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Françoise Gilot: Muse and Artist

With the recent republication of her hit memoir Life With Picasso and a gallery show opening on August 3 in New Orleans, artist Françoise Gilot remains more current than ever in the seventh decade of her career. “A painter, his model, and an intelligent woman, she is a superb witness to Picasso as an artist and to his views on art.”...

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The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy

A collection of rings, brooches, coins, and manuscripts, now on display at the Met Cloisters in New York City, offers a rare glimpse at the life of the Jewish community of Colmar, Alsace, during the Middle Ages. In May of 1863, workers came upon a cache of coins, jewelry, and other valuables inside the wall of a house in the Alsatian city of...

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Les Levai: A Dynasty of Gallery Owners

French-American art dealer Pierre Levai is preparing to hand over the reins of the family empire, the Marlborough Gallery, to his son. The gallery is an international brand with spaces in New York, London, Madrid, and Barcelona and a roster of over 60 world-class artists. On West 25th Street in New York, a stone's throw from a monumental sculpture of...

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The Art of Daily Life in the France of Yesteryear

Daily life is at the center of this exhibition of 18th-century French painting opening on June 14 at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California. In the 18th century, France’s powerful Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture dictated a strict hierarchy of subject matter, with historical, mythological, and religious scenes at the top, followed by portraiture, landscape, genre, and still...

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Renoir: The Body, The Senses

This exhibition opening on June 8 at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, uses Renoir's fascination with the human — especially female — form as a common thread to examine the trajectory of the artist’s career and his complex legacy. As one of the founders of Impressionism, Pierre-Auguste Renoir remains most closely associated with that movement. Yet during his...

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Of Bombs and Beaches: Leon Kroll’s Mosaic Ceiling at Omaha Beach

A chapel stands amidst the graves in the U.S. military cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, the focal point of the Allied landings in France during World War II. Inside, the ceiling of its dome features an astonishing, colorful mosaic by American painter Leon Kroll. Standing among thousands of white marble crosses on a bluff above Omaha Beach in Normandy is a...

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Manet and Modern Beauty

This exhibition which opens at the Art Institute of Chicago on May 26 is the first to focus on the final years of Edouard Manet's career, when, suffering from ill health and no longer able to be the man-about-Paris, he underwent something of an artistic transformation. “In the revolutionary formation of modern painting, he was, by general agreement, first among...

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JR: The Chronicles of San Francisco

In his latest project, on display at SFMOMA through 2020, the French artist JR dedicates a 100-foot digital mural to the city of San Francisco and its many residents. JR, 36, has come a long way since his teenage years as a graffiti artist in Paris. After finding a lost camera in the Métro, he began taking pictures of other taggers and...

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Jeff Koons Woos Paris With a Bouquet of Tulips

A sculpture by Jeff Koons — an enormous bouquet of flashy-colored steel tulips — is set to be installed in the gardens of the Petit Palais in the 8th arrondissement of Paris this fall. The decision was made in the wake of controversy surrounding the sculpture, which is inspired by the Statue of Liberty and was designed by the artist...

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Christo Has Paris in (W)raptures

At the age of 83, Christo is about to make a life-long dream come true. As far back as 1962, the Bulgarian-American artist and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, already wanted to use a huge canvas to cover the Arc de Triomphe, a leading symbol of France. Entitled Projet pour Paris, Place de l’Etoile-Charles de Gaulle, this work will be on show from...

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Toulouse-Lautrec, Chronicler of the Belle Epoque

A major exhibition at the Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts will explore Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s depiction of the stars and entertainments of 19th-century Montmartre, the bohemian center of Parisian nightlife. The exhibition examines how Toulouse-Lautrec pushed his art in new directions to portray the celebrities of his time — cabaret stars Yvette Guilbert and Aristide Bruant, dancers Jane Avril and...

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Louise Bourgeois: L for Labyrinth, B for Beauty

French-American artist Louise Bourgeois is the woman behind more than 3,000 works of art including sketches, prints, jewelry, sculptures in wood, fabric, plaster, and rubber, as well as her monumental spiders. A coffee-table book designed in the style of a glossary has been published by Rizzoli to commemorate the career of the woman known as the “lioness of contemporary art.”...

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Monet, the Late Years

An exhibition opening on June 16 at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, focuses on the last years, and the last works, of French painter Claude Monet, an icon of Impressionism and a pioneer of abstractionism. Monet has been called “the great anti-depressant,” and it would be hard to dispute the uplifting qual- ity of those luminous scenes...

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Robert Doisneau, of Music and America

He “captured the Gallic spirit” like no other. As part of the release of the book Robert Doisneau, Music and an exhibition about the photographer at the Paris Philharmonic, France-Amérique takes a closer look at Robert Doisneau’s photo reports in the United States. Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville symbolizes the romanticism of Paris during the 1950s. This photo taken...

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Alexander Calder: The Mobilization of Art

American artist Alexander Calder is renowned for his aerial creations and spent a large part of his life in France. A coffee-table book published by Abrams and a retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts both look at the origins of the medium that Calder christened “mobile” on the advice of his friend Marcel Duchamp. Calder grew up between...

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Berthe Morisot and the Problem With Being One of the Boys

A new Berthe Morisot exhibition at the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia, and later at the Dallas Museum of Art, has a strong flavor of rediscovery — or even resurrection — of a once prominent artist. Nobody could call the Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot an outsider. She was said to be descended on her mother’s side from the Rococo master Honoré...

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Sennelier, a Merchant of Colors in Paris

A stone’s throw from the Louvre and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the Sennelier store has catered to the likes of Cézanne, Soutine, Picasso, Karl Lagerfeld, and Sempé. Since 1887, artists have come here to buy their colors that were once hand-milled to order in the workshop behind the store. Among its achievements, Sennelier has invented Helios Red, Cinnabar Green, and...

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Corot’s Women Revealed in Washington D.C.

French landscape painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was also a talented portrait artist and observer of the female form. This lesser-known part of his art is revealed in an exhibition opening on September 9 at the National Gallery of Art. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) is best known as a master of landscape painting in the 19th century, and a transitional figure between the French Neoclassical tradition...

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How France’s Obsession with Gardens Shaped the Country’s Artistic Movements

If you can’t make it to France this summer, take a tour of the French gardens in the Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence exhibition featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art through July 29. More than 150 works by painters like Matisse, Rousseau, Monet, and Cassatt outline the beginning of French gardening prestige at the turn of the...

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What Jean Renoir’s Films Owe to his Father

An exhibition at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia explores the influence of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the painter, on his son Jean Renoir, the filmmaker. When American filmmaker Martin Scorsese was nine he was taken to see Jean Renoir’s film The River. About the same time — as he later recalled — he came across a postcard of Pierre-August Renoir’s painting of...

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Cézanne’s Portraits Get a Show of their Own

Paul Cézanne is not usually thought of as a portrait painter, but while portraiture was a limited by-product of his total output, it was still an integral aspect of his work. Cézanne's portraits will be the subject of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art through July 1. The son of a banker who gave him an allowance, Cézanne never...[Subscriber]