Sherard arrived on Wednesday morning for a week-long visit to Paris, his first. After he got settled in I asked what he particularly wanted to see or do here and he gave me a short, straightforward list:
- the Louvre,
- the Musée D’Orsay, (most famous for its unparalleled collection of impressionist works) and,
- the Pompidou Center (the national museum of modern and contemporary art).
“No problem!” (I thought!) Because it was closest, and in the gay-friendly Marais, we set out that afternoon to see the Pompidou Center, the national museum of modern and contemporary art.
At the café atop the Pompidou Center
We started with an exhibition about the life and work of Paul Klee. It was large and comprehensive, although I was surprised not to see some of his most iconic images. These were a few pieces from the show that caught my eye.
Paul Klee, Green X Above Left, 1915
Paul Klee, Mask Fear, 1932
Paul Klee, Snake Paths, 1934
It’s always a pleasure to revisit the Pompidou‘s permanent collection but I’ve blogged about it many times before so I won’t repeat myself here. I did get a decent video clip of a rotating op-art piece I’ve always liked, however: Nicholas Schöffer, Spatiodynamisme (visions condensées), 1958
Also, I hadn’t noticed this piece before, which embodies the absurdity of some branches of conceptual art.
George Brecht, Three Arrangements, 1962 / 1973 / 2015
That evening we strolled down to the Seine. The recent rains had caused the river to rise higher than I remembered seeing it. I took a photo, but didn’t give it much further thought…
The quai at the tip of Île Saint-Louis on June 1, 2016, at the start of the Great Flood of 2016.
We ended the evening with cocktails at my old favorite, the Experimental Cocktail Club.
The next morning Sherard was kind enough to give me moral support at a coffee date with Arturo, a guy I had been chatting with for a few years but had never met in person. He turned out to be great — handsome, smart and sweet! We made a plan to meet again for drinks that evening and continued on our way.
We got our art fix on Thursday from less mainstream sources. First was a quirky show at the Gaîté Lyrique, a former theater that is now the neighborhood cultural center for the 3ème arrondissement. The show started out with some cute-ish computer enhanced image manipulations, then developed into a meditation on information gathering and surveillance, and on our mostly-futile attempts to protect ourselves.
We had lunch at an old favorite, Nanashi in the Haut Marais. We both enjoyed our meals as well as the handsome and friendly waiters.
Sherard with our Bento boxes at Nanashi in the Haut Marais.
We spent the late afternoon seeing galleries participating in Les Jeudis Arty (Arty Thursdays) in the Marais, which now happens just three times a year.
This exhibition space was as interesting as the works (which were on plastic tables suspended by wires from the ceiling struts).
This piece was one of Sherard’s favorites.
Sherard with Memory Drift, 2015, by Nicholas Dhervillers at School Gallery Paris
Painting by Lucas Talbotier at his Biome show
I liked several pieces by Lucas Talbotier at Jola Sidi Gallery.
I was pleased to learn that the handsome young artist will be spending a semester at Rhode Island Institute of Design (RISD) starting next January. We exchanged contact info and I hope I’ll have an opportunity to show him around Boston next winter.
My favorite gallery of all was the Galerie Linz, hidden at the back of a courtyard. I liked almost everything but my favorite piece was a remarkable balanced stone sculpture.
After a minor SNAFU we met up with Arturo and had a beer at the Jeudis Arty after party at the Carreau du Temple, then decamped for cocktails at Le Mary Celeste.
Arturo and Bob at Le Mary Celeste. (Photo credit Sherard)
The drinks were fine and the atmosphere was nice but the service was lackluster. We then tried the Experimental Cocktail Club, but we couldn’t get in because it closes at 2 pm on Thursdays. By this point we were close to home so Sherard and I invited Arturo up to the apartment and we ended the evening with a few glasses of wine.