Thursday, October 8, 2015

Going somewhere, Monsieur Dufy ?

photo: Le style et la matière
Raoul Dufy Le départ pour la soirée 1935
Going out, of course. 
Half of the pleasure is in the anticipation. Getting ready, picturing the events. Not always easy after a long day at work and a full schedule with little time to change gears, let alone attire. 

photo: Le style et la matière
Présentation de mode chez Schiaparelli 1935
 But, in an ideal world , let's say it's the weekend - and you've made it there en beauté.
Just an ounce of imagination, and this scene is a dreamy foyer of a theatre filling up with lovely spectators dressed in honor of the evening, where you cross through and mingle in gentle effluves of perfume until the bell rings.

photo: Le style et la matière
Le cortège d’Orphée ou La musique

Take your places for a night at the opera - 
Orpheus could charm even a stone with his music.

photo: Le style et la matière

Boutonnière in place? 
Ladies and gentlemen, remember also that brooches are a handsome adornment.
This fabric is a jewel with its sumptuous warp dye work in the ground and the intricate play of weaves in the gold brocaded wefts like so much orfèverie. 

photo: Le style et la matière

photo: Le style et la matière
photo: Le style et la matière
Swish, swish

photo: Le style et la matière

photo: Le style et la matière
Maquettes for printed pattern, framed. 
It's all for art.

photo: Le style et la matière
of sextet of colors in a silk Lampas 

Flowers for the finale.

Can you tell I'm glad to have my opera tickets now?!
With sweaty palms, I waited for the precise minute the e-box office was to open, clicked on my date of choice in January and nothing was left. Strange and disappointing. An inside job, wouldn't you say? I chose another date, not nearly as convenient, but I managed to get my four tickets with grouped seating. Il Trovatore is for March. It's not easy to get tickets here in Paris.
On the bright side, I'll have plenty of time for anticipating the event!

I saw the exhibit: Raoul Dufy, tissus et créations at the MAM, Troyes and it is now in Carcassone until October 15.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jeans and crinolines in parc Monceau

photos: Le style et la matière
I was away in the countryside over the weekend but the weather was nice in Paris too - much sunnier than in these pictures taken two weeks ago at the parc Monceau.  

There was an air of  the 1860s afoot. Found in a flash - the idea of the promenade spectacle dear to our ancestors comes to life in the right setting! A living tableau...with some anachronisms.

source Parc Monceau

The next time I'm there, I guess I'll see Seward Johnson's bronzes inspired by Manet and  Renoir that were just installed. It is a nostalgic kind of place.

Time for play , time for reverie.
Less self-conscious moments benefit from a nice setting, too.

More about ruins and faux ruins, passing by parc Monceau, here.

Parc Monceau

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

From painting to interior...and a collection

photo: Le style et la matière
Degas Deux hommes en pied 1867
Musée des beaux-arts Troyes
I saw this painting recently in Troyes. It is it's unfinished state that catches the eye.  The fantomatic figure is thought to be a young Count of  Lastours at age 18. Well, so, everything cannot be completed and the abandoned work-in-progress has its own appeal, a little mal-léché has its place in a world too pristine.

source: Christie's
watercolor by Serebriakoff 1946
The description of the Degas painting led me chez Christian Bérnard and Alexander Kochno at 36 rue Casimir Delavigne. While not quite pristine, it is a more peaceful space than I imagine in the dayly life the exhuberant artist couple. Everything fits - even if there are stocks of art works and books that have climbed aboard the very top of the bookcase -there is order in this detailed image. Work your way into  the corner of this St Germain des Près apartment
to find the unfinished painting on the easel.
Le détail qui tue.

source Le chat Masqué

(Whether the air of calm comes from Serebriakoff's style or the inhabitants' is another story. I'd always heard that Bébé Bérard, master of elegant illustration and wizard of enchanting decors, was rather unkempt!)

And, as one thing will lead to another, it so happens that this particular interior by Serebriakoff will go to auction as part of the ample and amazing Jean-Louis Remilleux collection of art and antiques at Christie's Paris at the end of the month. The television producer-historian-collector is quoted by AD as saying and some of us can't but agree, "antiques are not dead things. They have a lot to teach us about how we once lived and thought." 

Life is about choices though and Remilleux is now ready to let circulate some 1000 art objects and furnishings collected over a period of 30 years in order to go to the essential - the care of his 
château Digoine in Burgundy. 

"For more than 30 years, Jean-Louis Remilleux, both an art lover and passionate historian, selected the most beautiful pieces in France and Europe with great care. From Old Master paintings, drawings and sculpture to furniture, ceramics, bronzes and fine silver, more than 1,000 lots will be offered in a remarkable auction on 28 and 29 September. These lots boast the most prestigious European provenances, with pieces from the collections of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and Charles de Besteigui to name a few.

This impressive collection was built around several themes, such as important historical figures, from Louis XIV to Napoléon, and the greatest art patrons, notably Charles de Beistegui and Madeleine Castaing. Last, but not least, the outstanding collection of equestrian paintings put together with passion includes pieces by Carle Vernet, Dreux, Delacroix and Herring."

for more see Christie's

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Heads up

photo Denis Gliksman, Inrap
The tomb of a Celtic prince dating from the 5th century BC was recently discovered in the Champagne region of France.
I haven't made any such monumental discoveries but
do seem to keep coming across interesting faces these days.

photo: Le style et la matière
Foire de Chatou

quot capita, tot sensus

"So many heads, so many opinions," said Terrence.

photo: Le style et la matière
Foire de Chatou
And Youtube says that cats will change your outlook. 
I hear that in the US, Uber  delivers kittens like call-girls or clowns to offices 
for entertainment between 12 and 4pm. Am I the only one to find that unpleasantly odd?
Cats at your service?

photo: Le style et la matière
Musée de Cluny
 A regretful monster squelched under the unrelentingly firm hold of
St Margaret's foot in a painted panel of the saint from the 13th century.

photo: Le style et la matière
Musée de Cluny
Carvings of the kings of Judah were from the facade of Notre Dame de Paris c.1220.
These statuary heads served as foundation filler for post-revolutionary construction. 

photo: Le style et la matière
Musée de Cluny
Sable from the Middle Ages;
its handsome coat aside, the marten has an expressive face.

photo: Le style et la matière
Musée de Cluny
Rock crystal lions

photo: Le style et la matière
Musée de Cluny
A child's moony face carved in
chalcedony from 2nd century Rome.

photo: Le style et la matière
Musée de Cluny
Reliquary busts

photo: Le style et la matière
The holy family c.1500 Alsace
Musée de Cluny
Tu m'as fait tourner la tête....
Gentle, dear!

And as silly as it might be, all this relative roundness has me humming
"Mon manège à moi"

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tiroirs secrets

high tech desk from 1781 by David Roentgen

I have not yet been able to pop over to Versailles to see the design exhibit that is showing until February 22, but I will Soon! 

In case you haven't seen it either, I've found this two minute video to be a beautiul demontration of the architecture and efficency of a very fine 18th century desk. A demo that would be silent if not for the  doors and drawers and other movable parts that click and slide crisply into position at the biding of  gloved hands. The desk is by the German cabinetmaker, master of marquetry and mechanisms, David Roentgen, who worked a great deal for the French court.

This is just a  foretaste of  the exhibit 18th Century aux sources du Design at Versailles where works of decorative art are taken out of context to be appreciated as museographical specimens - jewels on pedestals - but as often as possible no longer monolithic and static. Instead they are up for analysis and finally reveal their proud secrets through a play of mirrors, neon lighting and documentary films.

More than one leg to stand on... and the etymological source of  "design."
For me, the French word dessein has always been the equivilant of design, 
but it is the English expression (derived from the French in the 16th century) that is used today to get across in a flash the more modern conception of the not so recent idea,
The idea, namely, that there is a skilled author and craftsman behind the desirable designed object and that that object contains a quality of innovation, of being up-to-date. That is an aspect that is hard to grasp when looking back through history. When it is done, it is often with condescension.
Remember, no one who was interested in decoration in the 18th century wanted to hang on to Grandfather's old furniture. Antiques were from the antique world - Greece and Rome.

 Photo RMN-Grand Palais Château de Versailles/Christophe Fouin
Commode André-Charles Boulle, 1708

Architect Jean Nouvel was invited to provide his own modern point of view with 
commentaries that punctuate the exhibit.

screen cap from Hack King's Design, a 
design contest associated with the exhibit
So often, the ancients and the moderns are in opposing camps.
 Today's designers should be able to study these ancient constructions differently - 
with the very definition of Respect = 
to look back at something to better consider what is in the present.

for more on the exhibit see: château de Versailles

another video:  Louis XV's desk , here

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fill in the blank

photo from: interiors inside out
Vanity Olympia by Nika Zupanc

To proceed with filling in the blank...
 sit before the table.

Picasso Girl before the Mirror
What is a face really? 
Its own photo? 
Its makeup? 
Or is it a face as painted by such or such painter?
That which is in front? 
And the rest? 
Doesn't everyone look at himself in his own particular way? 
Deformations simply do not exist.

 Pablo Picasso

Friday, January 16, 2015

Solstice: a gathering in Paris

photos: credits at the end of post
Tree of Light
oxidized and waxed walnut, metal, gold and silver threads
A moment of union – an exchange in an atmosphere of quiet – has been carefully carved, painstakingly molded, and lovingly woven by Anne and Vincent Corbière at the gallery, Salon H.

The husband and wife duo, cabinetmaker and weaver each in the highest traditions of their respective arts, has created one of the most poetic moments in their careers. Convoking us in a ring around a Tree of Light,  we find stools, the most primitive of furnishing elements. The exhibit called “Solstice,” evokes the time of the year when diminishing light has become all the more precious. The pagan notions of the sacred - circle, tree, light - are expressed with great craftsmanship in the most contemporary fashion. A beautiful and living reminder that what is most important in life never really changes, that furniture can be art and convey emotion.


Blackened steel, 
upholstery silk bayadère stripes on a ground of gold threads


Patinated steel, 
upholstery of freestyle weave of silk stripes with a glint of silver


Carved chestnut, textile woven with printed vinyl yarns

Solstice can be seen at Salon H until Tuesday, January 20th.

Salon H, is not just a gallery. 
Located in the narrow streets of 6th arrondissement, 
it's founders,Yaël Halberthal and Philippe Zagouri, have formed a salon for the 21st century. Here meet artists, writers, performers - creating events of dynamic and intelligent exchange 
designed for this very intimate and particular space.

           photos courtesy of Salon H and Bruno Suet