A day in Paris by ESPRIT DE FRANCE #17

women-house-Louise Bourgeois.jpg
Do you want to visit Paris ? Stay at
Hôtel de la Place du Louvre
hotel de la Place du Louvre de la collection Esprit de France

Ladies often take the lead in Contemporary Art

One of the stunning exhibitions of this season is the one the Louis Vuitton Foundation dedicates to MoMA. The exhibition illustrates the iconic New York institution’s history through a selection of 20th and 21st century masterpieces. The featuring is done on four levels, each one corresponding to a different period of the evolution of this American museum and its acquisitions. Thus, on the ground floor, the initial period of the collections is evoked: it goes from 1929, date of the founding of the museum on the initiative of three women including Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, to 1939. Visitors will first see European masterpieces such as Le Baigneur by Cézanne and L’Atelier by Picasso followed by American ones, including House by the railroad by Hopper and photographs by Walker Evans. Since its very opening, the MoMA has been aware that artistic creation could no longer be limited to traditional categories and has acquired photography, cinema, design and architectural models. For this reason it soon became the essential reference of all the museums of modern art which opened afterwards. The upper levels are devoted to the dynamics of the acquisitions: post-war American Abstraction with, among others, Pollock's action painting, Minimalism and Pop art with iconic pieces by Andy Warhol as well as by Roy Lichtenstein, works echoing the politicization of the 1980s and 1990s, even more recent ones using digital imaging and reflecting the museum's new commitments to women and black-American artists, previously underrepresented. As such, the most amazing room of this last part is a sound art installation by Janet Cardiff. The latter invites us to stroll through a Forty-part Motet for a moving experience of angelic purity enhanced by Franck Gehry’s outworldish architecture.

At the same time, another Parisian institution is hosting the Women House exhibition. The show at the hôtel de la Monnaie (the old Paris mint) focuses on female artists from 1960 and how they expressed themselves in the confinements of their homes for decades, before transforming their domestic place into a political one that they could use to make demands publicly. Humorous works such as Joana Vasconcelos’s giant teapot and striking ones like Louise Bourgeois’s giant spider will definitely surprise the visitor. And this building offers more than one surprise… Looking for somewhere to eat afterwards? The Guy Savoy Restaurant is also part of the building and this 3-star Michelin Guide restaurant serves exceptional cuisine in one of the six 18th century halls overlooking the Seine.