Photo of the Week

Paris-Update-view-from-louvre

Left to right: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Pyramid, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and Ferris Wheel. © Paris Update

 

Paris Update This Week’s Events

For full details about an event, click on the title to visit the official Web site (in English when available).

Drawing through the ages

Paris-Update-Matisse-les-pommes
"Apples" (1944), by Henri Matisse. Eric Coatalem Gallery.

> Salon du Dessin: 39 galleries showing works on paper, from Old Masters to contemporary. Palais Brogniart, Paris, March 22-27.

Contemporary drawing fair
> Drawing Now: 73 galleries, Carreau du Temple, Paris, March 23-26.

More contemporary drawings
>Ddessin: 20 galleries. Atelier Richelieu, Paris, March 24-26.

Art and design fair
> PAD (Paris Art + Design),
67 galleries, Tuileries Garden, Paris, March 22-26.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, March 23-May 28.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Audrey Dana's Si j'Étais un Homme, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, Feb. 24.

Documentary film festival
> Cinéma du Réel showcases documentaries from around the world. Various venues, Paris, March 24-April 2.

Suburban blues
> The Banlieues Bleues festival brings major French and international jazz acts to the Paris suburbs. Various venues, through March 31.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 13.

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Art - Temporary Exhibitions

 

A Journey to Norway

Fervent Abstraction
Inspired by Nature

Paris-Update-Olivier Debré, Oppdal

“Oppdal” (1979), by Olivier Debré.

To see the exhibition “A Journey to Norway,” all you have to do is take a trip south, to the lovely French city of Tours, just over an hour from Paris by TGV.

There have always been plenty of good reasons to visit Tours – read all about them here – and yet another has been recently added with the reopening of the Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré in a brand-new building designed by Portuguese architects Aires Mateus.

This regional art center is named after the French painter Olivier Debré (1920-99), who was a frequent visitor to the Centre-Val de Loire region and who made a bequest of many of his works to the center so that they could be exhibited in conjunction with the work of contemporary artists.

Debré was a great traveler and had a special fondness for Norway, which he visited often. The new building is being inaugurated with “Un Voyage en Norvège,” an exhibition of paintings he made in that country, alongside a show of works by contemporary artists working there.

On the main floor, in the light-drenched “White Gallery,” Debré’s beautiful abstract paintings lift the spirits immediately. The only painting in the show not made in Norway, the monumental “Gris Bleu, Taches Bleues de Loire” (1990), takes up the entire far wall, drawing visitors into the room with its sweeping expanse of cloudy sky-blue, occasionally opening up to a deeper blue and hints of other colors.

This master colorist liked to paint outdoors,

Paris-Update-Olivier Debré-ATELIER, (c) François Poivret

Olivier Debré at work. © Francois Poivret

even when it was snowing, so he could take direct inspiration from the landscapes in front of him. The canvases here, while totally non-figurative, evoke icy mountains or the blue light reflecting off a fiord. Others, especially those painted in Lærdal, immediately call to

Paris-Update-Olivier Debré, Longue barre bleue Svanoy, 1974

“Longue Barre Bleue Svanoy” (1974), by Olivier Debrémind the Aurora Borealis, although there is no direct reference to the phenomenon. Some of the color combinations are breathtaking. (The photos on this page don't really do them justice.)

Debré, whose work seems to have been unfairly neglected outside of France, fittingly referred to his style as “fervent abstraction,” and his passionate reaction to the landscapes before him comes through strongly in his paintings.

Downstairs, in the “Black Gallery,” a group of young artists working in Norway – Ahmad Ghossein, Tiril Hasselknippe, Saman Kamyab, Ignas Krunglevičius, Kamilla Langeland, Lars Laumann, Solveig Lønseth, Ann Cathrin November Høibo, Linn Pedersen, Tori Wrånes and Thora Dolven Balke – offer up entirely different interpretations of the Norwegian “landscape” with their mostly conceptual works. Titled “Innland,” the show explores the idea of the interior of a territory, whether geographic, intellectual, personal or geopolitical.

A third exhibition in another of the CCCOD’s spaces, The Nave, is a monumental installation by Per Barclay called “Oil Chamber,” which uses a pool of black gold to create a vertiginously disorienting experience for visitors. I won’t spoil it by explaining it – it must be seen.

A visit to the center is well worth the trip to Tours, especially to see Debré’s paintings. While you are there, however, take the time to visit Balzac’s native city as well.

Heidi Ellison

Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré: Jardin François 1er, 37000 Tours. Tel.: 02 47 66 50 00. Winter hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 11:30am-6pm, Thursday until 8pm. Summer hours: Monday, 2pm-7pm; Wednesday-Sunday: 11:30am-6pm, Thursday until 8pm. Admisstion: €6. Olivier Debré: through September 17, 2017. Oil Chamber: through September 3, 2017. Innland: through June 11, 2017. www.cccod.fr

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