- ALREADY SUBSCRIBED?
Fill in your credentials below.
Baselitz wall mural at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Photo: L. Marsh
Baselitz and Trecartin-Fitch at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is currently hosting two very different exhibitions. Baselitz Sculpteur is on until January 29, 2012, and is a retrospective of the work of German artist Georg Baselitz, who is known for his large-scale sculptures.
The second exhibition, Any Ever, is a series of sculpture installations and video art by young American artist duo, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch. This show is on until January 8, 2012.
The museum has also refreshed its permanent collection, which is free to visit with new works from artists Giorgio de Chirico, Peter Doig and Bernard Buffet.
Baselitz sculpteur (Baselitz as Sculptor)
Born in 1938, Hans-Georg Kern decided to take the name Baselitz after his hometown, which was then called Deutschbaselitz (now known as Kamenz) in eastern Germany. Baselitz is a globally celebrated artist who has exhibited his work at several major international art salons, such as documenta in Germany and La Bienniale di Venezia. He is also an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Arts (UK) and has received impressive public commissions including two paintings for the Neue Reichstag (seat of the German parliament) in Berlin, Germany.
Although Baselitz began as a painter and engraver, the latter of which is a noble tradition in Germany, he has focused on sculpture for the majority of his career. The work in this exhibition spans the years of 1979 through 2010 and focuses on Baselitz’s wooden sculptures, of which 40 pieces are shown.
Although his main tools are chainsaw and axe, Baselitz describes his working technique as “fragmentary,” which brings to mind delicacy. He also says that he prefers sculpture to painting because of its rugged quality.
The tree trunks from which the sculptures were born are still apparent in the artworks and the immediate appearance of the sculpture is reminiscent of Native American totem poles. Baselitz is said to have drawn inspiration from “tribal art,” but he is also influenced by twentieth century art, such as Italian Mannerism, Edvard Munch and Picabia. To contradict the wood’s natural appearance, Baselitz paints the sculptures with one or two bright colors. They take on a human form, often resembling cartoon characters or Lego men.
The sculptures explore a number of themes such as the female form, self-portraits and folk tradition, often with quite a comical feel. Baselitz’s light-hearted approach to the collection of work, “Women of Dresden” (1989-1990) comes as a shock. The group of 13 sculptures commemorates women who lost their lives in Dresden at the end of the Second World War.
Baselitz is best known for his blue sculptures, but this exhibition also shows his frequent experimentation with other materials and styles, such as his work with checked fabric and his Manga Style cartoon faces. Although it would be incredible to see these works in the sculpture parks that permanently display them, the space and light at the The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris makes a great setting for these huge masterpieces.
The retrospective also includes a series of recent Baselitz paintings based around the theories of Freud and entitled, “Herfreud Grussgott.” These are at the other end of his expressive creativity, providing a refreshing contrast to the sculptures.
11, avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16th
Entry: €9 Adult
Métro: Alma-Marceau or Iéna
RER: Line C, Pont de l’Alma
Bus: 32, 43, 63, 72, 80, 92
Exhibit hours: 10am—6pm Tuesday through Sunday; open until 10pm on Thursdays; closed Mondays and bank holidays
Holiday hours: Museum is closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Museum closes at 5pm on December 24 and December 31
“Negative Beach” by Trecartin-Fitch at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Any Ever by Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch
Since graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Ryan Trecartin has received a string of prizes, awards and fellowships and has seemingly been featured in every important young artist exhibition. Trecartin writes, directs the videos and works with his collaborator of ten years, Lizzie Fitch, on the production. The videos explore themes such as identity, consumerism and post-millennial technology.
The exhibition is organized in the shape of a circuit. At the beginning, an entering visitor is confronted by strange sculptures and garden furniture. It’s hard to know what’s part of the artwork and what is available for visitors to sit upon, but this is soon explained. The route is divided into seven spaces, each with a different theme and video presentation, creating a kind of a video art adventure park. Visitors wear audio headphones that draw them even deeper into the bizarre world of Trecartin and Fitch.
There are various different pieces of furniture upon which to sit, including an airplane seat, park benches and beds. Each makes the viewer feel relaxed, but that comfort ends when the videos start displaying fast moving photography and garish colors as the audio plays the sound of rapid, unintelligible speech. The videos are like a guide to contemporary Western society that has been chopped up and wrongly stuck back together again. There are obvious references to American pop culture in random segments from various TV shows like Glee and the film High School Musical, and an exploration of the effects of social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook. The visuals are simultaneously backed by audio with language borrowed from philosophy or anthropology in sentences that make no sense when performed together. The impact of the videos is so intense that it is difficult know whether to laugh or cry. The video viewing audience appeared as they had been drawn into another world they didn’t know how to escape from, creating the same addictive affect as the Internet.
(see Baselitz info above for complete visitor information)
Entry: €6 Adult
Exhibit hours: 10am—6pm Tuesday through Sunday; open until 10pm on Thursdays
Palais de Tokyo: Carte Blanche à John M Armleder
The Palais de Tokyo located next door to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris hosts temporary contemporary art exhibitions in its public space. Although the gallery is going through a period of renovation, it is currently presenting its annual Carte Blanche exhibition in which an artist curates his or her own show. This year Swiss artist John M. Armleder’s show, “All of the Above,” is featured. Armleder is best known for his involvement in the 1960s/70s Fluxus movement.
RER: Line C, Pont de l’Alma
Bus: 32, 43, 63, 72, 80, 92
Hours: 12—9pm Tuesday through Sunday; closed Mondays
Holiday hours: Museum closes at 6pm on December 24 and December 31
Closed January 1, May 1 and Christmas Day
Lindsey Marsh is the BonjourParis arts editor at large. Please click on her name to learn more about her and to view her past stories published here.
Subscribe for free weekly newsletters with subscriber-only content.
BonjourParis has been a leading online France travel and French lifestyle site since 1995.
Top 100 France-themed books & more: Readers’ Favorites.
Update your library with these art books….click on image for details.
Thank you for using our link to Amazon.com…your purchases support our free site.