I was invited last Friday for a special preview day of four new exhibitions at Galerie Thadeus Ropac, one of the premiere contemporary galleries in Paris. The first part of the preview was two exhibitions at the Marais space on rue Debellyme. The invitation was for a small group of mostly journalists and funnily enough I ran into two acquaintances of mine.
The main floor of the gallery had a new show by New York artist Jack Pierson, titled Ennui (la vie continue/life goes on). A series of bold, oversized three dimensional letters made of wood and varnished with a metallic silver finish, they border between schoolhouse alphabet fun yet also take on a somber undertone. The scale of the letters is impressive as they almost brush the very tall ceilings. Pierson usually takes found objects and transforms them into sculptures but for first time he has designed an exhibit where the pieces were executed and made by an outside source. I went back to the opening of the exhibit on Saturday night and the exhibit took on a whole different quality with the neon signs that were added to it plus having the natural nightlight coming through the skylight.
The upstairs gallery had a series of new works by Austrian artist Gerald Rockenschaub, titled Pralinen [chocolates] and Intarsien [marquetry], referencing the design of luxury confectionary. The small, beautifully finished works had a glossy new car kind of sheen to them. His graphic work is informed by Bauhaus and Kandinsky and it shows in the choice of colors and pure forms. Some of the sculptures remind me a little of the Memphis furniture movement in the early 1980s.
After viewing the Pierson and Rockenschaub exhibits, we were escorted to a bus that took us to their new gallery in Pantin, a 30-minute ride on the outskirts of Paris.
The space, a former 19th century iron factory, was opened last October to house larger exhibitions. The gallery is quite impressive, a vast hangar like space of three expansive rooms with white walls, cement floors, and high ceilings.
Disaster/The End of Days is a group show of 28 international artists representing their take on disaster. The artists include Robert Longo, Jack Pierson, Anselm Kiefer, Zhang Huan. Daniel Richter, Tom Sachs, Liza Lou, Gilbert and George, Mahmoud Bakhshi, and Georg Baselitz. Through sculpture, paintings, and video the artists convey their vision of disaster and reference religion, including the betrayal of Christ, history, war and Greek mythology. The installation of self destructing mirrors by Banks Violette was unnerving as you would never know when the ear shattering sound of the mirrors cracking would occur. Much of the imagery was dark and somber but a few pieces had exuberant color, especially the bold Gilbert and George piece with screaming black and red newspaper headlines.
There was an informative panel with three of the artists speaking about their works. After the talk, lunch was served and it gave me a chance to meet and mingle with some of the artists and journalists.
It was a most rewarding day and if you are in Paris, I recommend seeing these provocative exhibitions.
Jack Pierson –Ennui (La Vie Continue)
Gerwald Rockenschaub-Doing the Same Again
7 rue Debellyme, 75003
Metro: Saint Sebastien-Froissart
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10AM to 7PM
Disaster/The End of Days
69 Avenue du General Leclerc, 93500 Pantin
Metro: Eglise de Pantin
Open Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10AM to 7PM
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.