Saturday, May 17, 2008

Catching culture where we can

We finally got out of the apartment about noon today after a late night yesterday. We had met Zeva and Fabrice for drinks around the corner on rue Montorgueil and then joined Isabelle, our "landlady", for a late and very fun dinner at Osteria Ruggiero, also in the neighborhood. We're too old for this kind of carousing and we slept in this morning.

Feeling the need for a hit of culture we went to the Musée d'Orsay to see an exhibition of Lovis Corinth (don't worry, we'd never heard of him either). German painter of the late 19th-early 20th century, he moved from Impressionism to Expressionism over the course of his career. One stunning nude looked like it might have been painted by Lucian Freud. A quick visit to Manet's Olympe, one of our favorites, and it was off to the other end of the arts spectrum, to the Portes Ouvertes, open studios, in Belleville, a working class neighborhood populated largely by immigrants and artists.

There we had arranged to meet our friends Liz Claire, a dancer, academic, and the moving spirit of MADE in France, a program for university level dance and design students from the US to study in France, and Marcos Pujol, an opera singer, director and teacher, who live in Belleville and who gave us a tour of the neighborhood as we dropped in to the various open studios.

As is usually the case with open studios, there's a mix of the good, the bad and the 'what were they thinking?' but there was quite a lot of good this time, particularly the work of Ukrainian painter Anton Yakutovych, who has lived and worked in Paris since 2002.
We avoided one thunderstorm, were caught by a second, had an Indian dinner and metro'd home. It was a good day.

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