Posts Tagged ‘Andy Warhol’

Warhol @ Grand Palais

The Ethel Scull Series, photographed by Yoan Valat/EPA

The Ethel Scull Series, photographed by Yoan Valat/EPA

Anyone passing by the front of the Galeries Nationales de Grand Palais for the past couple of months couldn’t have missed the promotional noticeboard. Warhol’s artworks are arriving in Paris once again, and the exhibition opens today and will run until 13th July 2009.

Entitled Le grand monde d’Andy Warhol, a selection of about 150 portraits from Ethel Scull to Chairman Mao, will be on exhibition together for the very first time and unlikely to be repeated anywhere else. This is going to be a phenomenon exhibition, that I will not be surprised for it to emulate the success of Picasso et les maîtres and the tickets will be selling like hotcakes! Buy them online ahead of your visit in order to avoid the long queue that’s inadvertently going to gather outside of the Grand Palais, taking hours before your turn comes along.

Warhol had mused : “All my portraits have to be the same size, so they’ll all fit together and make one big painting called Portraits of Society. That’s a good idea, isn’t it?”

Indeed it is. And we get to see part of this vision of his. Unfortunately, one famous figure whose portraits you will not see along those selected are those of Yves Saint Laurent. A conflict of opinion of the location where the portraits should be hung, apparently. Pierre Bergé (YSL’s partner) was reported to have told the curator, Alain Cueff, that “the rags mustn’t be mixed with the serviettes”, to reveal his discontent that Saint Laurent’s portraits would go in the “glamour section” with other fashion coutouriers instead of a recognition for him as an unique artist. Not only that, as a general rule, for over 40 years he have not been shown among other couturiers. (Read Bergé’s letter in Le Monde) However, Cueff refused to move them and Bergé refused to back down. Instead he pulled the works. What a shame.

A couple of Miró and Warhol

If you love modern arts, walk past Jardin du Luxeumbourg and the poster of “De Miró à Warhol” would have caught your attention. Quite easily. It’s bright, and it’s colourful, quite the manifestation of twentieth century art really.

I admit it, my interest mainly lies at the name of Miró. His works which I adore, and he of the fame (well, among my friends, that is) of converting me into an appreciator of modern arts. No other big names captured my imagination as much as Miró. Not even the great Dali, although I have come to learn to admire his art pieces too.

Elated and with great expectations, I was in the queue for the Musée du Luxembourg on a beautiful yet slightly chilly Sunday afternoon with a friend. I should have known, there would be a considerable number of visitor to this exhibition of which 74 pieces of work had travelled all the way to Paris from Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon. Little did I know, beyond the ticket counter, the arts audience would be uncomfortably packed for leisurely appreciation.

Armed with an audioguide, I found myself unable to move beyond the ticket scanner. Oh yeah, it was packed right from the start. The visit was conducted with a number of snaking manouvers in between the other visitors, while at times tip-toeing to see some of the works behind some 3-4 rows of art lovers. Not easy when one is vertically challenged like me.

There are quite a number of gems on display, and I started a new lesson of contemporary arts. There are a few general sections to the exhibition – eclectic collections (really, quite a mish mash), Surrealism (spotted, two Miró pieces), abstract geometrics (think bold shapes and lines), Pop Art (spotted, two Warhol pieces) and post-war arts explorations (I absolutely love Julian Schnabel’s Portrait of Jacqueline from this section).

All in all, I was impressed with this collection of temporary exhibits, and I found myself jotting down on the back of the ticket (I left my Moleskine at home) of the names of artists/works that I intend to look up more information on at a later stage. However, given the relatively small venue, the crowd in there dampened my enjoyment to some degree. It also was not helped by the fact that I wished there were more than just two works of Miró on display.

The exhibition “De Miró à Warhol” runs now until 22 February 2009. Opens daily (time varied).
Tickets at €11 adults, €9 concessions, free under 10 years old. Audioguide at €4.50 each.

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