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Kiki Smith

First solo exhibition of the American artist Kiki Smith in a French institution. Exceptional also by its size, nearly a hundred works, from the 1980s to today.

Kiki Smith’s art is symbolically nourished by memories of her childhood, from Grimm’s and Perrault’s fairy tales to the modeling work done for her father, the sculptor Tony Smith. The ensemble is marked by its fascination for the human body, which it first represents in a fragmented way, the skin appearing as a fragile border with the world. 

In the mid-1980s, Kiki Smith proposed a novel way of exploring the social, cultural and political role of women. His work then takes a more narrative turn. In a feminist perspective, she seizes in particular great biblical female figures to propose new representations. In her corpus, they rub elbows with fairy tales, or the ambiguous character of the witch, at the crossroads of fantasy and popular culture.

From the 2000s, the great myths of the origins are gradually attracting his attention, and the cosmogony becomes a chapter apart from his art.

Kiki Smith’s work is thus akin to a crossing, a quest for the union of bodies with the totality of living beings and the cosmos. From microscopic elements to organs, from organs to the body as a whole, then from the body to cosmic systems, the artist explores the relationship between species and scales, seeking the harmony that unites us with nature and the universe.

October 18, 2019 – February 9, 2020

MONNAIE DE PARIS

11 quai Conti 75006 Paris

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Barbara Hepworth

The Musée Rodin will be holding the first monographic exhibition on the work of British sculptor Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) in Paris, in association with Tate. Though little known in France, Barbara Hepworth — who frequented artists such as Henry Moore, Picasso and Mondrian — revolutionised sculpture with her development of a new aesthetic sensibility. Her abstract works, imbued with poetic purity, aspire to an ideal, peaceful world. The Musée Rodin’s tribute exhibition to Hepworth will present these sculptures, with their combination of solid and void; visitors who see these compelling artworks will find them hard to forget.

After Rodin (1840-1917), a different kind of sculpture came into being. Around 1905 in France, the sculptor Aristide Maillol restored density to his freestanding figures, and from 1909 onwards Constantin Brancusi took this revival of the basics of sculpture to its highest degree of refinement. The next development came with the work of the sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth in 1920s Britain.

Distancing herself from Rodin’s powerful expressionism, Barbara Hepworth sought a new aesthetic founded on the language of form and volume. The poetic nature of her sculpted volumes was largely inspired by the natural and plant world. Her organic sculpture also represents her world view: for post-World War I society, this new sensibility conveyed an impression of peace in opposition to the atrocities of recent years.

Hepworth’s artistic vocabulary contrasted with the work of other sculptors, founded on pathos, based on construction or inspired by machines. In 1934, she wrote that her aim was to ‘project into a plastic medium some universal or abstract vision of beauty.’ The essence of her art lies in the play of convex and concave, the subtle contrast of solid and void. Beneath the silent exterior of solid forms, Hepworth’s art aspired to an ideal world, allowing her, in her own words, to ‘swallow despair.’

Hepworth’s aesthetic also stemmed from her love of material – which she carved directly, as if seeking to extract a singular harmony from the intrinsic characteristics of each block. After World War II, she reinvented the art of plaster sculpture, working it by hand to create her monumental pieces.The aim of the Musée Rodin’s exhibition is to provide an overview of her art and career and an insight into her working methods with a recreation of her studio environment.

Little known to the french public, Barbara Hepworth, although her significance as an artist was recognised in her day. She and her husband Ben Nicholson frequented artistic circles in France, visiting Brancusi, Picasso, Braque, Mondrian and meeting Arp, Calder and Miro. From 1939 on, Hepworth worked in Cornwall, whose landscapes had a profound influence on her work.

November 5, 2019 – March 22, 2020

MUSÉE RODIN

77 rue de Varenne 75007 Paris

01 44 18 61 10

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Peter Hujar

The life and art of Peter Hujar (1934–1987) were rooted in downtown New York. Private by nature, combative in manner, well-read, and widely connected, Hujar inhabited a world of avant-garde dance, music, art, and drag performance. His mature career paralleled the public unfolding of gay life between the Stonewall uprising in 1969 and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

In his loft studio in the East Village, Hujar focused on those who followed their creative instincts and shunned mainstream success. He made, in his words, “uncomplicated, direct photographs of complicated and difficult subjects,” immortalizing moments, individuals, and subcultures passing at the speed of life.

October 15, 2019 – January 19, 2020

JEU DE PAUME

1 place de la Concorde 75008 Paris
01 47 03 12 50

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Léonard de Vinci

On the occasion of 500 years of Leonardo da Vinci’s death in France, the Louvre Museum is organizing an exceptional retrospective dedicated to his entire career as a painter.

The exhibition intends to show how much Leonardo placed painting above all activity, and the way in which his investigation of the world (he called it “science of painting”), was the instrument of an art, of which the ambition was none other than to give life to his pictures.

Around its own collection of 5 paintings, the largest in the world (The Mona Lisa will however remain exposed in the course of permanent collections) and its 22 drawings, the Louvre brings together nearly 140 works (paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculptures, objects of art) from the most prestigious European and American institutions: the Royal Collection, the British Museum, the National Gallery of London, the Vatican Art Gallery, the Ambrosian Library of Milan, the Galleria Nazionale of Parma, the Galleries of the Accademia di Venezia , the Metropolitan Museum of New York or the Institut de France.

October 24, 2019 – February 20, 2020

MUSEE DU LOUVRE

rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris

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Figure d’Artiste

It was during the Renaissance that artists asserted their independence and demanded recognition as creators in their own right. Yet the advent of the artist had been long awaited. This exhibition will take a close look at the transition from the typically anonymous craftsman of the classical period to the artist of the Renaissance, at times famous to the extent of becoming the hero of novels and legends. It is this long-standing connection between the visual arts and the written word that inspired this edition’s focus on literature. Spread across four rooms, the exhibition will feature some forty artworks from the Louvre’s eight curatorial departments alongside extracts from literature, with the aim of tracing the emergence and recognition of the artist from Antiquity to the 19th century.


September 25, 2019 – June 29, 2020

MUSEE DU LOUVRE

place du Carrousel 75001 Paris

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MODERNE MAHARAJAH

The Museum of Decorative Arts honors the extraordinary figure of the Maharajah of Indore who gave free rein to his artistic and decorative avant-garde by creating a unique modern world in India.

Visionary personality of the European cultural milieu of the 20s and 30s, he was the sponsor of the very first modernist construction of his country: the palace of Manik Bagh (1930-1933), testimony of the effervescence of the artistic scene of the time

The exhibition highlights the world of this mythical home evoking the exchanges between Europe and India through the singular and fascinating personality of a young prince and his wife. Presented in the Nave of the museum, this prestigious heritage brings together more than 500 pieces gathered for the first time. It reveals the iconic creations of Louis Sognot and Charlotte Alix, Jean Puiforcat, Eileen Gray or Le Corbusier.

During the 1920s, Yeshwant Rao Holkar II (1908-1961), better known as the Maharajah of Indore, was sent to Oxford at a very young age in England. A French tutor, Dr. Marcel Hardy, sharpens his curiosity by introducing him into the European cultural milieu. Under the thumb of his mentor, he met two personalities who will be decisive in his approach: the Berlin architect Eckart Muthesius, close to the avant-garde, and Henri-Pierre Roché, artistic advisor and writer. Stays in England, Germany and France in particular, where he frequents various exhibitions, exhibitions and artists’ studios, give birth to a real interest in modern art.

In 1929, shortly after his meeting with fashion designer and collector Jacques Doucet and the visit of his studio, he decided to erect a palace in his native India, where luxury, comfort and modernity would mix. The Maharajah entrusts Eckart Muthesius with the realization of this project: to transform the foundations of a pre-existing building into a new private residence for the maharani Sanyogita Devi and himself.

Arranged according to their daily needs, the palace is provided with a decoration and a furniture glorifying the innovative materials for the time, like the metal, the synthetic leather or the glass, with a predominance granted to the color declining in each of the living spaces. In order to create these interiors, nearly 20 carefully selected designers are in demand, whose achievements have become iconic works of this period.

Among the most emblematic, the Transat armchair by Eileen Gray, the pair of red synthetic leather armchairs with integrated lamps by Eckart Muthesius, the spectacular metal and glass beds of Sognot and Alix, designed for the respective rooms of the royal couple, or Ivan Da Silva Bruhns’ carpets, which occupy the palace grounds like vast, abstract, colorful paintings.

After studying the spirit of Bauhaus in 2016 and the work of Gio Ponti, archi-designer in 2018, the Musée des Arts Décoratif, whose collections Art Deco and Modernist are among the most beautiful in the world, continues its exploration of the years 1920-1930 by proposing a new reading of the history of European modernity thanks to the eyes of an immense amateur of the arts.


September 26, 2019 – January 20, 2020

MUSEE DES ARTS DECORATIFS

107-111 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris

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The golden age of English painting

Gainsborough, Reynolds, Turner…

This exhibition, built from the masterpieces of Tate Britain, highlights a landmark period in the history of painting in England, from the years 1760 to 1820 approximately. It intends to draw a panorama that allows to grasp all the originality and diversity. She leads the visitor from the foundation of the Royal Academy, with artists such as Reynolds and Gainsborough, to the new turn that began in the early nineteenth century, including Turner.
The public will rediscover the great classics of British art, too rarely presented in France.

September 11, 2019 – February 16, 2020

MUSEE du LUXEMBOURG


19 rue de Vaugirard 75006 Paris
01 40 13 62 00

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Degas at the Opera

Throughout his entire career, from his debut in the 1860s up to his final works after 1900, the Opera formed the focal point of Degas’ output. It was his “own room”. He explored the theatre’s various spaces – auditorium and stage, boxes, foyers, and dance studios – and followed those who frequented them: dancers, singers, orchestral musicians, audience members, and black-attired subscribers lurking in the wings.

This closed world presented a microcosm of infinite possibilities allowing all manner of experimentations: multiple points of view, contrasts of lighting, the study of motion and the precision of movement.

September 24, 2019 – January 19, 2020

MUSEE D’ORSAY

1, rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007 Paris