Passion Points: Arts/Culture
Paris Art in the Springtime (2013)
Boasting an astounding 250 works, Keith Haring / The Political Line, at the Musée de l’Art modern de la Ville de Paris and Le Centquatre, is one of the largest-ever presentations of the American artist’s work. Emphasizing how Haring used his unique linear style to bring attention to various social issues from racism to AIDS awareness, this two-part exhibition ranges from small drawings to murals that originally graced NYC’s subways. Head first to MAM to see the historical retrospective and then to Le Centquatre (a former state-run funeral parlor, turned contemporary art center), where Haring’s monumental works reside—including his impressive 10 Commandments (1985). (Until Aug 18)
At just 34-years old, Parisian artist Loris Gréaud, will become the first artist ever to have a joint exhibition at the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou. Known for his over-the-top projects, which have ranged from a 55-foot habitable model of a sperm whale made for the last Venice Biennale (The Geppetto Pavilion, 2011) to a series of microscopic sculptures presented without any magnification exhibited at Frieze London (Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?, 2006), Greaud’s latest installations specially designed for Paris’ most venerable art institutions are sure to be the talk of the town this spring. (June 19 – July 15, 2013)
Another spring must-see at the Centre Pompidou is the retrospective of Simon Hantai. A seminal figure in the history of modern art and abstraction, Hantai is best known for his “pliage” works—paintings made on canvases that the artist first folded or tied-up. This exhaustive exhibition includes fascinating never-before-exhibited works by the famously reclusive painter who passed away in 2008. (Until September 9)
Living up to its name, Dynamo: A Century of Light and Motion in Art, 1913–2013 takes over the entire Grand Palais (over 40,000 square feet) with mind-blowing optical and kinetic artworks. Featuring work by contemporary art stars such as John Armleder, Carsten Höller, Jeppe Hein, and Anish Kapoor, the exhibition includes work by some 150 artists and traces the roots of perceptual art back to the likes of Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp. Fujiko Nakaya’s misty public installation Cloud Installation # 07156, Grand Palais, Bassin de brouillard (2013) brings the magic beyond the museum’s walls. (Until July 22)
Traveling with a budding Picasso or Monet? Our new favorite Paris art guides offers a range of thematic kid-friendly tours of Paris’s world-famous permanent art collections that are educational and entertaining. Whether you choose “Goddesses, Animals, and Nymphs” at the Louvre or “Picnics, Poppies, Ballerinas and Parties: The Impressionists” at the d’Orsay, these private tours are fun for the whole family. Contact Indagare for an introduction.
Postcard from Sundance
Indagare contributor Tiffany Schauer attended the Sundance Festival this year and shares with us her favorite new documentaries.
Sundance was especially interesting this year. One of the highlights for me was Dave Grohl’s film Sound City. The Foo Fighter musician attracted a lot of his rock star friends to the festival, which added an additional glamour factor to the already star-studded event. It’s not every day you get to see Daryl Hannah playing the ukulele.
Sundance has become synonymous with movie starlets and glitterati for sure, but Robert Redford’s project runs deep. The festival was started to fund his public charity the Sundance Institute. Following these roots, the festival can be intimately inspirational for those willing to look toward the original purpose of the festival: to support and mentor independent filmmakers.
One of the swells of potential that has been growing at Sundance every year is the documentary film program, which is currently hurtling into the age of technology and social media at breakneck speed. This year’s festival provided a dizzying array of opportunities to view compelling films, meet upcoming filmmakers, and learn about the colliding forces creating the new field of film.
The Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film program and fund Director, Cara Mertes has been championing the doc program for years. She is the designated decoder when the community of filmmakers’ collective attention seems to converge and is pointing the public to a cluster of issues that are interconnected. The concept of sustainability is at a tipping point threading across economic, political, environmental and social sectors. Recognizing the importance of this value now, the institute supports has two current initiatives that fund films with emphasis, the Wallace Global Fund and The Hilton LightStay Sustainability Award.
The General Electric–sponsored Focus/Forward Short Films Big Ideas program was a campaign that inspired a multi-platform series of 30 three-minute stories, each about innovative people who are reshaping the world. The winning film, The Cyborg Foundation, chronicles the invention of the Eyeborg, a sensory head device that translates colors into sounds enhancing the senses in a way never experienced by humans before. (focusforwardfilms.com)
True to the “tipping point” form, a few of this year’s compelling documentaries examine what is on our collective minds. Global energy and environmental resource allocation is addressed by the provocative films A River Changes Course, The Stuart Hall Project and Pandora’s Promise. The devastating films Blackfish and Moo Man address animal rights. Defining democracy is explored by the controversial films Citizen Koch, The World According to Dick Cheney, Pussy Riot-A Punk Prayer, Dirty Wars, Gideon’s Army, The Square, 99%- The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film, and Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington,” a tribute to fallen war photographer Tim Hetherington.
Another breakthrough collaborative program that showcased this year was the 10×10 Campaign. The project aims to end poverty through educating girls. At the center of the launch is Girl Rising, an innovative feature film from Academy Award–nominated director Richard E. Robbins, which spotlights the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances. Such celebrated actresses as Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, Freida Pinto, Meryl Streep and Kerry Washington act as narrators. (girlrising.com)
As an attendee, it can be daunting to navigate the festival, but one of the most civilized avenues is to become part of the Patron’s Circle program. Members gain exclusive access to films, events and dinners and receive personal assistance such as restaurant reservations. (www.sundance.org/support-us)
For those who didn’t make it this year, many of the documentaries are available through the Sundance Now Doc Club (www.sundancenow.com/doc-club).
London Art Spring 2013
The Bride and the Bachelors at the Barbican is a study of four American modern masters—composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham and visual artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns—and how they were influenced by the dada movement. A genre made famous by Marcel Duchamp, dada treated found images and objects as art. The show examines how this concept led modernists down a highly creative path, affecting a sea change in American art, eventually leading to the advent of Pop Art. Don’t miss the Thursday night and weekend shows when dancers animate the exhibit to Cunningham choreographies. (Until June 9) An ideal follow-up is a visit to the Tate Modern’s retrospective on Pop Art–extraordinaire Roy Lichtenstein. (Until May 27)
Alternatively, stick with the avant-garde for the moment and cab it to the National Portrait Gallery to see a series of photographic portraits by American modernist Man Ray. Involved in both the dada and surrealist movements, Man Ray was well placed to take images of his artistic contemporaries. The show includes 150 vintage prints from 1916 through 1968 and features such friends as Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, Virginia Wolf, Coco Chanel and Wallis Simpson. (Until May 27)
Kurt Schwitter’s show at Tate Britain (until May 12) further emphasizes the spotlight Pop Art is currently enjoying. Born in Hanover, Germany in 1887, Schwitters was a prolific artist, but he is best known for his use of found objects and everyday materials—such as stamps, ticket stubs and photographs—assembled into abstract collages. Schwitters was a big influence on Rauschenberg, Sir Peter Blake and the development of Pop Art in the early 60’s. Finally, Rauschenberg admirers should pop into the Gagosian Gallery where a show of the late artist’s work is on display. (Until March 28)
Other shows not to miss in London include Manet: Portraying Life at the Royal Academy of Arts. Two highlights are seeing Manet’s exceptional talent painting the color black and the portrait of his love interest Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets. (Until April 14)
On the other end of the spectrum, German fashion photographer Juergen Teller’s show at the ICA is composed of nude portraits, with subjects ranging from the sexy (Kate Moss and Marc Jacobs) to the mature (Vivienne Westwood and Charlotte Rampling). My favorite work portrays a drenched, small white furry dog having a bath in the sink next to a jug of fresh pink roses. Teller makes everyday things beautiful. (Until March 17)
Finally, “cool” takes on new meaning: Ice Age Art at the British Museum showings art dating back 40,000-12,000 years. (Until May 26) Later this month the Victoria & Albert is exhibiting David Bowie’s fantastic costumes, music videos and pop star paraphernalia. (March 23–August 11)
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