Brut(e) : an exhibition by Jannis Kounellis at the Monnaie de Paris

The must-see exhibition that is currently hosted at the Monnaie de Paris ambitiously gambles on making the Arte Povera (« poor art ») shine under the gildings. It is called « Brut(e) », which translates as « Raw », and it truly is. As a major figure of contemporary art, Greek artist Jannis Kounellis is among the pioneers of Arte Povera. Born in Italy at the end of the 1960s, this movement was formed in the idea of resisting the fancy cultural industry, and the consumer society in general. By using « poor materials » such as sand, soil, tar and hessian, Arte Povera artists chose to favour the creation process over the finished product. By according meaning to seamingly meaningless objects, they « impoverished » Art, but most of all desecrated it.

The must-see exhibition that is currently hosted at the Monnaie de Paris ambitiously gambles on making the Arte Povera (« poor art ») shine under the gildings. It is called « Brut(e) », which translates as « Raw », and it truly is. As a major figure of contemporary art, Greek artist Jannis Kounellis is among the pioneers of Arte Povera. Born in Italy at the end of the 1960s, this movement was formed in the idea of resisting the fancy cultural industry, and the consumer society in general. By using « poor materials » such as sand, soil, tar and hessian, Arte Povera artists chose to favour the creation process over the finished product. By according meaning to seamingly meaningless objects, they « impoverished » Art, but most of all desecrated it.

 

The exhibition

 

When he received the invitation by the Monnaie de Paris, Jannis Kounellis replied « I am coming to Paris empty-handed, as an old painter ». The word has been said, the exhibition will be presenting a poor, bare and raw art. In the fancy decor of the Monnaie de Paris palace, with its columns, trappings, marbles and gildings, the result is surprising to say the least. Visitors will find pieces that clash so much with their hosting place that they only shine even brighter.

 

The thousand square meters of 18th Century lounges of the palace are inhabited by pieces that are seamingly under construction. The ensemble looks like some kind of artist workshop, where the sacredness of art seems to have its hands in sludge. Where the most ancient firm in the world used to make coins, the artist invites this same material, metal, in its rawest form. Metallic easels that stage the art of painting, dorms and impressive pieces that remind one of the brutality of the war... Brut(e) is an exhibition that hits you right in the face.

 

Cheap materials invade the space in a cold, violent and silent installation. Somewhere in the visit, a strange performance is playing with the fancy codes of art. Accompanied by a violin player in a suit, a ballerina accomplishes an unsettling dance, in a decor marked by the contrast between the architecture of the 18th Century lounge and the dirty hessian clothes that hang along one of the walls of the room.

 

After having shaken the public with his last exhibition entitled « Take me (I'm yours) » where visitors were invited to take objects that belonged to artists, Jannis Kounellis is yet again offer visitors a true experience, in an exhibition built as a definitely concrete, lively and raw fresco.

 

Practical information

 

From March 11th to April 30th, 2016 at the Monnaie de Paris, 11 quai de Conti, 75006 Paris

Timetable : everyday from 11 a.m to 7 p.m, until 10 p.m on Thursdays

Fees : 12€, 8€ reduced price

 

Photographer : Manolis Baboussis © Monnaie de Paris, 2016 Courtesy of the artist

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Discover the new Museum of Mankind in Paris

Right opposite the Eiffel Tower, on the tremendous Place du Trocadéro, a brand new museum awaits you ! After more than six years of renovation, the Musée de l'Homme (Museum of Mankind) was finally reopened on October 17th, 2015. And it is showing a whole new face ! Built as a journey through the history of mankind, with its specificities, problematics and stakes, the museum offers a visit shaped as a questioning on what it means to be human, and our place in space and time. Quite an ambitious bet, which has been neatly organised around three fundamental questions : Who are we ? Where do we come from ? Where are we going ?

Right opposite the Eiffel Tower, on the tremendous Place du Trocadéro, a brand new museum awaits you ! After more than six years of renovation, the Musée de l'Homme (Museum of Mankind) was finally reopened on October 17th, 2015. And it is showing a whole new face ! Built as a journey through the history of mankind, with its specificities, problematics and stakes, the museum offers a visit shaped as a questioning on what it means to be human, and our place in space and time. Quite an ambitious bet, which has been neatly organised around three fundamental questions : Who are we ? Where do we come from ? Where are we going ?

 

A changed place

 

In 1882, the museum was born as the Trocadéro Museum of Ethnography. At this time marked by colonialism, it was based on ethnocentric and evolutionist views. The anthropological aspect of its collections justified that when its museography was revisited half a century later, the Trocadéro Museum of Ethnography started to work hand in hand with the Natural History Museum of Paris (as it still does to this day).

 

It was only in 1938 that the museum was re-named Musée de l'Homme (Museum of Mankind). Under the influence of its creator Paul Rivet, this change of title was a way of making the museum a part of the fight against the growing racist views of this period of time. The Musée de l'Homme became a multidisciplinary place which goal was public education, rather than the sole exhibition of curiosities and colonial hauls. It was meant to recreate a synthesis of the history of mankind, considering its biological and cultural aspects.

 

In the 1990s, when the Musée du Quai Branly was create, the Musée de l'Homme lost part of its collection and had to redefine its individuality and revisit its didactic discourse. An ambitious reshuffle project was ordered in 2008, and ended with the recent opening of the new Museum of Mankind. The content and shape of the museum have been completely changed. The transition is a true success, with a brand new museum that now presents its collections as a way to better understand the evolution of mankind and societies by creating a true dialogue between the biological, social and cultural approaches.

 

A modern place, a place of many faces

 

The Musée de l'Homme has a double goal : on the one hand, to explain and present our knowledge about our own species as humans, about our present, our past and our future ; and on the other hand, to be a space for debating on questions regarding mankind and societies. Thus, it is not simply a museum in the usual sens of the word, but a living place that places evolutions in the center of its museographical discourse as well as its operation as an institution. It is not only a place for exhibitions, but first and foremost a place for reflection.

 

Within this museum, visitors will enjoy the impressive Gallery of Mankind and the rooms hosting temporary exhibitions, but they will also be able to learn and take place in the actuality of Human Science in many dedicated places : auditorium, Science balcony, ressource center, education rooms... On top of the regular conferences and projections, the museum also offers educational workshops that allow the visitors to further enrich their knowledge and wonder together about problematics regarding mankind.

 

This transition has also projected the Musée de l'Homme into the XXIst century by providing access to modern, innovative and ludic educational means. Computers and tablets are scattered around the different spaces and allow visitors of all ages to dig deeper in the topics that interest them. The museum is arranged in a modern and estonishing way, sowing ludic elements that offer surprising ways to access information and to question ourselves differently. A video animation will transform your face into the one of your Neanderthal cousin, while an « Odor bar » offers you to take a quick trip around the world by smelling different rice-based gastronomic specialties from several countries... Not to mention the gigantic « Wall of tongues », on which you will be able to press your ear and listen to douzens of spoken languages from around the globe !

 

Practical information

 

Musée de l'Homme

17, place du Trocadéro

Paris 16°

 

Access

 

Metro : Trocadéro (lines 6 and 9)

Bus : Trocadéro (lines 22, 30, 32, and 63)

 

Opening hours

 

Open everyday except Tuesdays, from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Open until 9 p.m on Wednesdays.

 

Fees

 

Full fare : Museum + temporary exhibition = 10€

Reduced fare : Museum + temporary exhibition = 8€

Free entrance for children under 13.

 

To avoid waiting in line, you can book your tickets in advance on the website of the museum : http://mnhn.museedelhomme.tickeasy.com/fr-FR/accueil

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Graffitis invade the Pinacothèque

This season, the masters of graffiti find their place in a museum ! It is the new hot exhibition in Paris : from March 12th to Septembre 13th, 2015, at the Pinacothèque, « Pressionnism 1970-1990, the masterpieces of graffiti on canvas » shows no less than a hundred pieces by some of the greatest artists of this movement. Basquiat, Bando, Rammellzee, Ash or Futura 2000 are among the most famous figures of this artistic movement that was considered as some kind of sub-culture for quite a long time, for it was mistakenly associated with simple street tags and attributed to a few gangs of vandals and drug addicts. Today, the time has come to recognize the importance of the twenty first years of this missunderstood aerosol-executed art by having a closer look at its history and the power of its aesthetics.

This season, the masters of graffiti find their place in a museum ! It is the new hot exhibition in Paris : from March 12th to Septembre 13th, 2015, at the Pinacothèque, « Pressionnism 1970-1990, the masterpieces of graffiti on canvas » shows no less than a hundred pieces by some of the greatest artists of this movement. Basquiat, Bando, Rammellzee, Ash or Futura 2000 are among the most famous figures of this artistic movement that was considered as some kind of sub-culture for quite a long time, for it was mistakenly associated with simple street tags and attributed to a few gangs of vandals and drug addicts. Today, the time has come to recognize the importance of the twenty first years of this missunderstood aerosol-executed art by having a closer look at its history and the power of its aesthetics.

 

Why go ?

 

Nowadays, regulars of contemporary art galleries and museums are well familiar with street-art on canvas. It is true that since the 1990s, this urban art that was thought to be limited to the street has found its place in many art galleries around the globe. Thus it has become an institutionalized form of contemporary art. However, many people do not know what the graffiti movement truly looked like before 1990. Because it has not been sufficiently represented and talked about in Art History, we often believe that back then, graffiti was a form of aesthetic expression that was only executed by isolated artists, quickly and secretly on the urban walls. In truth, the movement started to federate as early as 1970. Graffiti artists gathered around sociologist Hugo Martinez to create the Union of Graffiti Artists. In workshops, not-yet famous artists as Coco and Phase 2 used to make creations on canvas that were well more elaborated than urban graffitis. And even though the movement did not yet have the resonance it has today, these pieces were presented in art galleries from the start.

 

Thanks to the remarkable work of curator Alain-Dominique Gallizia – a true graffiti aficionado – the exhibition « Pressionnism 1970-1990, the masterpieces of graffiti on canvas » brings a new light on the movement. The message that he wants to convey is : graffiti is not only a form of artistic expression, it is a federated movement. According to Gallizia, graffiti is even one of the few movements that allowed (and still allows) artists to unite around – not only particular aesthetics – but an aim. This exhibition is built as a journey in the land of « pressionnism », so we can finally understand its history and the ideas at stake.

 

Practical information

 

La Pinacothèque (1)

28, place de la Madeleine

Paris 8°

(Madeleine metro station – lines 12 and 14)

 

Opening hours

 

Everyday from 10.30 a.m to 6.30 p.m (counters close at 5.30 p.m)

Nocturnal openings on Wednesdays and Fridays until 8.30 p.m (counters close at 7.30 p.m)

Bank holidays : from 2 p.m to 6.30 p.m

 

Fees

 

Full price : 13€

Reduced price : 11€

 

How to go from Hotel du Danube ?

 

Travel time : 20 minutes

 

Take a right on rue Jacob when you get out of the hotel, then take the fourth street on the left (rue du Bac). Walk on this street until you get to the first big crossroad on which you will find the metro station « Rue du Bac ». Take metro line 12 in the direction of « Front Populaire », then get out at « Madeleine ». When you get out of the metro station, you will find yourself on the Madeleine square. The Pinacothèque is at number 28 of this square.

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Intimate impressions at the Marmottan Monet Museum

Located at the West of Paris, right next to the charming Bois de Boulogne and its lakes, the Marmottan Monet museum is one of those Parisian museums that too few visitors have heard of. Nevertheless, it is a true goldmine for impressionnist painting enthousiasts, and it offers very rich yet intimate exhibition. It would be a shame to miss it. Here is what you will be able to admire there...

Located at the West of Paris, right next to the charming Bois de Boulogne and its lakes, the Marmottan Monet museum is one of those Parisian museums that too few visitors have heard of. Nevertheless, it is a true goldmine for impressionnist painting enthousiasts, and it offers very rich yet intimate exhibition. It would be a shame to miss it. Here is what you will be able to admire there...

 

Paul Marmottan's collection

 

The museum was born thanks to Paul Marmottan (1856-1932). When he died, the intellectual and collector gave his art collection as well as his private hotel to the Academy of Arts of Paris, who turned it into the Marmottan Museum. Passionate about the arts of Haute-Époque, this man accumulated a tremendous collection of pieces from the First Empire, of every possible form : paintings, drawings, prints, miniatures, medals, sculptures, furniture, bronzes, porcelains, etc. In this collection, visible at the museum, you will find names such as Fabre, Boilly, Gauffier, Carmontelle, Bertin, and many others.

 

Impressionnist painting : Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and others

 

Thanks to several generous legacies over time, the Marmottan Monet Museum has made its name among museums that broadcast the richest collections of impressionnist painting. The story began in 1957, when Madame Donop de Monchy donated her incredible collection of paintings (approximately twenty) to the museum. Among them are artists as famous as Monet, Morisot, Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro or Daumier. What makes this particular collection unique is that it has the single most famous painting of the impressionnist movement : Impression soleil levant (by Claude Monet). This piece is considered the foundation of impressionnism, and it even gave it its title.

 

When his father Claude Monet died, Michel Monet also gave the Marmottan Monet Museum the right to present the pieces of the great artist to the public. But Monet's personal collection was not only composed of his own paintings, he also owned paintings by other artists, such as his friend and emblematic figure of the impressionnist movement Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

 

In 1966, thanks to legacies such as these, the museum became the one with the greatest collection of paintings by Monet in the world. But above that, the Marmottan Monet Museum also presents a very important collection of masterpieces by other impressionnist artists, such as Berthe Morisot (some 80 paintings!), Paul Gaughin, as well as the ones mentionned above, and many others. This makes the museum an unavoidable place for impressionnism enthousiasts !

 

A tremendous collection of illuminations

 

Furthermore, in a separate and newly refurbished room, the Marmottan Monet Museum also displays the immense illuminations collection gathered by Georges Wildenstein (1892-1963), that was donated by his son after he died. It is the single most important illuminations collection in the world (several hundred pieces!), and spans through the art of illumination from the Midle Ages to the Renaissance. Browsing through it, you will find French, Italian, English and Flemish illuminations, among which are some of the greatest masterpieces of the style, such as « The apostles' mission » by San Michele's master in Murano, « Saint Romuald's dream. Initial O. » by Attavante, or « Judas' kiss » by Jean Bourdichon.

 

Practical information

 

Address :

 

Musée Marmottan Monet

2, rue Louis-Boilly 
75016 Paris

 

Closest metro station : La Muette (line 9)

Closest bus stop : Porte de la Muette (line 63)

 

Opening hours :

From Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m to 6 p.m
(Last entry : 5.30 p.m)
The museum opens late on Thursdays : from 10 a.m to 9 p.m
(Last entry : 8.30 p.m)

 

Prices :

 

Full fare : 11€

Reduced fare : 6,50€ (children between 7 and 18, students below 25...)

Free for children below 7, journalists, people with handicap...

 

Audioguides are available in French and English (3€)

 

Image : « Impression, soleil levant » by Claude Monet (1872, Marmottan Monet Museum, Paris)

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