From OCTOBER to DECEMBER 2016 – FRIEZE (LONDON) - FIAC (PARIS) & POMPIDOU CENTER (PARIS)
OCTOBER is the time for the Fiac fair in Paris’ Grand Palais (from 20th to 23rd ) and, in London, for the inescapable Frieze Art Fair (from 6th to 9th).
In NOVEMBER, the fateful 13th imposes its mark : exactly one year after the terrorist attacks, Sting sings in the Bataclan for its reopening. The British singer honors the victims of terrorists with Ibrahim Maalouf (trumpet), Vinnie Colauita (drums) and Dominic Muller (guitar). Sting, in perfect french, evokes : “two tasks to conciliate. First, to remember, to honor those who lost their life in the attack of one year ago. Then, to celebrate the life and the music that this historical concert hall stands for.” One verse from his songs urges to emancipate from violence : “Nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could”. Nothing to add.
In november, I went to see “I, Daniel Blake”. The two awards (including Cannes’ Palme d’Or) and the seven nominations that this film got are fully justified. I do not think, as some journalists did write, that this movie is based on a Manichean sentimentalism. Might a film director’s humanism be summed up by an emotional blackmail ? So many contemporary works do suggest a “narcynical” (from philosopher Dany-Robert Dufour), a combination of narcissism and cynical. In other words, an art only for the art, driven by a self-absorbed and destructive provocation. On the contrary, Ken Loach obstinately keeps on defending today’s forlorn. Should not art, in all its manifestations, be an art for all… including the other, forgotten by the system ?
In DECEMBER, I chose to speak of the huge american artist, Cy Twombly, displayed from 2016 november 30th to 2017 april 24th at the Georges Pompidou Center. How not to remember of the same artist’s magnificent exhibit in 1988, at Paris’ National Modern Art Museum. The curator, Bernard Blistène, spoke about Cy Twombly’art of an “experimentation of uncertainty” : “What is left to say about an oeuvre that never ends defying language and prefers a shivering calligraphy to writing, anything that scribbles rather than “best handwriting” ?“ Historically, art is mostly studied either through its expressive independence or through its level of virtuosity but less often through the moment when the artist renounces liberty or skill. And Cy Twombly’s painting stands right at this point where control stops and lets the fear of institutions go. I also do look sometimes for this freedom in my creation ; but which piece would I date to confront with one of Cy Twombly ? One where the drawing line gains the free power of calligraphy in a subtle intercourse between substance and form : Cinq secondes d'heureux souvenir du pinceau – Five seconds of the brush’s happy memory (2002) that lets its background (movie still) appear under freely painted signs.
Also in december, from 1st to 4th, the Art Basel Miami Beach ; and, of course, the famous Turner Prize on december 6th with nominees Michael Dean, Helen Marten, Anthea Hamilton and Josephine Pryde.
Bernard Gast – Cinq secondes d'heureux souvenir du pinceau / Five seconds of the brush’s happy memory (2002), Peinture-sans-Peinture (1, 30 x 1, 30 m) ©Adagp
Cy Twombly – Roman Notes (1970), in The complete set of six offset lithographs (86,8 x 70 cm), Printed by Electa Ed. (Venice), published by Neuendorf Verlag (Hamburg). Edition 100. Image courtesy Craig F. Starr, Gallery New York © The estate of Cy Twombly