At the End of Winter

cafe vigouroux - chatalet
If people aren't in museums, then they must be in cafés.

In the Middle of the 'Spring' Exhibition Season

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 20. April 1998:- Need I mention the unspeakable weather? I guess I'd better. It is unspeakable.

Last night's TV-weather news was upbeat for the coming week, but nobody believes the forecasts anymore. This doesn't mean they might not be true; it only means that there is no faith in them. It is very unusual in Paris for it to rain so much for so long.

As I write this, rain is falling on myfreak bros shop window ledge, sounding a bit more solid than unpopped popcorn. Frankly, it sounds like wet pea-gravel.

The mountain stations got a big boost with a lot of fresh snow for the Easter holidays - something hardly anybody was expecting. By last night, all the ski resorts had definitely called it a season, whether they had snow or not - and many of them still have lots.

Where I was during the rain last week - visiting cartoonists.

Cinemas and museums are doing well, while outside parks are having a dismal time. As well as actual rain, it is not warm either.

For this reason - I don't want to go and on about it - I've put in a few more inside attractions this week. There should be something for everybody here, but remember - if you think you are going to be standing in line to get in to see something, be sure to dress for it.

12th Saga / FIAC

saga-fiac - bnfThis annual short exhibition is a showcase for the latest creations rendered as lithos, photographs and artist's books, and these are shown by more than a hundred art publishers, galleries, and artist's ateliers. The Bibliothèque Nationale has contributed to this show, with a selected display from its collections of lithos, around the theme of 'the hand.'

At the Espace Branly, 29-55. quai Branly, Paris 7.
From Thursday, 23. April to Monday, 27. April. Daily from 12:00 to 20:00; Saturday and Sunday from 10:00, and on Friday, until 23:00.

Foire de Paris

The Paris Home Show is replaying itself for the 87th time for its customary spring extravaganza of too much everything. Besidesfoire de paris the usual attraction of the annual inventor's show - the Concours Lépine - there will be an 'Espace Football' in the Hall Four, which will feature of quarter-size, or eighth-size, football field.

Paris-Expo, Porte de Versailles
From Wednesday, 29. April to Sunday, 10. May. Daily from 10:00 to 19:00. Thursday, 30. April, Tuesday, 5. May and Thursday, 7. May, open until 22:00. Usual entry charge is 50 francs, but look around a bit for reduced entry offers.

Man Ray - La Photographie à l'Envers

May Ray was an American who came to Paris and fell in with a wild crowd and ended up making a lot of wild photographs, and a good number of excellent photographs for other purposes, while have a good time and becoming very famous.

Fights broke out between Dadaists and Surrealists, two groups of strange people who each claimed May Ray was one of their own. The Centre Georges Pompidou, known locally as Beaubourg, is being renovated, but is putting on shows externally, and this is one of them. Some 500 works will be on display.

In the Galeries Nationales of the Grand Palais
From Wednesday, 29. April until Monday, 29. June.
Reservations can be made to see this exhibition, but not at the Grand Palais, and elsewhere not on the eve of your visit nor on the day of your visit. Without reservations, visits can be made any day, except Tuesdays of course; after 13:00, and the show is open until 20:00, except Wednesdays, when it is open to 22:00. The entry charge is 45 francs, and reduced, 31 francs.

L'Art au Temps des Rois Maudits

The title of this exhibition put me off and I thought it was over, but it only started a month ago; and since it goes on until Monday, 29. June, you may as well know about it because it is crammed into the Grand Palais with everything else this season.

There are good reasons why you may not have heard of Philippe le Bel and his offspring; that they lived around 1285 to 1328 is not one of them. While they were being 'maudits,' the usual gang of artists were at work and this is what is on show here - some really old stuff.

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
Square Jean Perrin, métro Georges Clemenceau.

Reservations: same rules seem to apply as for the Man Ray show, as if they have something in common. The entry tarifs are also different: full rate for Phil le Bel is 58 francs by reservation, but only 50 francs if you come as you are. May Ray is also six francs more expensive by reservation; for which you will also get a black mark beside your name if you don't show up within 30 minutes of the time indicated.

Past advice for popular shows at the Grand Palais remains the same: try to time your visit for around 17:00 when most people are elsewhere. The same advice applies to the Delacroix exhibition - mentioned below - at the Grand Palais as well.

Francesco Salviati

Or the Bella Maniera. Along the same lines as Rosso, Bronzion or Primatice, Florentine painter Francesco Salviati was influenced by Raphaël and Michelangelo and he was a big star in the 16th century. Like the other Italians, he was an all-rounder and 60 of his paintings and 82 of his drawings are on show, from the Louvre's collection.

Musée du Louvre - Hall Napoléon
From Thursday, 30. April to Monday, 29. June. Entry is coupled with museum entry and costs 60 francs; or 40 francs after 15:00 and on Sundays. Closed Tuesdays as usual.

The 'Delacroix' Season

Delacroix, les Dernières Années

For the 200th anniversary of the birth of Delacroix, this exhibition at the Grand Palais brings together 88 paintings and 33 drawings and watercolors, representing the last 13 years of the artist's career. In addition to following themes set in his youth, Delacroix experimented with color and applying it with expression; resulting in more than a hint of Expressionism to come.

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
From Friday, 10. April to Monday, 20. July. Open daily, except Tuesdays. Without reservations, from 13:00 to 20:00. Entry: 45 francs.
Entry: Square Jean Perrin. Métro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau.
Make reservations at the Paris Tourist Office, major fnac outlets and France Billet: Resa. Tel.: 01 40 13 49 13. No reservations accepted at the Grand Palais; reservations must be made two days before planned visit. Catalogue, 400 pages, about 290 francs.

Delacroix, le Trait Romantique

An exhibition of about 250 drawings, watercolors and engravings, by Delacroix - showing him to be a master of color and line. The exhibition has two parts; the essentials of his engravings, including the series of lithos for Hamlet and Faust, and the other shows off the artist's different techniques.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France - Richelieu
Galeries Mansart et Mazarine
From Tuesday, 7. April to Sunday, 12. July. Open daily except Mondays, from 9:30 to 18:30. Entry, 35 francs; catalogue, 160 pages, about 145 francs. 58. rue de Richelieu, Paris 1. Métro: Quatre-Septembre or Bourse. Info. Tel.: 01 47 03 81 10.

Delacroix et Villot

This exhibition accents the copies of Delacroix done by Frédéric Villot, painter, engraver, art historian and friend of the artist. The original and the copies of Sardanapale are shown side by side, for the first time. Other engravings, designs, letters and manuscripts by Villot are also on view.

Musée Eugène Delacroix
From Thursday, 9. April to Friday, 31. July. Open daily, except Mondays, from 9:30 to 17:00. Entry, 30 francs - allows access to permanent collection as well. 6. rue de Furstenberg, Paris 6. Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Près. Info. Tel.: 01 44 41 86 50.

From now until summer, but also running into early next year, there will be eight other Delacroix exhibitions; two in Paris, and one in Chantilly, Rouen, Tours, Bayonne, Versailles and Saint-Maurice in the Val-de-Marne.

Printemps Vietnamien

The following exhibitions fall within the over-all framework of the 'Printemps Vietnamien,' to be held mainly at Les Halles, and lasting until 20. June.

'Lumières - Laques, Lavis, et Aquarelles du maître laqueur Nguyen Van Minh.' His show can be seen at the Mairie of the 2nd Arrondissement, 8. rue de la Banque, Paris 2. From Friday, 20. March until Thursday, 30. April. Info. Tel.: 01 42 61 55 02.

Paris-Hanoï-Saigon, l'Aventure de l'Art Moderne au Vietnam Pavillon des Arts from Saturday, 21. March until Sunday, 17. May. At 101. rue Rambuteau, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 42 33 82 50.

La Photographie Vietnamienne
Espace Photographique des Halles, from Friday, 20. March until Wednesday, 20. May. At the Forum des Halles, Place Carrée, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 40 26 87 12.

Tour Eiffel Online

This new Web site has far more information about Paris' most famous landmark than you would have thought you wanted to know, but you might be in the middle of a hot round of 'Trivial Pursuit' and need some arcane fact fast - this is where to find it. In case you are not currently in gaming-mode, the Tour Eiffel site also has 20 questions for you.

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This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 2.16 - 21. April 1997 News Flash: 'President Chirac Announces Early Vote.' The issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Readers As Contributors ' andcount down Eiffel Tower 'Au Bistro' had - 'After Changing Jails Bernard Tapie Goes to Work.' The articles in the issue were 'Paris is Not Chicken Crazy, but They're Available,' and 'In the Art Part of the Latin Quarter.' Craig Tredeau wrote to ask about stray skeletons and Mike Harmon shared 'Bubbly Terrace Memories' with us. There were two 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was something about 'After Chickens, Next the Zoo.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 621 days left to go.

Regards, Ric
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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