Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Art Again

We saw the big Matisse exhibition at the Centre Pompidou the other day and were lucky to find it not jammed with visitors so we could really look at the work.  The point of this show is that Matisse often worked by repeating the same subject in different ways over a short period of time, feeling his way through what he wanted to say.  Most of the work is hung in pairs; we had sometimes seen one of them before in a museum, but seeing them in pairs or series offered new insight.  We enjoyed it a lot.

I also got a kick from the commentary outside the exhibition.  The statement above sounds as if his birth was so traumatic he had to convalesce for a very long time.

Photography was interdit inside the exhibition, so I took advantage of the shifting clouds to take pictures outside.  Sacre Coeur is always a grand sight from the terraces of the Pompidou.

You can also see La Defense in the west.  The Grande Arche is in the center distance, with the Arc de Triomphe visible on the left.

And of course the Eiffel Tower way off.

Closer is the enormous sloping place below, where the hide-and-seek sun casts the occasional shadow from the people walking across.

The top terrace of the building is the site of Georges, a once chic restaurant now mostly filled with tourists relaxing after a hard day of art viewing.  

Inside the museum, aside from the special exhibitions, is a permanent collection of modern and contemporary art set in the famous "inside out" building, its innards exposed rather than hidden behind the walls.

We were struck by the reception room designed for the Elyseé Palace of President Mitterrand and even more by the visitor looking at it, who seemed to have been designed as part of it.

And an interesting piece by a Czech artist whose name I can't recall consisted of words strung across a room, forming a story that made you want to know more.

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