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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Jeff Koons for Marseille’s MuCEM

Koons with one of his balloon dogs

Next year’s MuCEM blockbuster will be a show devised by and dedicated to US artist Jeff Koons.  His sculptures depict everyday objects, including stainless-steel balloon animals which sell for stratospheric prices: ‘Rabbit’ sold for $91.1m.  Curators at the Marseille museum have invited Kooms to ‘dialogue’ with their collection of thousands of items. He will choose 200 of them to exhibit and produce 20 works inspired by them.  The artist has already been to Marseille twice to plan the show. (more…)

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To mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the Louvre in Paris organised a grand retrospective which would have normally been the highspot of 2020 for art-lovers.

But access to the 120 items (paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculptures) was given to the cameras of Pathé Live and their film will be shown across France, 16-22 September.  Your ‘visite privée’ is at the Cezanne from Wednesday. https://www.lescinemasaixois.com/films/une-nuit-au-louvre-leonard-de-vinci

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The opening date was set for 2021, but after four years of negotiations, the Aix authorities have decided not to proceed with the deal to establish a major museum in the old Prêcheurs convent. (more…)

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Each year, there’s an opportunity in Aix to push open the doors of some of the most elegant and private-looking townhouses to visit their gardens.  The special weekend is usually in June, but this year, the Flaneries d’art takes place at the end of this week. (more…)

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Happening in September…

…or not as the case might be.  I understand that the annual Blessing of the Calissons, due to take place this Sunday (6th) at Aix’s Saint Jean de Malte won’t be happening and neither will the Sainte-Victoire Wine Rally which takes place each October but always had to be booked early September such was its popularity. Watch out too for a National Strike this month. (more…)

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Firstly the wonderful museum of Classical Art has re-opened: set in an ancient building in the heart of this beautiful village, they have combined classical artifacts (Greek, Roman, Egyptian) with sculptures and paintings inspired by them.  Superb.

Aixcentric post: https://aixcentric.com/2016/11/12/an-unmissable-new-museum-in-mougins/

Details: https://www.mouginsmusee.com/en

Then you could walk over to enjoy lunch at l’Amandier where chef Sebastien Zunino offers a midi formule or special Menu Musée, all with quite a view. Details: https://www.amandier.fr/home/home/accueil-ouverture-de-lecole-de-cuisine.html

And finish off with a wander round the curving village streets, lined with little galleries and Instagramable doorways, to admire the plein-air animal sculptures which are the stars of this summer’s Mougins Monumental exhibition.

Parking by the way is well-organised at the foot of this village perché.  You are whisked up to the main square and belvedere by glass-sided lift.  Mougins is just over 1.5hr drive from Aix, but so worth it.

A memorable day out!

 

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The gallery Maison Dauphine is celebrating summer by showing the work of three women artists who work in Provence:

La Bronzette by Cecile Colombo, local painter and potter.

 

 

 

Cartes a Pieds by Amandine Maria from Vitrolles, who enjoys illustrating squares and fountains in Aix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Paris-trained Perrine Rabouin who delights in colour

Find Maison Dauphine at 14 rue du 4 Septembre in the Quartier Mazarin.  http://galerie-maisondauphine.com/en/

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Boats at Port de Cassis

Mid-June is when I usually urge Aixcentric followers to hurry to the vaulted gallery tucked behind Aix’s ancient cathedral to enjoy a garden with dark green ivy and little white flowers glowing in the candle-light, leading indoors to the annual exhibition of paintings by Jill Steenhuis.

But of course not this year.

And this is a shame as it would have marked her 40-year anniversary as an artist living and working in Provence.  Influenced by the Cézanne landscape, Jill who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, continues to paint daily, either “en plein air” or in the light-filled studio of her country home, capturing the essence of Provence with landscapes, still-lifes and scenes from the coast or the streets and markets of Aix.

Instead, like many artists right now, she is using technology to show her work and is offering a gallery of 40 paintings at half-price.  Launched today, some are already sold so time is clearly of the essence: https://www.artinprovence.com/40-years-in-france-legacy-gallery/

This website also has Jill’s blog which has interesting reminiscences of her 40 years in Provence, including meeting her husband-to-be

Almond Branches in Glass Vase by Jill Steenhuis

on Day 2!

Good decision, the couple have raised an artistic family – and son James, a film-maker, has produced a documentary about Jill and her work which can be purchased through the website.  Trailer here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/paintingtheinvisible

Jill looking out at medieval cloister

 

 

 

 

Best wishes to Jill on her anniversary.  This is the photo I took at the gallery and expo last year. Let’s hope 2021 sees us all safely back there to enjoy her paintings in person once more.

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Good to see the museums re-opening, though do expect masks to be obligatory; social distancing is required too but most in Marseille are spacious and quiet enough for this to be do-able.  The three listed above – Vieille Charité, Musée d’Histoire and the Musée des Beaux Arts are all worth a visit.

MuCEM re-opens on 29th June (daily exc Tuesdays 10-20Hrs) and is free until 21st July.  New exhibition is ‘Vetements Modeles’, the story of 5 different types of clothing.

And if you want to visit Notre Dame de la Garde for one of the best views of the Med, the petit train is operating again. From what I saw on the TV news, the Vieux Port area looked very quiet and the petit train operator said they had very few customers for the moment.  A good time to take advantage of this as there are usually queues from passengers from the cruise ships.  They are operating trips around the ancient Panier district too.  Screens of plexiglass have been fitted behind each seat up to the ceiling for customer-protection. http://petit-train-marseille.com/fr/accueil/

Mask on….enjoy Marseille!

 

 

 

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Admire ‘The village of Les Baux’ by Yves Brayer just where it was painted.  The little chapel you can see here was decorated by the artist too and can be visited….special.

If you are visiting Les-Baux-de-Provence now that the Carrieres de Lumieres has re-opened, here’s a must-see addition which involves a walk into the delightful village itself.

Long-time resident, the painter Yves Brayer, died 30 years ago and the musée Brayer are marking it by an exhibition dedicated to his wife Hermione who was his muse, model, assistant and constant support.  In addition there are landscapes from the couple’s travels around the Mediterranean as well as Provence and the Carmargue.

His paintings of Provence are not to be missed.

The exhibition is on til 31st Dec, closed Tuesdays.  Masks are to be worn and admissions limited to 20 people but it’s usually quiet ensuring quality time to admire the pictures.

https://www.yvesbrayer.com/en/musee-des-baux-de-provence/practical-information/

 

 

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