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It took over 20 years to materialize, but the Centre George Pompidou in Paris will finally get a permanent gallery dedicated to photography. The new space will be inaugurated next October, the Centre’s president Alain Seban told the Journal des Arts.

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:26

French Masterpieces Go on View in China

Ten masterpieces of French painting are currently on view at China’s National Museum in Beijing. The exhibition, which was organized by the National Museum and the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais in Paris, is part of an ongoing series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and China.

The paintings are on loan from France’s most celebrated institutions -- the Musée du Louvre, the Château de Versailles, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Picasso, and the Centre Pompidou, musée national d’Art moderne. The show marks the first time that these renowned institutions have collaborated on an exhibition. Works on view include Jean-Honore Fragonard’s “The Bolt;” Georges de La Tour’s “Saint Joseph Carpenter;” Pablo Picasso’s “Reading the Letter” and “The Matador;” Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Dance at Le moulin de la Galette” and “The Swing;” Jean Clouet’s “Francois I of France;” Hyacinthe Rigaud’s “King Louis XIV of France at age of 63;” and Fernand Leger’s “Three Figures.”    

“Ten Masterpieces of French Painting” will remain on view at the National Museum through June 16.

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On June 27, 2014, the Whitney Museum of American Art will launch the most comprehensive retrospective ever devoted to the work of contemporary artist, Jeff Koons. The exhibition will span over three decades and will include 120 works across a variety of mediums. The exhibition will be the final show held in the Whitney’s uptown location before the museum opens its new, highly-anticipated facility in downtown Manhattan in spring 2015. After it concludes on October 19, 2014 ‘Jeff Koons: A Retrospective’ will travel to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and then to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.

Koons, one of the most popular living artists, draws inspiration from popular culture and everyday objects, transforming the banal into something monumental, often through dramatic shifts in scale. Koons works with anywhere from 90 to 120 assistants to bring his works to fruition. His work often raises questions about taste, the role of the artist, and the meaning of art in modern culture.

Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, said, “Jeff Koons is one of the most significant artists of our era, and this retrospective will allow us for the first time to take the full measure of his art. Never before have so many of his works been on view together, nor has the Whitney ever devoted so much space to a single artist. We felt it was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the closing of our uptown building with an exhibition of great scholarly rigor that also promises to be a major international cultural event.”

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The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation has announced that it will donate its remarkable Harry Shunk and Shunk-Kender Photography Collection to five major institutions -- the Getty Research Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Centre Pompidou, and the Tate. The collection includes approximately 200,000 black-and-white prints, color prints, negatives, contact sheets, color transparencies, and slides.

The Foundation’s donation is unique in that it will establish a consortium among the institutions that will both receive and share the materials. The collection of photographic material was shot by the late Harry Shunk and Janos Kender, and dates from approximately 1958 to 1973. Many of the images capture notable artists such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert Rauschenberg, Joan Miro, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Man Ray, Barnett Newman, and Alexander Calder.

The photographs were acquired by the Foundation between 2008 and 2012, several years after Shunk’s death. The Foundation went on to preserve, catalogue and digitize the works, eventually creating a free online archive.

Published in News
Friday, 28 December 2012 13:22

French Museums Report Record Attendance in 2012

The Louvre, Centre Pompidou, and Musee d’Orsay all reported record attendance numbers for 2012. Recent expansions, newly unveiled renovations, and impressive exhibitions are responsible for beckoning troves of visitors from across the world to the Parisian institutions.

The Louvre, which is the most-visited museum in the world, summons bigger crowds each year. 2012 marked the largest attendance figures ever recorded for the institution with nearly 10 million visitors this year. Expanded Islamic art galleries and a spate of well-received temporary exhibitions were of particular interest to visitors. In fact, they helped boost attendance 29-percent from 2011. Exhibition highlights at the Louvre in 2012 included a show devoted to Thomas Cole (1801-1848) and the birth of American Landscape painting, the presentation of Leonardo da Vinci’s (1452-1519) masterwork, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and an exhibition of Raphael’s (1483-1520) later works, which he produced in Rome.

The Centre Pompidou, which specialized in modern and contemporary art, welcomed over 3.8 million visitors in 2012, a 6-percent increase from 2011. The Centre Pompidou held three major retrospectives this year, which helped raise visitor numbers. An exhibition devoted to Henri Matisse (1869-1954) titled Matisse, Paires et séries brought 495,000 visitors; a Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) retrospective brought 425,000; and a show of Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí’s (1904-1989) works has seen approximately 6,700 visitors per day since it opened on November 21.

After attendance figures declined from 2008 to 2010, it appears that the Impressionist institution, the Musée d’Orsay, has bounced back with 3.6 million visitors this year. A 15-percent increase from last year, the boosted attendance numbers were likely the result of the reopening of renovated gallery spaces and a major Edgar Degas (1834-1917) exhibition, which brought 480,000 visitors. The current exhibition, Impressionism and Fashion, is expected to see 500,000 guests before closing on January 21, 2013.

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A vintage print of a photograph by Edvard Munch (1863-1944), which is now in the collection of the Munch Museum in Oslo, might be headed to the Centre Pompidou in Paris. One of an edition of five, the photograph shows Munch in his garden around 1930. The work was part of the collection that Munch bequeathed to the city of Oslo.

Last month, the city’s government asked Oslo’s parliament to approve the deaccession of the photograph so that it could be sold to a major international institution and made more accessible to the public. In response to the proposal, a member of Parliament pointed out that the deaccession is in contrast to Munch’s will that states that his works should be kept together. While a long-term loan is a possibility, city officials are asking Parliament to vote on the Munch sale.

The Centre Pompidou has offered nearly $50,000 for the print. The Oslo government expects a decision to be made in 2013.

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The Centre Pompidou in Paris sent a number of French masterpieces to Shanghai’s Power Station of Art for the exhibition Electric Fields: Surrealism and Beyond – La Collection du Centre Pompidou, which opened on December 16. The show marks the first collaboration between the Pompidou, a leading museum of modern and contemporary art, and a Chinese institution.

The exhibition, which is part of the Shanghai Biennale, features approximately 100 works from the Pompidou’s collection including works by Rene Magritte (1898-1967), Andreas Gursky (b. 1955), Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), and Ed Ruscha (b. 1937). The show is divided into six categories that explore various Surrealist themes and includes paintings, sculpture, video and manuscripts.

The show’s title is a combination of two influences – the name of the venue, a former electric power station, and Andre Breton (1896-1966) and Philippe Soupault’s (1897-1990) seminal piece of Surrealist literature, The Magnetic Fields (1919). The exhibition runs through March 15, 2013 in Shanghai.

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