Edwart and I travelled to Venice last month and we spent 11 marvelous days in my favorite city : Venice ! This is our preferred rendez-vous every two years with contemporary Art, the exquisite opportunity to mix pleasure and …well, I can’t write work, I should definitely say : passion ! The passion of discovering new works, new artists, new shows…after 11 days we are experts of this 2015 Biennale and I’m going to tell you what I’ve loved so much this year. You can take this post as a kind of Biennale short cut to help you to find your way easier and faster among the hundreds offers and proposals on view until november 22nd in the Serenissima City !
As usually everything starts with the best Bellini at .. the Gritti ! ;-)
We stayed this time at the San Regis on San Clemente island, just 15 minutes boat ride from Piazza san Marco (former San Clemente Palace hotel) which is even better now than during our first stay there 4 years ago. This is the best option in summer as they have a great swimming pool and fantastic huge garden with different atmospheres. We were so well received by the butler team and guests service team : Joana, Lena, Allesandro… They took care of us so well ! The golden keys concierges were also great. We enjoyed every minute spent in this great and exceptional resort. Moreover we discover the new chef and his excellent cuisine, one of the best in Venice !
The food was excellent also by the pool (I will remember with emotions this winter the great green pizza that enchanted our sunny pool afternoons ! ).
If you don’t have a lot of time while you’re in the City of Doges and want to see the best of the Biennale and exhibitions around, here is my short list . Actually I prefer to simply name the best artists without describing their works as the pleasure of discovering and effects of surprise are important . And if you don’t go to Venice this year, don’t worry you’ll find many articles and pics on the net !
1) My Top 10 of the Biennale Giardini pavillions :
– Nordic Pavillion with Camille Norment ( our favorite !)
– French Pavillion with Celeste Boursier-Mougenot
– Japonese Pavillion with Chiaru Shiota
– Australian Pavillion with Fiona Hall
– Austrian Pavillion with Heimo Zobernig
– Romanian Pavillion with Adrian Ghenie ( Ghenie the Ghenius !)
– British Pavillion with Sarah Lucas ( well …the biggest controversy : either you like either you laugh at loud !)
– Corean pavillion with Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho
– Netherlands Pavillion with Herman de Vries
– Finland Pavillion with IC 98
2) My Top 7 artists in the Arsenale :
– Adel Abdessemed with Bruce Nauman at the entrance ( powerful !)
– Theater Gates ( big huge crush !!moving and mesmerizing video/ installation, I couldn’t leave the room)
– Ji Dachun
– Ricardo Brey ( the Alchimist)
– Tiffany Chung ( small scales )
– Lorna Simpson
Special mention to the Turkish pavillion with Sarkis (moving and so meaningful in this very special year for Armenian people) located in a building inside the Arsenal
3) My Top 5 exhibitions in Venice :
– Mario Merz at the Accademia : the best show, according to me an example of art of hanging + the quality of selected pieces . What else ? ;-)
– Cy Twombly at Ca’ Pesaro for the amazing landscapes echoing Courbet powerful sens of nature and for the roses series I’ve discovered. I like when a giant still charms my eyes and spirit.
– Charles Pollock at Peggy’s home (Peggy Guggenheim Foundation).
Know the son, don’t you ? Meet the father ! You’ll love and will understand more about abstract expressionnism.
– Glass Stress ( located just in front the Accademia) ! When the so venitian medium meets contemporary art : surprising and magical, espcecially if you’re not familiar with contemporary art, a cool way to get in.
– A must do during the Biennale, the rendez-vous of connoisseurs : Axel Vervoordt show in mythical Palazzo Fortuny, the alliance of taste and knowledge, always thrilling !
2 Honourable mentions :
– French ex POP artist Martial Raysse at Palazzo Grassi. Better display than in Pompidou Center. And if you’ve ever been to this show last year in Paris, well you MUST go to Venice and see it in Palazzo Grassi !
– Hiroshi Sugimoto with his tea Pavillion , tribute to Mondrian on San Giorgio Maggiore island. Soothing moment. You deserve it, especially while you’re running from one show to another with the fear of missing out ( believe me, this peculiar anxiety is called …fomo. Yes I’m serious, there is a name for this venetian fear !).
Well, don’t worry, the point is to participate during these Olympic games of contemporary Art, as newspapers call this Biennale !
To be continued with more pics and topics ;-)
Look at this gorgeous and fresh salad, my favorite in summer : salad niçoise ! a specialty from South of France, Nice, on the famous french riviera. The ideal summer dish with eggs, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, tuna. Sometimes you can find also green beans even if it’s not in the original recipe. You can try this one in Paris, with an original colored twist (potatoes and radishes) at Café Ruc near Louvre, 159 rue saint Honoré, 75001. According to me the best in town ! The secret : the fresh cooked tuna and excellent vegetables.
Tired of white cube style gallery ? Looking for mystery, sensuality and new territories to explore ?…
Well, Da End gallery with its Cabinet of Curiosities is for you ! A gallery with a soul-created by japonese gifted photographer Satoshi Saikusa and his exquisite wife Diem Quynh- dark as dandy secret room, with little hooks and cranny, filled with sculptures, paintings, drawings, installations, a universal story about the cycle of life on Earth is unveiled. Growths, mutations, alterations: all the successive evolutions due to the natural course of things, but also to the action of man, are depicted both in a literal or allegorical way.
The display and gathering is echoing these famous Cabinet of Marvels, also called Kunst Kamer, created by intellectual and artists in Europe, from 16th century to 18th century, when people started to discover new worlds and expected to find mermaids, griffons, unicorns…Using a system of classifications, from Naturalia-beauty from nature-to Artificiala-artefacts- including Mirabilia -exceptional pieces like Ostrich eggs or tortoise shell-and scientifica – instrument of world knowledge-they wanted to recreate at home the splendors of the world concentrated in a small space, propitious to meditation on life and creation and stimulating imagination.
What a pleasure to discover Da-End cabinet of curiosities : you’re immerged into the deepest mysteries and beauties of life and death…ringing skulls, flowers fading away as beautiful as alive, butterflies wings playing with light, a nativity transformed into a vanity…the list is not exhaustive , you have to visit it and better : to experience it !
Da End gallery- 17 rue Guenegaud- 75006 Paris
(All pictures in this post : courtesy gallery Da End©)
Buongiorno a tutti !
We just come back from an enchanting 10 days trip to Roma, the Eternal City and I would like to share with you our wonderfull experience.
Rome can be an overwhelming city and I could write many lyrical pages about but I choose today the practical way to introduce the city with a top 3/4/5 list for hotels, restaurant, museums, places.
A kind of speed dating with bellissima Roma ;-)
First, I would like to reassure you : according to me the top Luxury way of visiting the city of 400 churches and 300 fountains, is to wander hours and hours with no goals, to stop in cafés on lovely piazza and enjoy Dolce vita. Don’t feel guilty if you don’ t visit ALL the monuments from Roman Times and ALL the churches listed in guides books , what is incredible in Rome is that even seen from outside during your walk everything is splendid, gorgeous and amazing : la Grande Bellezza everywhere !
By the way I do recommend to see the eponymous movie ( La Grande Bellezza by Paolo Sorrentino before your trip).
( Sunset et Villa Medici- French Academy in Rome)
Lets’s start with hotels, here is my top 3 list :
1) Aldrovandi hotel Villa Borghese
If you ‘re travelling in hot season and are looking for a nice pool in a relaxing garden, the place is for you !
This 5 star Luxury retreat is just next to Borghese garden and the Museum of Modern Art, away from the hustle and bustle of roman center.
Ask for Pauline Charles, deputy manager if you need anything there, she’s very professional and charming and will do everything to make your stay memorable.
The buffet by the pool is exquisite, with the best italian seasonal products , all prepared by the team of 2 star Michelin guide chef at home Oliver Glowig. Instill remember the fabulous black truffled peccorino !!
I LOVED also the Spa, very relaxing and the fitness room is great.
My tip : if you don’t stay at the hotel you can nevertheless come and use the pool ( not in high season of course). Please call the hotel before for availability and fees.
2) Hotel de Russie
Sometimes people know just 1 hotel name in Rome and this is it !
Located just next to Santa Maria deĺ Popolo piazza and close to Piazza di Spagna, the Rocco Forte gem is still a great choice with excellent service and refined atmosphere. A perfect balance between tradition and modernity.
I love their garden with the outdoor restaurant, so refreshing to come on sunday for brunches. All the waiters are very friendly and very professional.
3) JK Place
If you like Design and contemporary art in a top Luxury and trendy atmosphere and want to stay in the center, don’t look further more and book here immediatly ! As you may know I’ m an art historian and collector and that ‘s the first time I was really impressed by the decor and amenities. I’m a fan ! more over the selection of art works is just perfect.
The service is so charming and very attentive !
I’m looking forward to discovering next year the roof top terrace.
Top 5 restaurants :
1) a gastronomic experience with 2 starred chef Oliver Glowig at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese.
The chef is german but great expert in italian products with a high Technical level ! a real work of art in your plate and a delight for your palate.
His reference is french chef Pierre Gagnaire and we can say he’s reaching the Master.
My tip : at the end of the meal, if you can’t take any more , don’t be shy to ask for a box for your macarons and chocolates ! I can tell you you’ll be happy the day after !
2) In institution : Pierluigi , especially for fishes.Great choice ! Actually you choose yourself the one you want , on display inside.Elena, the hostess is adorable and very efficient. You need to book as this is a must in Rome ! When we had dinner there, Alex Baldwin was also in the place. Many beautiful people from fashion, media business, mixed with local big wheels … In summer, having the diner outside is a lovely experience, the facade around are so theatrical !
3) Trendy and (very) young : Bar del Fico . Outside : Amazing cool crowd for a drink by night ! Inside : funky salvage decor , open kitchen, delicious pasta with truffles ! Parisian will understand : it’s a kind of Oberkampf style. Don’t mind their website with this impossible video of a woman running naked over the table …still try to understand myself !
4) Casual, unformal, kind of old school, but delicious : Corallo. The best scaloppine with truffles ! My friends love also the pizzas very much.
5) A fooding experience in Trastevere in the new Sotto-Sopra ( via di Ponte Sisto 67). Very friendly welcome and service. Original and italian in the same time, very tasty and creative. Nice contemporary design, not cold at all, food-manufacture style.
Top 3 museums :
I know there are many more worthy to visit, but if you had only time for 3 museums here is the ones I would recommend :
1) The Vatican Museum for its amazing and gorgeous collection of Antiques first, a great source of inspiration for Art since they were exhibited, second reason to be mixed with the huge touristy crowd : Michel Angelo’s sistine chapel ceiling ! No need to add more ! You absolutely need to book online to avoid endless queue. And better to visit St Peter later in the afternoon. More than a tour it’s an experience to be inside.
2) Borghese Gallery for the lovely, exquisite and splendid Berninis ! My favorite is Apollo and Daphne . For paintings : the Caravaggios of course are a must see ( the Boy with fruit basket – the Madonna of the groom…)
3) The Museum of Modern Art : located near the famous Borghese gardens, a rich collection of modern masters you wouldn’t expect to see in Rome. Actually the biggest collection in Italy of Modern Art, but it looks like few people know it only. A kind of best kept secret ;-) With gems like Kandinsky, Albers, Klimt, de Nittis, italian futurist, Manzoni (see pic), Fontana, Cruz-Diez…
I would like to share with you my favorite hidden gems museums in Paris :
1) Delacroix museum : the romantic hidden gem by excellence !
6 Rue de Furstenberg, 75006 Paris- musee-delacroix.fr
open from 9.30 am to 5 pm – closed on monday – 7,50 euros
The famous french romantic painter author of “Liberty guiding the people”, exhibited in the Louvre, choose to settle down in 1857 in Saint Germain des Pres district, on left bank,
to get closer to Saint Sulpice church where he was commissioned a chapel to decorate, on which he was working since 1847. Sick and tired he was so delighted to find a lovely place close to the church :
My apartment is decidedly charming… Woke up the next day to see the most gracious sun on the houses opposite my window. The view of my little garden and the cheerful appearance of my studio always make me happy.” (Journal, December 28, 1857).
He will die there 6 years later in 1863.
His last apartment and workshop have been saved thanks to an association led by french painters, symbolist artist Maurice Denis and pointillist Paul Signac, in 1929.
In 1971 the place became a national museum where you can admire Delacroix paintings and works on paper, plus furnitures and memorabilia who belonged to the french master. Temporary exhibitions are organized as well. Sometimes concerts or plays are performed in the workshop.
Don’ t miss the enchanting little garden recently refurbished where you can rest under the shade of the tree and listen to birds, dreaming about artistic life in Paris in 19th century…
2) Rodin Museum : the splendid gem !
79 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris-musee–rodin.fr
Closed on monday – open from 10am am to 5.30pm – 9 euros
The museum opened in 1919, 2 years after the death of the french sculpteur who choose this address in 1908 as a parisian office on behalf of Rainer Maria Rilke,
the famous Austro-Hugarian poet who was Rodin’s personal secretary at this time. After first occupying few rooms on ground floor, he spread in the whole building in 1911 and decided to
“give the State all my works in plaster, marble, bronze and stone, and my drawings, as well as the collection of antiquities that I had such pleasure in assembling for the education and training of artists and workers. And I ask the State to keep all these collections in the Hôtel Biron, which will be the Musée Rodin, reserving the right to reside there all my life.”
The gorgeous 18th century mansion with original paneling and well preserved decors is filled with 500 sculptures by the author of The Kiss.
A room is devoted to his pupil, muse and lover Camille Claudel, who was also a gifted woman artist-sculpteur-at the end of the 19th century.
Don’t miss a tour in the lovely french style garden where imposing bronzes are displayed all around like the mythic « Doors of Hell » or the « Bourgeois from Calais ».
Temporary exhibition are also organized.
Mapplethorpe-Rodin until sept 21st
3) Gustave Moreau museum : the very secret gem…
14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld, 75009 Paris http://www.musee-moreau.fr
closed on tuesday- from 10 am to 5pm ( closed during the week between 12.30 and 2pm)
If the name Gustave Moreau(1826-1898) doesn’t sound familiar to a large public, connoisseurs appreciate this great symbolist master who loved myths and mysteries and was fascinated by Salome character. An art critic once said about his paintings that we should use gems vocabulary to describe his colors : emerald- ruby- saphirs…He influenced also very much french end 19th century literature.
Gustave Moreau became at the end of his life a respected teacher at the high school of Fine Arts in Paris (Beaux-Arts). His students were named : Rouault- Matisse- Marquet- Valtat….the future representative of Fauve mouvement in early 20th century.
He conceived very early the project of transforming is own house where he first lived with his parents into a whole museum devoted to his entire work-achieved and unachieved- which will be open only after his death.
When you visit his apartment and workshop, you feel like being invited in an ivory tower of a dandy painter of 19th century, the hero of a symbolist novel… the place is out of time, enchanted and marvelous ! Moreover the painter conceived spectacular furnitures to admire all his sketches and preparatory drawings. So take a seat, remove the fabric on the cabinet that protects against light, and open the windows : marvels will be revealed…