April 04, 2008

Bonjour from Paris!

It has been a cold and wet spring here in Paris. In fact, they had so much rain in the month of March that the Seine is almost at flood stage and many dinner cruises on the Bateaux Mouches have to be canceled because the boats cannot pass under the bridges!

But rain or shine, cold or warm, the art scene continues and this week kicked off a three week run of art fairs and events to satisfy every interest.

Tuesday evening was the opening of the Pavillon des Arts et du Design held in huge white tents erected right in the Tuileries Gardens, along the rue de Rivoli. This show is an interesting mix of fine art and 20th Century design and offers works as diverse as a Sioux Indian war bonnet (Galerie Flak, Paris), a suite of Nakashima furniture (Sabastian + Barquet, New York) and a painted ceramic reproduction of an 1894 poster by Georges de Feure (Vincent Lécuyer, Paris).

The next day, Wednesday, was the opening of Art Paris, held now for the third year in the magnificently restored Grand Palais. Here the focus is on Contemporary Art but a few very fine French dealers of early to mid 20th Century Art are also exhibiting. Especially lovely is the booth of Galerie Larock-Granoff devoted exclusively to the work of 1950's Abstract artist Simon Hantaï. Totally different but also exciting is the stand of Galerie Patrice Trigano whose devoted a large part of his booth to a series of large format, realistic style oil paintings by Ron Kleemann on the theme of American NASCAR auto racing.

Last Sunday France changed over to European summer time and the evenings are light until after 8 PM. As if in recognition of this human manipulation of the seasons, the sun is trying a little harder to emulate Spring. Finally, yesterday, it was possible to walk around in just a jacket and scarf and a few optimistic souls braved outdoor cafés without heater lamps.

The delicate green haze of early Spring leaves is deepening and some cherry trees are about to burst into blossom. I leave you with this picture of the South side of Notre Dame in its budding morning splendor. I'll be back soon with some more news and views from this beautiful city. A bientôt!

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