Lucent: Aboriginal and Pacific Works from the Collection

To be glowing with or emitting light is to be lucent. Yet, despite the title of the exhibition, the artworks of Lucent: Aboriginal and Pacific Works from the Collection are not consistently luminous in this literal sense. Although there are aspects of material lustre, this exhibition, which is currently on display at the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art, instead takes a more symbolic and spiritual approach in conveying the brightness of its artworks.

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Detail of a group of banumbirr (morning star poles)

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Baudelaire and Aesthetic Curiosities

Musée de la vie romantique (Museum of romantic life) in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, resting the confines of the infamous neighborhood of Pigalle, exhibits artists of the 19th century artistic movement of romanticism. Besides its exhibitions, it has a pretty garden, hidden away from the commotion of the restless capital. And most important of all, it is hosting an exhibition on Baudelaire and the art of his time.

Paintings by Edouard Manet in the background. On the left, Spanish knights  and in the middle, Angelina.

Paintings by Edouard Manet in the background. On the left, Spanish knights and in the middle, Angelina.

Latest exhibition of the museum of romantic life, L’Oeil de Baudelaire presents a brilliant collection of works from Baudelaire’s contemporaries such as Ingres, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet and Daumier whose works were also subject to Baudelaire’s reflections and criticism on art.

Left, a portrait of the famous La Grande Odalisque by Ingres, and right, a portrait of Baudelaire himself, painted by Emile Deroy.

Left, a portrait of the famous La Grande Odalisque by Ingres, and right, a portrait of Baudelaire himself, painted by Emile Deroy.

Musée de la vie romantique presents the exhibition with a very elegant layout which uses its limited exhibition space very efficiently without suffocating the visitor.

Most important of all, unlike the huge exhibitions of Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay or Grand Palais, the Baudelaire exhibition is modest in size which in fact makes it all the more enjoyable. You simply don’t get tired to death and exhaust yourself trying to devour hundreds of works in a single exhibition.

Apparently Baudelaire fantasized about creating a Musée de l'amour (museum of love). Would such pictures serve as inspiration for the museum?

Apparently Baudelaire fantasized about creating a Musée de l’amour (museum of love). Would such erotic images serve as inspiration for the museum?

The size of the Baudelaire exhibition allows you to enjoy and appreciate each work with a slow pace without spending tiresome hours squeezing between huge numbers of visitors like for example in the Louvre.

Albeit modest in size, some of the artists exposed in the exhibition are among the most famous in the history Western European art.

Musée de la vie romantique feels more like a provincial museum which is truly a rare commodity in the chaotic French capital. Unlike the gigantic galleries of the Louvre or Pompidou you can actually reflect and think on what you see. Then you will also get to enjoy a cup of tea and a cigarette in its movie setting like garden before returning to the Paris jungle.

Musée de la vie romantique feels more like a provincial museum which is truly a rare commodity in the chaotic French capital. Unlike the gigantic galleries of the Louvre or Pompidou you can actually reflect and think on what you see. Then you will also get to enjoy a cup of tea and a cigarette in its movie setting like garden before returning to the Paris jungle.

Long story short, L’Oeil de Baudelaire is a very successful exhibition which presents a very formidable selection of works as well as a narrative of Baudelaire’s reflections on the art of his time.

Highly recommended for those interested in Baudelaire, local museums and 19th century French art.

A Gem in Toulouse: Musée des Augustins

One of the best museums in Toulouse, Musée des Augustins offers a brilliant collection of medieval art and French paintings. It is a must-see not only for art enthusiasts but for everyone visiting the brick colored city of Toulouse.

Housed in an ancient convent, Musée des Augustins resides in a majestic setting. Besides its art collections the museum compound hosts a gigantic church and a beautiful courtyard surrounded by an elegant gothic arcade.

The beautiful hall designed by Jorge Pardo houses the 12th century Romanesque capitals.

The beautiful hall designed by Jorge Pardo houses stunning Romanesque capitals dating back to the 12th century.

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Le Corbusier @ Centre Pompidou

The retrospective exhibition Le Corbusier: Mesures de l’homme at Centre Pompidou is a must see for those interested in Le Corbusier himself. Rather than only focusing on his architectural works, the exhibition also presents his career as an artist and exhibits an ensemble of paintings, furniture, sketches, models and sculptures of the influential architect Le Corbusier who was also an urban planner, theorist, sculptor and a painter.

A colorful painting by Le Corbusier representing the Modulor, a system of proportions based on the human scale devised by the master architect.

A colorful painting by Le Corbusier representing the Modulor, a system of proportions based on the human scale devised by the master architect.

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Tribal Artefacts in Paris: Musée du Quai Branly

Musée du Quai Branly in Paris is a museum of tribal objects and artefacts and definitely a must-see for those interested in the genre. Its building, designed by the star architect Jean Nouvel, is also an interesting piece of contemporary architecture.

Although the collection of Quai Branly is rich, colourful and fascinating, like other European and North American museums with colonial collections, it does not present the genuine story of the origins of its objects. And the visitors ought to ask the question, how come ritualistic tribal objects from Polynesia, Australia or Madagascar end up in Paris, completely removed from their original contexts.

Fancy architecture by Jean Nouvel - Part of the museum overlooking the street is covered by a vegetal wall. The museum is preceded by a very strange glass window, which continues for meters separating the museum garden from the street. (Notice the Eiffel Tower in the background)

Fancy architecture by Jean Nouvel – Part of the museum overlooking the street is covered by a vegetal wall. The museum garden is preceded by a very strange glass window, which continues for meters separating the garden from the public street. (Notice the Eiffel Tower in the background)

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From Van Gogh to Kandinsky: An Exhibition in LA

Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) delivers a colorful array of beautiful works by famous painters like Van Gogh, Cézanne and Kandinsky.

There are some very beautiful paintings by Van Gogh in the exhibition. Left: Van Gogh, Poplars in Saint-Rémy, 1889. Right: Van Gogh, Pollard Villows at Sunset, 1888.

There are some very beautiful paintings by Van Gogh in the exhibition. Left: Van Gogh, Poplars in Saint-Rémy, 1889. Right: Van Gogh, Pollard Villows at Sunset, 1888.

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Review: 13th Istanbul Biennial

Months before its opening, 13th Istanbul Biennial titled ‘Mom, am I barbarian?’ raised much criticism about its various aspects such as the event’s sponsors, subject, graphic design, etc. But why so much criticism?

Istanbul Biennial is organized by İKSV (Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts), a foundation created and funded by a family corporation called Eczacıbaşı Holding. Internationally the biennial is Turkey’s most esteemed and famous art event. Various contemporary artists around the world are invited to participate in the event and it is a very significant occasion for the Turkish art scene which does not have collections of world famous modern and contemporary artists. Besides, the biennial is highly anticipated by art enthusiasts in İstanbul, a city with scarce amount of art museums and exhibitions compared to other big cities like New York, London and Paris.

 

Antrepo 3 Entrance Area

Antrepo 3 Entrance Area

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