Friday, December 12, 2008

Paris, again.

Our most recent trip to Paris didn’t go as smoothly as the last, but was good nonetheless. For me, this trip involved a lot of museum time, which is a big part of the reason I’m here. As a former art student, and on-again off-again fine artist (definitely more off-again for the past several years), the lure of Paris museums is irresistible to me.

On Wednesday I went back to the Pompidou, this time to see a special show of Futurist art from the early 20th century. I went ahead and bought the accompanying audio tour, which definitely helped point out details long forgotten from my art school days. It was a really great show.

On Thursday I was able to get a ticket to see the much-hyped Picasso show («Picasso et les maîtres» — “Picasso and the masters”) at the Grand Palais. I’m a big Picasso fan, and have gone out of my way to see his work many times over the years. I have to say, this was not my favorite show. The point of this show was to demonstrate how Picasso was not just influenced by, but how he directly interpreted many of the works by the masters of the art world. This show is actually being held at 3 different museums, although the one at the Grand Palais is by far the largest.

David and I saw a portion of the show at the Musée d’Orsay last week, which I enjoyed more. That part focused solely on Picasso’s interpretations of Manet’s «Dejeunner Sur L’herbe». The show at the Grand Palais had several hundred paintings (by Picasso and the others), most of which I had never seen, but they just weren’t among my favorites. Also, despite the attempts at crowd control by selling tickets for specific time slots, it was mobbed. I like to be close enough to lick the art (something I actually haven’t tried). I like to be able to virtually crawl inside the paintings — to really experience the color, the play of light, the scale, and especially the texture. This is what seeing the art in person is all about — these are the details you can’t reproduce in a book.

(Side note: this is actually something I’ve recently realized about the way I look at things: I’m very interested in texture. When David and I are out taking photographs, I’m often shooting the cobblestones or the layers of paint on a section of wall, as opposed to the landmarks of Paris. When I have some time in the coming days, I’ll start a Flickr gallery of the texture shots I’ve been taking.)

While I was taking in the art, David and Anna were having adventures of their own. Of note was the Cité des Sciences et l’Industrie, which sounds amazing. They loved it, which is great. I’m sure David will blog about it and post some of his amazing pictures soon. I have to admit that things like that just don’t hold my interest at all. I’m a big believer in playing to your parenting strengths. David and Anna can geek out together and both love it. I, OTOH, am right there for reading stories, doing art projects, cooking and baking, teaching French, etc. It sounds much more Martha than I actually am!

1 comment:

James Duncan Davidson said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing your texture shots. :) I love stuff like that. :)