Art Exhibitions Near to La Trémoill Hotel in Paris this June
8 March 2017
Karel Appel: Art as Celebration & African Routes Exhibition
This June, experience a cornucopia of international art in Paris, with: the avant-garde paintings of Dutch artist Karel Appel at the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art; and a celebration of African works in the African Routes Exhibition at Musée du quai Branly… all taking place less than a 10-minute walk from La Trémoill Hotel.
City of Paris Museum of Modern Art - Until August 20th 2017
Though it’s been eleven years since Karel Appel passed away, he still remains one of the most influential artists in northern Europe. Now, thanks to the Art as Celebration exhibition, Appel’s work returns to the public eye with more than 20 of his best pieces to be exhibited at the Paris Museum of Modern Art, courtesy of the Karel Appel Foundation.
Open until August 2017 – Art as Celebration will showcase the artist’s different painting styles and sculptures… and explore how he journeyed from the avant-garde – and controversial – CoBrA surrealism, to worldwide acclaim. Visitors will be privy to an exhibition of extremes, often shifting between abstract and the figurative; never settling on one style and media.
His early pieces were inspired by childlike imagery and works of the mentally disturbed. This is most clear as you reach the area dedicated to ‘The Psycohopathological Notebook’, a collection of drawings on pages of text from the International Exhibition on Psychopathological Art at the Saint-Anne Hospital for the mentally ill in Paris. This exhibition inspired Appel greatly and would inform much of his work in the 1950s.
In addition to these childlike images, and spirited erratic styles, the exhibition also highlights some of the more classical elements of Appel’s repertoire… and you can expect to see a range of traditional nudes transformed into shattered bodies by the Dutch artist’s thick brushwork. It also serves to showcase a range of giant installations, some from his CoBrA period, and others from the 1970s and 1990s. There will also be a wonderful display of sculptures, inspired by Brancusi bronzes and Mike Kelley’s contemporary works.
In late 1950, artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem DeKooning and Franz Kline influenced Appel’s works greatly. Dominating the space are a couple of emotionally charged, vigorously explosive, and spontaneous abstract paintings. Van Gogh even comes to mind, due to the amazing skill in drawing with colour; swatches of reds and oranges, lemon and bright yellows, blues and black and white that somehow shimmer in harmony. This was a style the artist came back to in the 1970s, before switching to a more classic tone for his giant polyptychs of the 1980s – some of which, will also be at the show.
With such varied works and styles; from classical drawings to abstract paintings, huge installations and sculptures, the exhibition is an animated viewing filled with random beauty and carefully planned skill. This is down, in no small part, to the way the Karel Appel Foundation, and its vision for exhibitions and preservation was laid down by the artist himself years before his death. Here you will find a bold, piercing statement that transcends numerous genres, and brings Appel to the forefront of the art world once again.
Musée du quai Branly (Until 12th November 2017)
Showcasing over three hundred sculptures, interactive maps, anti-colonial films and a selection of art works, African Routes presents the rich history of African trade and travel. Drawing on the work of historian Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, the curator Gaëlle Beaujean has selected historic and modern pieces in order to help visualise the movements of people, goods and ideas since the 5th millennium BC.
The exhibition is divided into seven themes, including Routes and Means of Transportation, which highlights the African empires alongside the European colonisation of the continent, through a series of interactive maps. Notable pieces in the Spiritual and Religious Route section include a painting of the Queen of Sheba, illustrating her voyage from Ethiopia to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem. Regarded as one of the most important versions of the story, this fundamental painting documents the great journey that involved trekking the Incense Road on camels bearing spices, and crossing the Red Sea to Israel by boat.
Creating connections between traditional and modern ideas across the globe, the exhibition’s Artist Routes area demonstrates how traditional African art has influenced modern artists, with examples of work from 1930 until present day. Sommet de Masque, the signature sculpture of the show, represents the dreams of a young man wanting to fly to destinations far removed from his homeland.
Alongside the display of exhibits and art works, there’ll also be a variety of films to see. In the Colonial Routes section, there is a 20-minute film composed of photographs and reports of the colonial era, including excerpts from René Vautier's long-forbidden film, ‘Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès’, which presents French recruits as killing machines during the Algerian war. Other works not-to-be-missed include the contemporary mixed art of the Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, installations of fibreglass mannequins, printed cotton textile and hand coloured objects. Guided tours are available at either shows with in-depth observations, descriptions of works and exchanges.
When you’re done with walking the grand corridors of the big institutions, the finest five-star comforts are waiting for you inside our hotel. The Hotel Tremoille is a mere 10-minute walk away from both exhibitions… and the perfect destination for art-lovers and those with an eye for the finer things in life.
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