across the floors.  Worth the price of admission I think!

    Until 18th October.

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Cézanne Anyone?

‘Nature Morte: Pommes et Poires’ is up for sale on 12th May at Sotheby’s, NYC and is expected to fetch 25-35m US$.  I’ve always loved the story of what happened in the playground of what is now College Mignet when bullies were making life hell for new boy, Emile Zola, who was impoverished and had a Parisian accent.  Paul Cézanne waded in to help him: ‘the next day he brought me a big basket of apples,’ he wrote, and the friendship began.

In fact he was to paint 301 still lifes, 200 oils, 101 watercolours.

If that is something of a stretch financially, Magnum Photos and Paris Match have released a set of prints taken by their photographers over several decades: click the link to see pictures from the magical world of film sets which show the evolution of cinema in the 20th century.  Prints £100. Thanks to Julia for this tip!


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Having posted a new opening date for the Cézanne/Kandinsky show at Carrieres de Lumieres (May 1st), then listened to the French Prime Minister who could only forecast a general re-opening for mid May, I thought I’d check the Les Baux website and, sure enough, the ‘1st’ has been removed.

It really must be a nightmare for arts organisations right now who are managing in such uncertainty and with Covid numbers still high locally.

So here is my list of forthcoming shows which seem to be teed up, ready to roll with all possible safety-measures, just waiting for the signal ‘GO’.  (more…)

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The annual Rencontres d’Arles photography exhibition is taking place 4 July – 26 September, with some modifications: 10 sq m of space will be allocated to each potential visitor.  So they will be reviewing all their venues.  Fortunately they have the new arts complex, LUMA, to spread into, and will also be using gardens for exhibiting.  Actually part of the fun of visiting this sprawling summer show is exploring the venues, so this promises to be a positive and creative solution.

The Festival d’Aix (more…)

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The Cézanne / Kandinsky show at Les Baux has had its opening date postponed again. (more…)

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