Posts Tagged ‘Bernar Venet’

Colourful Cassis has been a magnet for artists since the road from Marseille was built in 1840…followed by the railway in 1859 which made it even easier to reach.  At that time, it must have been a quiet little village with small houses, fishermen tending to their nets, and boats setting out to sea.  The early Provencal painters captured this, as we see at the beginning of the exhibition ‘Cassis Port de la Peinture Au Tournant de la Modernité 1845-1945′ which opened today at the Musée Regards de Provence in Marseille.  Joseph Garibaldi who was based in Marseille loved painting ships and there are some excellent pictures of his, showing boats in Cassis.Cassis  Beautiful reflections and I am in awe of his rigging!

Other artists followed suit.  Fellow Marseille painter Charles Camoin was another visitor captivated by the port.  His view is more influenced by the Fauves and focuses on the colours of the village.


What is so interesting about this exhibition is that it has a single theme – Cassis – but so many different interpretations of it.  Manguin for instance turned his back on the sea and chose to paint the vegetation which he found enchanting. Liked his portrait of Jeanne bathing,  ‘Baigneuse a Cassis’, which is similar to one currently on show at the Musée Granet.manguin cassis

It’s a stimulating exhibition and I’m sure if you love Provence and painting, you will find much to admire.  At the Musée Regards de Provence, daily 10-18:  there is a show, too in Cassis which complements the Marseille exhibition.  Details here: http://www.ot-cassis.com/fr/cassis-port-de-la-peinture.html

Both are on until 6th October.

Climbing the stairs in the Marseille museum brings us to a completely different artistic experience.  ‘Bernar Venet. Carpiagne: The Origin’ concentrates on 1961-6 when the artist lived in the region.  Most of the pieces shown are black and made from cardboard scraps and painted with tar. 

coalThe centrepiece is a heap of coal which the panel assured us has been ‘installed loosely’. 

‘There is something special about Venet’s pile of coal’, it goes on.  ‘It involves randomness and unpredictablity’.

Moving on from the coal – which ‘never exists twice the same’ – (I decided I loved its bonkers-dom and its panel!) – he has another gallery with bent and straight sculptures – ‘Indeterminate Lines, Arcs, Angles and Straight Lines’. Take a look at  this http://www.bernarvenet.com/ which will give you an idea of how he works.  His next gig is the Venice Bienalle on the Grand Canal where he will ‘exhibit mathematical paintings honoring the legacy of Arabic culture and pay homage to the inventor of algorithms’.

Two very different artistic experiences to choose from – or maybe you will enjoy both.  Don’t forget the lovely restaurant on the top floor plus there is a good bookshop with lots of temptation.

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