A Little Art from Paris

oil, Norman Reeves ©booksandbuttons collection

Ah, gay Paree!  The art center of the world—for centuries!

The art my husband and I enjoy the most is that done in the early part of the 20th Century–when artists from all around the world came to live in Paris—for it was the place to be if you were interested in art.  Many of those early artists made huge advances in the world of art—-leaving the classical school, and exploring different ways of expressing their art through new ideas, new colors, new light.

It’s interesting that often the artists aligned themselves with poets—each and all striving to express themselves on canvas or in words.  There is a good film called “The Luminous Years” which shows fascinating footage of the early painters in Paris.  It’s available through Netflix.

Do you remember, faithful reader, that when we were exploring Les Deux Magots café—in one photo I said in the caption “note the sculpture”?   You do?  You don’t?

Outside Les Deux Magots café, there is a tall sculpture of “something” and we were thrilled to discover that the artist was  Ossip Zadkine.  Who? you say.

Well, look him up—he was one of the “bunch” in the early artist days of Paris, palling around (how do you spell pal-ing?) with the big guys–though they weren’t big guys yet–

Though he wasn’t French, he moved to Paris to work—they all did, and most of his work is in sculpture—look at this one at Les Deux Magots:

sculpture by Ossip Zadkine, Paris

We were excited because we have a print/lithograph  by Ossip Zadkine at home:

etching, Ossip Zadkine “L’homme chat” ©booksandbuttons collection

There was also a Zadkine at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris.  Interesting fact: he was a stretcher-bearer for the French army in World War I—interesting because we just discussed All Quiet on the Western Front . ..

Then at the Pompidou Centre:

Pompidou Centre, Paris

there were many visitors, but not too crowded.  The museum is outstanding.  We headed for the fifth floor—Modern Art (1905-1960).  Among others, we saw Picasso, Matisse,
and Delauney:

Picasso, Arlequin 1923

Matisse, Figure 1925

Delauney, poet Philippe Soupault

Have you heard of a collaboration of two painters doing one work?   Here is one by Victor Brauner and Roberto Matta—————fun!

Victor Brauner and Roberto Matta, Intervision 1955

And I thought this next one was neat—-looks like a finished dinner party, right?  But– it’s all vertical—the plates must be glued or something—different.

Daniel Spoerri, Le repas hongries

Don’t have time to fit in Dora Maar—–do you know who she was?  Another time when I talk about Shakespeare and Company!

So that’s all—a little trip–some familiar, and not so familiar art.  Which was your favorite?   Bye for now.


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3 Responses to A Little Art from Paris

  1. Mary Jo says:

    I am enjoying your trip so much! The buttons and art as well. Love the little watercolor of the Champs. I looked up The Luminous Years and found that I had seen it on PBS at sometime, but also was able to watch again (all 1:54) on PBS Video, on line… so glad you mentioned it. Merci!
    Looking forward to hearing which book you will be reading in French. I think I am going to look for Apollinaire’s beautiful poetry, but a book where on the left page it’s in French, and on the right, English … so “I don’t miss anything”, like the whole poem … hahaha. Always looking forward to your posts!

    • Hi Mary Jo—and I love your comments! I have two lovely (as far as I can figure out) poems by
      Apollinaire—Les Cloches, and Per te poesentit aruspex—I’ll read them (!) and let you know if I
      like them or not . . .

      And I do own a neat book–one side French, one English—of English and American Short Stories of Today.
      Great cover—looks like an Edward Hopper painting. Someday I’ll do a post on my small French library.
      That’d be fun.

      I think one book I’ll read this summer in French is la nièce de Flaubert by Willa Cather. It’s a tiny little
      edition and only 66 pages so I should be able to handle it. I haven’t started much of the real work because I became
      interested in googling the bio of Willa Cather!
      thanks again–

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