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Thierry Mugler

COUTURISSIME

Far from a classic retrospective, Thierry Mugler, Couturissime will encapsulate the life and energy that defined the historic collaborations between Thierry Mugler and his creative alter-ego Manfred. The exhibition will be presented in the newly renovated Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman Fashion Galleries of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. From the 1970’s until 2002 when Mugler turned the page on fashion, the creator established himself as one of the most daring and innovative couturiers of his time, creating silhouettes of remarkable potency often hailed as the embodiment of the 1980’s through the lens of fashion. In the 1990’s, Mugler galvanized the renaissance of haute couture through his bold collections and spectacular understanding of scenography, exemplified in his fashion shows and catwalks, which included the use of grandiose photography and the most iconic models of the day.

The exhibition, organized in several acts like a classic opera, thematically blends costumes, animated projections, photographs and music, creating varying atmospheres that personify the numerous projects Mugler has championed since the end of the 1970’s. Displayed on two floors of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the exhibition’s opening aquatic theme evokes an eccentric world of fantasy-inspired fauna in which excess abounds, from the ocean’s surface to the depths of the sea.

The following segment highlights two flamboyant silhouettes from Mugler’s Insect and Chimères Collection of 1997/1998 – futuristic silhouettes with high, piercing shoulders, plunging décolletés, and surreal hourglass waistlines. The first exhibited silhouette includes a black velvet sheath and train adorned with butterfly wings created by the Maison Lemarié, covered in iridescent scales and embroidered with crystals, costume diamonds, feathers and horsehair, all representative of the extravagance of Mugler’s couture. The second installation depicts Nymphs donning scalloped glass and shell bustiers alongside extravagant organza jellyfish evoking the imagery of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The theme of Science Fiction succeeds the animal and aquatic kingdoms as animated super heroines, industrial design and futuristic automobiles become new sources of inspiration.

From the end of the 1960’s, fashion photography asserted itself as an art form, replacing illustrations which had once reigned supreme. Beginning on the second floor, Thierry Mugler, Couturissime gives pride of place to this artistic medium with numerous rare prints signed by artists and photography greats including Guy Bourdin, Jean-Paul Goude, Karl Lagerfeld, Dominique Issermann, David LaChapelle, Luigi & Iango, Sarah Moon, Pierre et Gilles, Paolo Roversi, Herb Ritts and Ellen von Unwerth, while also highlighting the timeless collaboration between Thierry Mugler and photographer Helmut Newton.

This room is dedicated to the photographic achievements of Mugler himself who, in 1976, began photographing his own visual campaigns, playing on the glamour and beauty of his muses, from Jerry Hall to Iman, in exotic locations such as Greenland, the Sahara Desert, and the rooftop of the Paris Opera House.

In the late 1970’s, Mugler created his acclaimed “Glamazon,” a chic, modern, glamorous urban woman whose style was selected in direct opposition to the flower power, hippie fashions of the time. In black and white décor, Mugler’s crystal creations arouse the temptations of eroticism and fetishism, with exposed creations that combine latex and vinyl, subversive materials that Mugler elevated to the level of classics.

Music takes pride of place with George Michael’s song and music video “Too Funky,” which Mugler directed in 1991. The fashion ensembles for the video were worn throughout the 1990’s by top models of the day, including Eva Herzigova, Linda Evangelista, Emma Sjöberg, Estelle Lefebure, transgender model Connie Girl, and performers Joey Arias and Julie Newmar, the first “Catwoman.” It also pays tribute to the eight-time Oscarwinning American costume designer, Edith Head. Mugler’s catwalks launched the phenomenon of celebrities-as-models, inviting Hollywood celebrities such as Diana Ross, Tippi Hedren and Sharon Stone to participate as models, staging elaborate backgrounds and producing original soundtracks for their walks.

Finally, the exhibition showcases costumes designed by the artist for the stage, including works devised for the theatrical production of Macbeth presented by the Comédie-Française at the Festival d’Avignon in 1985. Mugler’s design for the character of the first witch, along with his original sketches displayed in life-sized proportions on the wall and a multimedia installation by Michel Lemieux (4D Art), are just a few examples of the designs intended to transport the visitor back to this tragic Shakespearean world.

Thierry Mugler, Couturissime is an opportunity to discover and rediscover the brilliance of this artist, and in turn, dancer, man of the stage, photographer and designer – an artist who marked his time by revolutionizing the world of fashion through his creations with sculptural morphologies that are both futuristic and elegant. Mugler’s distinctive style transcends fashion, having influenced generations of artists to this very day.

september 30, 2021 – april 24, 2022

MAD

107-111 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris

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MASTERWORKS OF MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY 1900-1940

Collection Thomas Walther

In 2001 and 2017, The Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired more than 350 photographs from the collector Thomas Walther. This collection, which is now one of the pillars of MoMA’s modern collection, is presented for the first time in France in an exhibition of some 230 images.

Comprising iconic works from the first half of the twentieth century, the exhibition provides a history of the European and American photographic avant-gardes. Through the works of a hundred or so photographers, from Berenice Abbott to Karl Blossfeldt, from Claude Cahun to El Lissitzky, from Edward Weston to André Kertész, this fusion of masterpieces and lesser-known images traces the history of modernity in photography. Mixing genres and approaches—architecture and urban landscapes, portraits and nudes, reportage, photomontage, experimentation, etc.—the exhibition delves deep into the artistic networks of the inter-war period, from the Bauhaus to Surrealist Paris, via Moscow and New York.

In their visually radical inventiveness, these images capture perfectly the utopian spirit of those who wanted to change images in order to change the world; now we fully understand the words of the photographer and theoretician Lázló Moholy-Nagy who, a century ago, stated that «the illiterate of the future will be ignorant of the camera and the pen alike.».

du 14 september 14, 2021 – february 13, 2022

JEU DE PAUME

1, place de la Concorde 75001 Paris

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Picasso / Rodin

The Musée Rodin and the Musée National Picasso-Paris are joining forces for the first time to present the “Picasso-Rodin” landmark exhibition.This unprecedented partnership between two major single-artist museums casts a new light on two creative geniuses who paved the way for modernity in art. Their masterpieces are presented simultaneously in the two historic buildings that house these national museums.

The exhibition proposes a new comparative view of the works of Rodin (1840-1917) and Picasso (1881-1973), who each had a profound and lasting impact on the art of their time and that of the generations to come. The exhibition does not aim to show what Picasso borrowed from Rodin, but rather to explore how elements of Rodin’s oeuvre merged with periods in Picasso’s artistic career.

This comparative view of the two great artists takes a different form at each venue:  the Musée Rodin looks at the crisis of representation in the early 20th century, while the Musée Picasso focuses on their creative processes. At different times and in different contexts, Rodin and Picasso both experienced major historical upheavals that could provide a clue to their similarities.

Each in his own way, they invented a new form of representation – expressionist in Rodin’s case and cubist in Picasso’s. They both preferred to work in their studios, experimenting with forms and materials and developing innovative approaches involving serial projects, fragmentation, assemblage and détournement. Both artists were constantly evolving in their exploration of the ever-changing world around them.

This two-part exhibition, featuring over 500 works, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, archival documents and photographs, offers a new take on the intensely creative careers of two pioneering artists.

July 1, 2021 – january 2? 2022

Musée Rodin
77 rue de Varenne 75007 Paris

Musée national Picasso
5 rue de Thorigny 75003 Paris

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Paris – Athènes

The Birth of Modern Greece, 1675–1919

In 2021, Greece is celebrating the bicentenary of its independence; it was also 200 years ago, in 1821, that the Venus de Milo first entered the Louvre’s collections. This exhibition traces the cultural, diplomatic and artistic ties between Greece and France in the 19th century and shows how the rediscovery of Greek antiquity changed the European view of Greece.

september 30, 2021 – February 7, 2022

MUSEE du LOUVRE

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Vivian Maier

The career path that Vivian Maier (New York, 1926 – Chicago, 2009) took is unusual yet is that of one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. It was at the heart of American society, in New York from 1951 then in Chicago from 1956, that the children’s governess meticulously observed the urban fabric that already reflected the great social and political changes in its history.

It was the time of the American dream and overexposed modernity, the behind-the-scenes of which constituted the very essence of Vivian Maier’s work. The exhibition allows the public to see archives of the photographer that were discovered in 2007 and have not been seen before: vintage photographs that Vivian Maier printed, super 8 films never shown, audio recordings… As such the exhibition allows the full extent of the eminent artist’s work to be appreciated, and for her work to be placed in the history of photography.

september 15, 2021 – january 16, 2022

MUSEE du LUXEMBOURG

19 rue de Vaugirard 75006 Paris 

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FROM AFAR

Travelling Materials and Objects

For its 6th season, the Petite Galerie offers a journey through time and around the world with the exhibition ‘From Afar: Travelling Materials and Objects’.

The Petite Galerie complements in this way the cycle of exhibitions dedicated by the Louvre to discoveries and explorations of lands near and far: ‘Paris-Athens: The Birth of Modern Greece, 1675–1919’ in September and ‘Pharaoh of the Two Lands. An African Epic: the Kings of Napata’ in the spring.

Through materials and objects, this exhibition describes exchanges between distant worlds – exchanges often far more ancient than the explorations of the 16th century. Forms, techniques, and themes intertwined to create new objects, reflecting all the complexity of our world as it could be perceived in Europe from the late Middle Ages on.

september 22, 2021 – july 4, 2022

Petite Galerie

MUSEE DU LOUVRE

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Damien Hirst – Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms is Damien Hirst’s first museum exhibition in France. The Cherry Blossoms series reinterprets, with playful irony, the traditional subject of landscape painting. Hirst combines thick brushstrokes and elements of gestural painting, referencing both Impressionism and Pointillism, as well as Action Painting. The monumental canvases, which are entirely covered in dense bright colours, envelope the viewer in a vast floral landscape moving between figuration and abstraction.
The Cherry Blossoms are at once a subversion and homage to the great artistic movements of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They are integral to the pictorial exploration long carried out by Hirst.

In his London studio, the artist describes “diving into the paintings and completely blitzing them from one end to the other”.

He also talks about working on several canvases at the same time and constantly returning to these, which he kept close by, months after their completion. After devoting three full years to the series, Damien Hirst finished the Cherry Blossoms series in November 2020 : “[The pandemic] has given me a lot more time to live with the paintings, and look at them, and make absolutely certain that everything’s finished.” The complete series comprises 107 canvases (all reproduced in the exhibition catalogue), divided into single panels, diptychs, triptychs, quadriptychs and even a hexaptych, all large-format. The exhibition, a response to an invitation by Hervé Chandès, General Director of the Fondation Cartier, to Damien Hirst during a meeting in London in 2019, presents thirty paintings selected by Hervé Chandès and the artist. Taking over the space designed by Jean Nouvel, the canvases, covered in thick, vibrant paint, absorb the spectator into the paintings.

After studying in Leeds, Damien Hirst entered Goldsmiths College in London in 1986 and quickly became the face of the Young British Artists, a group with a taste for experimentation and creating art viewed as provocative by some. They dominated the British arts scene in the 1990s. Hirst’s Natural History series — in which animals appear in formaldehydefilled tanks — soon became emblematic of his work.

However, painting has always played an essential role in Hirst’s work: “I’ve had a romance with painting all my life, even if I avoided it. As a young artist, you react to the context, your situation. In the 1980s, painting wasn’t really the way to go.”

If his early canvases were inspired by Abstract Expressionism, which he refers to as a “paint how you feel” approach, in 1986 he began a series known as Spot Paintings, where coloured dots, which appear to have been painted by a machine, erase all traces of human intervention. Initially conceived as an ongoing series,today, the Spot Paintings include over one thousand canvases of varying sizes and titles. In contrast with the mathematical infinity of the Spot Paintings, the Visual Candy paintings (1993-1995), ironically named after a scathing comment by an art critic who said the paintings looked like curtain designs, are characterized by their thick smudges of paint and exuberant superimposed colours.

More recently, the series known as Colour Space (2016), a variation around the infinite possibility of colour, and Veil Paintings (2018), where dabs of paint shimmer and cover the entire canvas, celebrate the painting surface, depth and color. This exploration culminates in the Cherry Blossoms.

June 1, 2021 – January 2, 2022

FONDATION CARTIER

261 boulevard Raspail 75014 Paris

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Histoires de photographies

Collection du Musée des Arts Décoratifs

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs will unveil, from their own collections, the exhibition Photo Stories, an assemblage of almost never-seen photographs from the worlds of fashion, architecture, landscapes, interior design and advertising. These works, dating from 1840 to the present day, were selected from the exceptional collection of over 350,000 photographs held by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Through 400 original prints and negatives, Photo Stories will retrace over a century and a half of photography. The exhibition will highlight works that have immortalized the genre, including those by renowned photographers such as Eugène Atget, Laure Albin Guillot, Dora Kallmus (known artistically as Madame d’Ora), Man Ray, Cecil Beaton, Robert Doisneau, Bettina Rheims and David Seidner.

Photo Stories will demonstrate, both chronologically and semantically, the many fields that photography has helped to shape, be they political, economic, legal, artistic or of a documentary nature. At the same time, the exhibition will accentuate the various junctions that exist between photography and the decorative arts. Moreover, it will shed new light on the role that the Musée des Arts Décoratifs has played in acknowledging and disseminating photography since its popularization as a legitimate artistic genre.

Since its founding in 1864, the Union centrale des beaux-arts appliqués à l’industrie, the precursor of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, has envisaged photography as an applied art form for its capacity to educate and popularize, serving as a highly effective means of inspiring artisans and creators. In 1883, a photographic laboratory had already been installed on the premises and the Union centrale des beauxarts appliqués à l’industrie was able to produce its own photography. With this advancement, photographers were called upon to join the ranks of artists and artisans of the institution and to employ this novel art form as a tool for artists and creators. Over time, the Union Centrale and its Library, would secure innumerable photographs of works in their original environments by the likes of Pierre Chareau, Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann and Louis Sognot.

The 20th century brought with it photographic exhibitions at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs that nourished the national identity, including the 1916 Exposition de Photographies de Guerre (War Photographs Exhibition). In 1955, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs hosted a retrospective devoted to the photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson and in 1975, a retrospective dedicated to the photography of Jacques Henri Lartigue. Photo Stories will comprise six sections, showcasing the variety and depth of the photographic holdings of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The sections will include the quest for photographic models, views of countries, photography at the service of the heritage and commercial photography in advertising, the press and fashion.

The exhibition begins with the mid-19th century photographs presented which will examine the pedagogical use of photography and underline the importance of photographs in providing artists and artisans with authentic representations of important historical works including still lifes, ornaments and figures. This new form of access to historical masterpieces thus thrust photography to the forefront of artistic education in the mid-19th century.

The late 19th century was a time of international exchange and movement. With the popularization of the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fairs), particularly that of 1867 in Paris, visitors were invited to explore the “World Elsewhere” which had often been overlooked, propelling photography forward as the most accessible means of discovery. The photographic clichés taken abroad ignited the imaginations of artists, decorators and collectors the world-over with photographs depicting colonial, ethnographic, touristic and personal scenes from South America to Asia, and across Europe the length of the Mediterranean. The photography also bears witness to the realities of days gone by and often serves as an important historical record of the condition and transformation of cultural heritage. Examples include works as seen through the lenses of Henri Le Secq and Edouard Baldus, the first-ever photographers to survey architecture in photographs.The late 19th century was a time of international exchange and movement. With the popularization of the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fairs), particularly that of 1867 in Paris, visitors were invited to explore the “World Elsewhere” which had often been overlooked, propelling photography forward as the most accessible means of discovery. The photographic clichés taken abroad ignited the imaginations of artists, decorators and collectors the world-over with photographs depicting colonial, ethnographic, touristic and personal scenes from South America to Asia, and across Europe the length of the Mediterranean. The photography also bears witness to the realities of days gone by and often serves as an important historical record of the condition and transformation of cultural heritage. Examples include works as seen through the lenses of Henri Le Secq and Edouard Baldus, the first-ever photographers to survey architecture in photographs.The late 19th century was a time of international exchange and movement. With the popularization of the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fairs), particularly that of 1867 in Paris, visitors were invited to explore the “World Elsewhere” which had often been overlooked, propelling photography forward as the most accessible means of discovery. The photographic clichés taken abroad ignited the imaginations of artists, decorators and collectors the world-over with photographs depicting colonial, ethnographic, touristic and personal scenes from South America to Asia, and across Europe the length of the Mediterranean. The photography also bears witness to the realities of days gone by and often serves as an important historical record of the condition and transformation of cultural heritage. Examples include works as seen through the lenses of Henri Le Secq and Edouard Baldus, the first-ever photographers to survey architecture in photographs.

The visitor then reaches the 1920’s and 1930’s, when photography first appeared in advertising.This section reveals how the rise of photographic modernism owes as much to photographers themselves as it does to graphic designers, editors and decorators, who brought photographic imagery into daily life. The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, for example, held in Paris in 1925, participated in the development of the photography and photographic editions market as photographs could be purchased on a large scale. At the same time, publications such as Art et DécorationL’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, then Connaissance des Arts increasingly focused on photographic illustration and often included the works of photographers Thérèse Bonney, Dora Kallmus and Jean Collas, spreading photography even further while leading to new tastes and interests.

It was also the ambition of the Union Française des Arts du Costume (UFAC), created in 1948 under the direction of Francois Boucher, to bring together a prestigious collection of fashion, textiles and fashion photography which would eventually be overseen by and entrusted to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The provision of the collections of the Union Française des Arts du Costume in 1981, and in particular, their extensive fashion and fashion photography holdings, became the foundation of the fashion collections of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. This vast collection of fashion photography documents the evolution of Parisian haute couture, capturing works by the likes of Charles Frederick Worth, Madeleine Vionnet and Paul Poiret, visionary designers whose works were recently lauded in the exhibitions Harper’s Bazaar, First in Fashion and Drawings Without Reserve, both at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Photo Stories, a central part of the 2021 exhibition calendar, allows visitors to discover the wealth and vastness of the photographic holdings of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs while revealing the intimate contours of this art form, its founding personalities and its most surprising and unexpected expressions.

du 19 mai au 12 décembre 2021

MAD

107 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris