Sunday, October 6, 2013

You say Pompidou. I say Pompidon't.

Maybe it was because it was the end of a long day of sight seeing.  Maybe it was the lackadaisical nature of the gallery attendants.  Or maybe it was because there just wasn't much excitement in the building. (The Pompidou was the only museum or tourist attraction I went to in Paris at which there was absolutely no line.) But my visit to the Pompidou in Paris left me feeling flat. We left championing the phrase, "You say Pompidou, I say Pompidon't."

But as I looked back at photos from the visit, I realized there were some interesting things to look at other than bored gallery attendants.  I may have been a little harsh on my assessment of the museum's permanent collection.  So here are a few things I liked.

In one sizable gallery, the walls were painted in bright colors and adorned with precise, life-sized line drawings of everyday objects by Michael Craig-Martin. I like the way these objects are simultaneously simplified and elevated to the level of art.

Michael Craig-Martin, Papillion Gallery Project
(Wall Drawings), 1993 - 2012

Michael Craig-Martin, Papillion Gallery Project
(Wall Drawings), 1993 - 2012

Michael Craig-Martin, Papillion Gallery Project
(Wall Drawings), 1993 - 2012

Bones seem to be a popular theme for my visit to Paris, especially considering my visit to the Catacombs. So it's no wonder that I loved Jean Pierre Raynaud's large drawing of a skull presented brilliantly within a large, gridded container.

Two works by Jean Pierre Raynaud, Container Zero,
(1988) and LINE (1993 - 2012)
I have nothing smart or insightful to say about Gerard Fromanger's painting other than that its colorful view of humanity was delightful and appealing.
Gerard Fromanger, En Chine, a Hu-Xian, 1974

Gerhard Richter's colorful (or lack there of) paintings will factor into a number of my museum visits. This painting, with its repetitive shapes and endless variation, speaks to something in my brain that shares a fascination with the same ideas.
Gerhard Richter, 1024 Colors [350-3], 1973
Speaking of bones, Adel Abdessemed's glass skeleton was mesmerizing.  It spoke about death but somehow made it less scary and more zen like.

Adel Abdessemed, Habibti, 2006
Murano glass, hair, wire, and metallic fasteners

Kadir Attia's Ghost is a wonderfully spooky work of hollow human figures created from compressed aluminum foil.

Kadar Attia, Ghost, 2007,
compressed aluminum foil

Finally, there was a strange cave-like structure at the Pompidou that featured Jean Dubuffet's Le Jardin d'hiver.  I love any artwork that let's you walk into it and take silly photographs.

Jean Dubuffet, Le Jardin d'hiver, 1968 - 1970
Jean Dubuffet, Le Jardin d'hiver, 1968 - 1970

Jean Dubuffet, Le Jardin d'hiver, 1968 - 1970

1 comment:

  1. I'd be interested to see those Michael Craig-Martin pieces in real life, since I think scale would make a huge difference in how I'd respond to them.