The Pompidou center offered a very different perspective on the female figure. I also found that women were one of the most common themes in the art here. There’s something to be said about the fascination of artists with the female body, trying to represent it, change it and mold it into something new, but still expressing the natural beauty of the women in their lives. After the advent of photography, the art world changed completely. Artists were seeking a new meaning to creation, a new inspiration, and women played an important part in that search for a new art.
(Naked woman sitting, Georges Braque 1907, Fauvist movement with outrageous colors.)
Picasso’s vision of the world has always fascinated me. I simply marvel at the variety of his works, and so there are quite a few of his works here. The cubist movement was scorned and mocked, but I find it to be a show of technical prowess. It’s a much more challenging piece to admire and decipher, but definitely worth the effort.
Woman’s bust, 1907
Woman sitting in a chair, 1910
Girl with a hoop, 1919
Naked woman with Turkish hat, 1955
Women by the ocean, 1956
I liked this series of sculptures, marble and stone women, standing with tilted heads. The one on the top in embracing a lover. The perspective is a bit odd, it almost seems like the breasts are in the wrong spot, I was a little puzzled at first, but it was in the cubist exhibit, so perhaps it is just a different point of view than what we are used to. The figure on the bottom gives of a gentle softness with a smile.
Andre Derain, 1907-08 collection of nudes
Otto Dix’s works are always a little perturbed. But this one was especially so. The main characters are reflected multiple times throughout the pieces as if they are surrounded by mirrors, each reflection focusing on a different part of the strange couple. The strangest part of the piece is how the artists identifies the female here as a nun, making this representation of vice and hubris all the more shocking. (Soldier and Nun, Otto Dix 1916)
We continue with the theme of allegories in the second empire. This large bronze piece was carefully constructed. Each element having a specific significance and symbolism. It’s a nationalist piece, the center female figure representing France herself. (France is always personified as a woman) She is surrounded by artistic muses and symbols for the Roman empire and supremacy.
Here are two another bronze allegories, personifying poetry and the art of creation. They are placed in front of Paris’ “Hotel de Ville”, the main city hall of the city, a stunning piece of architecture, covered in sculptures of great men of France, authors, politicians and of course, some of the more important mayors and city officials. She is one of three only female presence on the building (the other is France herself above the clock.)
The portraits of the second empire, show the fashions of the time, something I love to see. Following the different trends in clothes and fashion through art would be another great topic to study more in depth.
But they also reflect a sort of genteel feel, calm, soft images and a feeling of delicate elegance that I found charming.
Finally the last stretch.
After Weeks of planning and a considerable amount of stress and mishaps. I’m thrilled to announce my up-coming trip to Paris, France.
Indeed my favorite place in the world. I have been there before and it is truly a place filled with beauty and history. Not to mention pastries to die for.
My plans include extensive museum attending and castle exploring. But still leaving enough flexibility to turn off my path and explore to my heart’s content. I’m trying to do some new things that I haven’t done before, so not the same old things, Eiffel Tower, Bateau Mouche, Versailles… nope! hope to explore a whole new side of Paris.
(Museums reviews to come…)