May 27, 2012
SUNDAY FROM MY DESK
Nothing is more emotionally fulfilling than having the opportunity
to see great art and nature.
To see creativity in its deepest sense is always like breathing fresh air.
It fills not only all the senses but also the mind and the spirit.
The sum and substance of any artistic journey must, to be truly great,
pass through nature. Two of the most beautiful elements we need for our lives. Nature and Art. Both abundant this week in Paris in the Springtime.
At the turn of the century electricity began to illuminate the City of Lights, but the Grand Palais – huge and transparent and now one of France’s great architectural treasures, illuminated its interior with natural light through the 45 metre glass vault above.
Now, every Spring, it houses a giant studio for the artistic expression of a single artist.
The Exhibition is called Monumenta and Daniel Buren is the fifth artist to be invited by the French Ministry of Culture to fill the 13,5000 sq. m space of the Grand Palais.
True to his artistic purpose of making art to fit the site,
Buren has filled the hall with discs of various sizes and colors so that the entire space is like being in a prism or a jewel box.
As the light above shifts, the colors shift and one is a part of this circus performance with happy colors dancing across this immense space.
Here Buren and Alaia stroll under the colors, talking. Old friends for many many years, they recall the Buren exhibition in Bordeaux where the whole building and his iconic stripes became mirrors. Looking through the many books and catalogues and thousands of pages he has written on his work over the years, the just issued first volume of a new complete version “Les Ecrits 1965 –2011”, almost 4000 pages, essential for understanding the depth of his thoughts.
One of Buren’s recurring elements is reflection and he has installed several mirrors in the center of the Grand Palais that inspire visitors to enjoy walking, playing, stopping and also take pictures. Pictures are always taken of this building. Inspired by London’s Crystal Palace, now gone, it was built in 1897 for the Universal Exhibition
of 1900 and still, after 100 years, houses the most amazing exhibitions .
From the colors of Buren, it was natural to head in the direction
of the Beaubourg to see again the Matisse “Pairs and Series” exhibition
and travel with him through his Odyssey in color.
Henri Matisse died in 1954 and until the end of his life he continued
to make incredible work. For me the cut outs and studies of this time
are the most breathtaking of his works.
Here are Face Mask, Face-Flower and Face done in 1948.
Matisse makes us believe we could all become – Matisse! .
Matisse’s most famous quote, “ Creativity takes Courage”
shows the discipline of real artistic process.
Is encouraging and the sequence of works, one next to the other,
shows how methodically he went about painting.
He was after all trained as a lawyer before he fell in love with art.
A breath of hope is in another quote, “ It would be a mistake to ascribe this creative power to inborn talent. In art, the genius creator is not just a gifted being, but a person who has succeeded in arranging for their appointed end, a complex of activities, of which the work is the outcome.”
Goldfish were a subject Matisse painted many times.
In ancient China these fish were raised as a rare delicacy food
in the ornamental ponds and water gardens of the nobility.
Later, they became a symbol for luck and fortune both in China and Europe
and were given as a precious gift to wish prosperity for years to come.
Nothing can beat Nature.. Here a vision of a restaurant in a tree, like a bird’s nest.
In Thailand a resort has created this nest that fits
in a tree overlooking the bay with a table for four.