A day in Paris by Esprit de France #13

A day in Paris | Exhibitions | Museums
Une journée à Paris par Esprit de France #13
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Hôtel Brighton
hôtel Brighton de la collection Esprit de France

From pop art to irving penn : famous american figures

Since its birth some fifty years ago, the success of Pop Art has never wavered. Born in London in the mid-1950s with a work by Richard Hamilton that assembled motifs borrowed from popular culture and advertising, this new mode of artistic expression was soon adopted by the new American generation who sought to move away from Pollock and Rothko’s abstraction. In ironic mode, using the objects and signs of mass popular culture that emerged after the war in a euphoric consumer society, these young artists took the lead of a movement that targeted the “American way of life” of the sixties and soon became international.

Today, the Musée Maillol invites the Whitney Museum of New York to feature the icons of this movement. The Whitney is a museum whose founder, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, always supported innovative young American artists and it owns a remarkable number of works from that period. Divided into six sections, the exhibition plunges us into the swinging 60's America with works that cheerfully divert images from the press or advertising and the myths conveyed by the star-system and the American dream. It is the occasion to profusely immerse into the history of post-war American art. We enjoy re-discovering Roy Lichtenstein’s comic strips, Jasper Johns’s American flags, Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures (here a giant plate of fries and ketchup), Tom Wesselmann’s large nude pin-ups and the series of Andy Warhol’prints featuring both Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy's mourning.

Irving Pen by Esprit de France

On the photography side, America is also honored as the Grand Palais is launching its fall season with a comprehensive retrospective devoted to one of the great masters of the 20th century, American Irving Penn whose birth centennial is celebrated. The exhibition traces seventy years of a career that began in the thirties and that involved all subjects. Having become a fashion photography specialist with more than twenty years of collaboration with Vogue, Penn has also produced some amazing portraits of celebrities including Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote, or Ingmar Bergman and other more surprising series on very humble topics such as odd jobs or cigarette butts.