Archive for August, 2010

Barcelona-museums and places

Posted in Barcelona, contemporary art, museums, travels on August 23, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Hola amigos !

Just come back from Barcelona, a city full of charm if you avoid tacky places like Las Ramblas-how can people take pleasure strolling on it , well fighting against the crowd, to see cheap street performers  ? and avoid also the touristy complex around the aquarium by the sea.

I won’t write about Gaudi, despite I love his architecture very much, especially the Guell Park,

casa Battlo and Pedrera. I prefer to give you tips off the tracks, all the guides and books provided in hotels are very good for the classic :

– Gaudi tour

– Miro Foundation

– Picasso Museum…

well this is where there is all the crowd ! But there is so many interesting and quiet places for connoisseurs !

If you like contemporary art, please, visit the beautiful old bookstore transformed into private foundation devoted to famous spanish abstract painter Tapies. Amazing space that emphasizes the great scales.

A very moving documentary about him displayed in a room underground. Very good hanging showing his evolution from figurative art  to abstract non conventional  painting, challenging always academism even abstract ones .

A private foundation not far from it : Sunol, a collector of contemporay art who selects works from his own collection for temporary exhibition. Located on paseig de Gracia,80;  not far from Tapiès foundation. Great spaces too.

We discovered by chance another foundation  : Centre de arts Santa Monica (La Rambla, 7) with a very good exhibition by Pat Andrea, dutch figurativ artist. The subject : Alice in wonderland with great in  situ drawings. That center is also devoted to molecular food  !

Don’ t miss temporary exhibitions in Miro foundation : we saw the swiss punk sylph Pipilotti Rist with video that get you high, lying on lazy cushions displayed in the rooms.

And a kind of project room showing the work of a young sweden iran born artist :  Sirous Namazi.

Amazing black monochrom photographs at first glance that reveals slowly outlines of interior architecture.

+ Don’t miss the excellent MACBA, built by Richard Meier.

If you need classic , old masters , visit Palau Nacional, they rehung rcently their collections. Famous roman and gothic catalan masters, who influenced so much Picasso and Miro are waiting for you. The museum is empty, so peacefull and pleasant to visit !

Then what a surprise to see Zurbaran  and Greco !

The rooms devoted to Modernism are very nice too; without speaking of the ones devoted to Gargallo, Gonzales and Picasso. You’ll enjoy it I’m sure.

Then if you want to come back to minimalism, breath it in Mies van der Rohe pavillion. Definitly, less is more !

Peterhof, Saint-Petersburg

Posted in monuments, museums, Saint-Petersburg, travels on August 10, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Amazing gardens opening to the sea, the Finland Bay. Peter 1st wanted to do better than the famous Sun King himself ! Fabulous fontains too.

But our favorite place, definitly,  was the smaller residence “Mon Plaisir” and the Pavillion of the baths.

Perhaps one day we’ll talk about “Russian Baroque”…

well, maybe you noticed I had an italian name :  “Muraro”, that’s why baroque can be only italian for me, 😉 and then versions were made from it…here is a very short  shorcut of art history  !!

I ‘m sure you must think the french  always think  they are superior ! well, french classicism vs baroque was my  daily food when I studied art history ! and I’m so used to the grandeur of Versailles, a very conceptual castle indeed, more than just a setting or a stage- I will explain you if you come with me there !

But Peterhof absolutly deserves a whole day to explore russian baroque and these fabulous gardens.

we had a wonderful and lovely guide : Svetlana, thank you so much Svetlana for the good times spent together that day and our lunch facing the sea !

Contemporary Art in Saint-Petersburg

Posted in art gallery, contemporary art, Saint-Petersburg, travels on August 10, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

When we were there a new place  was launched, well, a pre opening is better because the official opening will take place in September, it’s called “Erarta”, there is a gallery and a museum +a café and a shop.

Amazing building, great spaces, and very good exhibition, paintings by a young artist : Vladimir Semensky, a series inspired by Antique, his best work according to me.

we were kindly received by the director Victoria Dudenko and had a private tour and could meet the artist.

thoughts for our friends in Moscow

Posted in Moscow, news, travels on August 10, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

We are so sad  and thrown into confusion when we see right now the dramatic situation in Russia, especially around and in Moscow with all the people suffocating, suffering, and the land devastated…We think about all the people who received us so warmly and hope they are well.

We really hope the situation will improve very quickly.

Museums in Saint-Petersburg

Posted in museums, Saint-Petersburg, travels on August 4, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

1) out of category for sure : the Hermitage !! oh my god, I’m used to say when I give a tour at the Louvre that the 3 biggest museums in the world are the Louvre, the Hermitage and the Met in NY,now Ican tell I was there  and I’ve visited the 3 ones !!


So overwhelming of course, the best, as usual is to make a selection of what you like , that’s why we focused on paintings but we had a private guide, Elena, excellent and brilliant scholar graduate in history (who is coming soon to settle down in Paris and I’m sure we are going to hear about her in art circles very soon), so we did the gold of the Scythian (Nomadic people 7th BC), amazing department (you can do it only with a guide from the hermitage). It looks like art deco style sometimes, so modern, a great sense of stylisation and naturalism in the mean time, perfect plastic acheviement.

JPEG - 37.5 ko

if you love  Rubens and Rembrandt, buy immediatly  a ticket airplane, don’t wait no more and go ! No words fair enough to describe the deep humanity from the “Return of prodigal son” by Rembrandt, a lesson about the meaning “forgiveness”.

my favorite paintings :  Giorgione ‘s Judith and Picasso’s Three woman. The department of modern art is very impresive, as in Moscow Pouchkine museum, many of these treasures are coming from Chtoukine and Morosov collections.

2) the Russian Museum for 19th century art and turn of the century with the symbolist Vroubel + the biggest Malevitch collection… when it’s visible, such a frustration for me :  these rooms were  closed when we were there…well, good thing : it means I have to come back !

Saint Petersburg, a selection of hotels and restaurants

Posted in hotels and restaurants, Saint-Petersburg, travels on August 3, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

After 5 fantastic days in Moscow, we took the fast train to go to St Petersburg. Everybody in Paris prefers St Peter to Moscow but I enjoyed soooo much Moscow, I was even afraid to be disappointed by St Peter !

Be reassured, impossible to be disappointed ! more friendly for sure than Moscow at the first glance, more european. You can notice many great influences like Amsterdam with the canals, Vienne for the Baroque…lovely gardens and green spaces, perfect to wander around.

I’ll speak about their fabulous museums of course but they also have great places for dinner outside in summer, terrasse by the Neva on the “Flying dutchman” to admire the Hermitage.

Great service, very friendly and professional people (special thanks to Valeria, Alisa and the manager Karl Kutzelnig) and excellent cuisine at Kempinsky hotel and restaurant located on the top roof, so close to the Hermitage, the perfect place for a stay. We even met the french actress Carole Bouquet who was there to marry her son that week end !

In paris we have George on top of Pompidou center for Beautiful People , in St Peter they have the Terrassa. Fashionable, trendy and delicious place which is also a fine grocery.

Before  we left we had a lunch at famous cafe Singer, magnificent Art Nouveau style building, a book-store actually with a tea parlour and restaurant. fabulous strudel and pastries.

Cafe Singer

We stayed in a five stars hotel , very affordable,  infortunatly the service was not 5 stars level…but they had an incredible spa !! with a snow cabin, 8 differents styles of sauna/ steam rooms and a very cool pool ! we enjoyed it very much because we also has a heat wave in St Peter after the one Moscow.

Near Pouckine town, after a tour to the summer palace of the Great Catherine (very very russian baroque..mmmmm….well, everything is told ! 😉   don’t miss  the most fabulous place for us, sooo russian, I felt like beeing in a Kandinky painting from 1890’s, I can’t remember the name of that place but russians know it for sure : Poutine president celebrated his birthday in 2000.

The waiters have blue shirt with daisies, the waitresses are blond. The place is a huuuge isba, all wood inside (but air conditionning !), when we arrived around 2.30 pm there were two babouchka finishing their lunch, 2 popes in another room…we had a very delicious russian meal for  cheap and…caviar (for 50euros !!! great ! I like that so much !). You cannot imagine the feeling, it was like a dream, we were like Ansel and Gretel…the garden ouside was just marvellous, with animals, turkeys, chickens…

Contemporary art in Moscow

Posted in art gallery, contemporary art, Moscow, travels on August 2, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

a must : a visit to Le Garage !

first, a great place : a former garage built in late 20’s transformed recently into a private center for contemporary  art, with great temporary exhibitions, high international level ! and a very cool restaurant too inside.

The owner is Dasha Zhukova, the fiancé of famous billionnaire Abramovitch.

We could a see an exhibition of Rothko paintings, for the first time in Russia, very moving.

+ a very interesting  exhibition about performance art, showing many documents and videos.

But my favorite work was an amazing video (actually photos giving the illusion of video)/ installation by russian collective AEF+ S, called the Feast of Trimalchio, you’re immerged in the center of a room surrounded by 3 giant screens into an exotic paradise, a kind of Thaï Abu-Dhabi ! The roles between masters and servant are going to be reverted little by little…fashion models and perfect bodies played the parts.

please visit their web site :

Another very good place like a laboratory for russian artists : Winzavod, a former wine storage place converted into a center for cutting edge art with private art dealers, a center for temporary exhibitions, fashion and design shops, lectures and meetings are organized there too. And of course a delicious restaurant inside.

We were very well received by Sofia Trotsenko, the head of project and Julia, developper.

Museums in Moscow

Posted in art and culture, Moscow, museums, travels on August 1, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

I’ve already told about the Kremlin museum, really worth seeing with amazing treasures, including diamonds, precious ceremonial clothes, icones,  silver objetcs offered as diplomatic gifts to russian court…

I think my favorite museum is Pouchkine museum for Degas and his mesmerizing blue dancers , Matisses (the goldfishes-the big pink workshop…), Picassos, Gauguins, a beautiful japonizing Redon…many of these modern masterpieces are coming from Morozov and Chtoukine  private collections.

But don’t forget Tretiakov gallerry for Roublev’s icones, and its excellent 19th russian painters like Serov (their Manet) and the symbolist Vroubel (picture below, the Swan Princess). There is another Tretiakov gallery for 20th century in vintage communist times style building (we could say an architectural statement today, nevertheless pefect for modern art exhibition !), with abstract artist like my favorite : Malevitch and his famous black square.

We were lucky also to se a temporary exhibition in the Moscow  Museum  of Modern Art devoted to Alexandra Exter, cubo-futurist artist who worked ballet decors and costumes, as for theatre and even movie.