Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Venice: Palazzo Ducale: Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety Exhibition

Copyright RMN-Grand Palais (Musee d’Orsay)/Herve Lewandowski

Venice: Palazzo Ducale: Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety Exhibition.  In the Doge’s apartments of Palazzo Ducale right in the Piazza San Marco the exhibition Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety, until July 5.  Henri Rousseau, also known as Le Douanier, was a central figure in figurative art between the end of the 19th century and the revolutionary period of the avant-garde movement.  Famous for his dreamlike atmospheres; forests and enchanted landscapes, Rousseau (Laval, 1844 – Paris, 1910), has always been impossible to pigeonhole.  It is pointless to label his work: even the way the painter has been interpreted has most often been the result of a series of misunderstandings; and yet the force of his painting, snubbed by critics but appreciated by artists, is the expression of a phenomenon that has no comparison in art between the 19th and 20th century.
Above. Henri Rousseau - La Charmeuse de Serpents1907 – oil on canvas – Paris - Musee d'Orsay.

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety. With the special collaboration of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and under the patronage of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici di Venezia e Laguna, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, this extraordinary exhibition was produced by 24 Ore Cultura. It boasts forty masterpieces by Rousseau himself and sixty works for the purposes of comparison. The project, arises from an idea by Gabriella Belli and Guy Cogeval, (above) the exhibition’s commissioners, and shared and developed with the collaboration of Laurence des Cars and Claire Bernardi.
Above. Jean-Leon Gerome – Daphnis et Chloe – 1852 – oil on canvas.

  Copyright - 2014 Foto Scala, Firenze-su concessione Ministero Beni e Attività Culturali

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety.  Such an event has never before been held in Italy. Through a lively sequence of thematic sections, the exhibition makes it possible to admire some of the French painter’s most famous masterpieces, including Self-portrait (1889-90). The artist considered the first “portrait-landscape” in the history of art, The Poultry Yard (1896-98), which was bought by Kandinsky and exhibited in the first Blaue Reiter show in Munich. The painting The War or the Ride of Discord (1894), above, painted by Rousseau with that innocent eye that Ardengo Soffici, a firm supporter, defined as being full of “child-like ingenuousness”.
Above-top. Henri Rousseau - La Guerre-La chevauchee de la Discorde - 1894 ca. – oil on canvas
Above-bottom. Giovanni di ser Giovanni detto lo Scheggia (San Giovanni Valdarno, Arezzo, 1406-Firenze, 1486) - Trionfo della Morte - 1465-1470 - tempera su tavola - Siena, Museo Civico.

Palazzo Ducale’s Camillo Tonini

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety. This research has given Rousseau’s oeuvre the right critical and historical weight: the artist was a point of reference for the great exponents of the historical avant-garde movements, for intellectuals like Apollinaire and Jarry, for great collectors like Wilhelm Uhde, and for many painters who preceded and went beyond the Cubist season. Artists such as Cézanne and Gauguin, Redon and Seurat, Marc, Klee, Morandi, Carrà, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, not to mention Kandinsky and Picasso. All of these artists are present in the show with works that fit in coherently with those painted by Le Douanier in his brief but intense creative season between 1884 and 1910.
Above-left. Robert Delaunay – Football – 1917 - watercolor on paper.
Above-right. Henri Rouseau – Le Douanier – Les Joueurs de football – 1908 – oil on canvas.

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety. Alongside the artists mentioned above, the exhibition presents a careful selection of Old Masters including Liberale da Verona, Fede Galizia, Frans Post and Francisco Goya, they offer a wholly new critical investigation into that inspiration stimulated by archaism, which over the centuries runs hand in hand with classicism and of which
Rousseau’s oeuvre seems to mark the watershed between 19th and 20th century.
Above. Artist Corrado Levi, who will be performing at Ca Rezzonico on May 10th looks at Felix-Auguste Clement – Pendant Les Fetes du Bairam au Caire – 1866 – oil on canvas.

 Palazzo Ducale: Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety - Prior-Hamblin School - Little Girl with Slate – 1845ca. – oil on canvas
 Henri Rousseau – L’Enfant a la Poupee – 1904-1905 – oil on canvas.

  Fortuny Museum’s Daniela Ferretti and the president of The Venice International Foundation's Franca Coin

  Copyright RMN-Grand Palais (Musee d’Orsay)/Herve Lewandowski


Copyright Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F.by SIAE 2015

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety.  An “archaic candour” also emerges in the paintings dedicated to wild nature and in his famous jungle scenes, of which no less that seven will be on display – from the beautiful Snake Charmer (1907) to the Horse Attacked by a Jaguar (1910), as well as in his most bucolic views of countryside and town. His still-lives and astonishing series of male and female portraits (often of friends or family members) reveal Rousseau’s capacity for recording the life of the lower middle class, the protagonist of a peaceful and apparently innocuous suburban existence, and the characteristic force of a wholly unique and original artist.
Above-top. Henri Rousseau - La Noce – 1905 – oil on canvas - Paris, Musee de l'Orangerie - Collection J. Walter- P.Guillaume.
 Above-bottom. Frida Kahlo (Coyoacan, Citta del Messico, 1907-1954) -
Retrato de una Dama en Blanco 1929 – oil on canvas – private collection, Berlin.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Paris: La Bastille – Alain Ducasse – Manufacture de Chocolat

photograph by Pierre Monetta – courtesy Alain Ducasse

Paris: La Bastille – Alain Ducasse – Manufacture de Chocolat. Impossible to find without the exact address, the Alain Ducasse – Manufacture de Chocolat factory is hidden away in a courtyard on a busy ethnic street just off the Place de la Bastille.


Alain Ducasse – Manufacture de Chocolat. La Manufacture de chocolat is born from the renowned French chef, Alain Ducasse’s desire to return to the source, the very essence of what chocolate is made of: precise, meticulous and creative work, a craft that works with bespoke machinery, a drawn out process… In a world in constant motion and at an increasingly rapid pace, this environment returns to a slower, more patient time, on a more human scale.

 Video: La Manufacture de Chocolat - Le Film

  photographs by Pierre Monetta – courtesy Alain Ducasse

Alain Ducasse – Manufacture de Chocolat.  Ducasse’s dream of chocolate never left him.  It has taken true form today, with the creation of the Manufacture, under the direction of Nicolas Berger. Ducasse always wanted to make his own chocolate to serve in his restaurants, to achieve this, it must be made from start to finish, initially with the bean, subject to a stringent selection.
Above. Maitre chocolatier Nicholas Berger.

 photograph by Pierre Monetta – courtesy Alain Ducasse

Alain Ducasse – Manufacture de Chocolat.  Since the very beginning,  Alain Ducasse’s culinary philosophy is based on a rigorous selection of quality products, fully expressing their original flavors and fragrances.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Paris: La Bastille – Rue de Charonne – Vint Neuf - Henri Turc.

Paris: La Bastille – Rue de Charonne – Henri Turc. What caught my eye on the Rue de Charonne in the 11eme arrondissement were not the trendy boutiques; Isabel Marant, Repetto, Feiyue, French Trotters, So We Are, but the curious and quirky upholsterer and decorator, Henri Turc, whose workshop/atelier gallery is called Vint Neuf and is in fact at number 29 of the rue.
Above.  The atelier Vint Neuf's window looks out onto Rue de Charrone, a plastic Spaghetti bar stool, bamboo lamps, mirrors and a Moldavian rose needlepoint carpet is draped on a French sofa.

Vint Neuf – Henri Turc. The simpatico craftsman specializes in mid century antiques and also has a great sense of humor, he was quite happy to have a chat on a warm sunny day.  Though he is better known for as an upholsterer, curtain maker and decorator he also deals, in his small workshop, in kitsch vintage pieces from the 1950s and ‘60s.
Above. Henri Turc beside some 1950s vintage curtains.

Vint Neuf – Henri Turc. 1950’s French ceramic fish lights from the Vallauris region in the South of France.

Vint Neuf – Henri Turc
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Friday, March 27, 2015

Paris: Breakfast at Le Nemours with Jose Levy and Friends

Paris:  Breakfast at Le Nemours with Jose Levy and Friends. When not traveling designer Jose Levy has breakfast and lunch hanging out at the classic Parisian Cafe Le Nemours by the La Comedie Francaise and the Palais Royal. It’s his casual “office”, a place to meet friends, have business meetings and to catch up on news and gossip.

At Le Nemours with Jose Levy. The designer’s breakfast consists of a Jambon Beurre Allongee and a cappuccino.  On the table, his Oliver Peoples, Gregory Peck sunglasses.

  photograph courtesy Jose Levy

Jose Levy for Manufacture de Sevres.  The eclectic designer has designed ceramics for Astier de Vilatte, crystal for St. Louis, furniture for Roche-Bobois and ready to wear collections.  

Jose Levy and Friends - Jose with French actor and filmmaker Louis Garrel

Jose Levy and Friends – actor and filmmaker Louis Garrel and director Stephanie Giannoli

 photograph courtesy Jose Levy

Jose Levy for Cristallerie St Louis - Les Endiables Cerdagne created by Jose Levy, a range of objects which are as stunning upside down as they are when standing right side up.!

photograph courtesy Jose Levy

Jose Levy for Manufacture de Sevres - Levy’s objects are suspended between two ages, immediate and tangible, displaying not only the modern but all that is possible.


Jose Levy and Friends – photographer Philippe Lacombe

photograph courtesy Jose Levy
Jose Levy for Cristallerie St Louis - Vase Mimosa
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Paris: Caffe Stern – Restaurant

Paris: Caffe Stern – Restaurant.  Open from 8.30 to midnight, is the Caffe Stern in the Passage des Panoramas, in one of the most famous covered Parisian passageways, featured in Emile Zola’s 1880’s novel Nana.  This Italian restaurant is situated in the old Stern engraver’s boutique closed in 2007, the historical monument whose interior was recently re-designed by Philippe Starck, boasts the cuisine of the Alajmo brothers, Le Calandre in Padova, Caffe Quadri in Venice, who together with David Lanher, the new entrepreneur of Parisian restaurants, Racines, Vivant, Paradis, have created the latest trendy, yet most delicious restaurant in Paris.
Caffe Stern: 47 Passage des Panoramas - 47 Galerie des Varietes, 75002 Paris.

Telephone: +33 1 75 43 63 10.

Caffe Stern. The restaurant is incredibly cozy for a Starck designed interior. The space is divided into small dinning rooms with embossed Codorvan leather on the walls. “The coming together of Stern and the Alajmo brothers is magic,” explains Starck. “Like the engraver Stern, the Alajmos cultivate excellence and originality. To honor this union, we barely transformed the historical landmark: we just improved the existing magic. The resulting environment is fantastic, probably the nicest and most enjoyable bacaro in the world. A visit to Caffe Stern by Alajmo is a journey through time, history, culture, and an invitation to create and strive for excellence. Our contribution is magic, poetry, surrealism and, of course, food.”

Friture de Legumes et Nuages de Riz Noir
Sauce Froide a l’Estragon et a la Betterave Rouge

Dinner guests. Hostess Rosita Missoni with her girlfriends, Claude Brouet and Monique Marx

Raviolis de Burrata au Bouillon de Fruits de Mer et Quartiers de Tomates

Grilled Pinapple with Ginger Ice Cream

 Citrus Fruit Salad with Mango Ice Cream and Black Olives

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