Scene - Rare Chinese Ceramics

photo: musee du montparnasse

The Musée du Montparnasse looks
just about as it did in 1915.

Russians: Saint Pétersbourg / Vavin

Paris:- Saturday, 5. March 1999:- The first lot of 'Russians' are being exhibited at the new Musée du Montparnasse in a show entitled 'Saint- Pétersbourg/Vavin, les Russes à Montparnasse.' From Vasilieff, Chagall, Soutine, Orloff, Zadkine and all the others, here are 40 of their works.

The Russians - who were not all Russians - arrived in waves from the turbulent east. They came at the turn of the century, before the War and the Revolution, and after them. Many came from Saint Petersbourg and stayed first at the atelier-village of La Ruche, to form the first 'Ecole de Paris.'

Then they followed the internal immigration of the Montmartre artists to Montparnasse; taking over the Rue Champagne-Première and when finance allowed, danced at the Bal Bullier.

Ambiance: 23. February 1923; the Bal Transmental, organized by the Russians in honor of Illiazd and Terentiev, initiators of the 'Zaoum' poetry. Thisbrochure: russians at vavin 'Bal' is remembered for the quality of the public, which rivaled the costumes.

Remembered also for Kiki's entrance. At each step down the grand staircase, she discarded a piece of her costume. At the floor she was wearing only a diadem of Ostrich feathers. A year later on 14. March 1924, the Bal Banal was no less a success.

A parallel exhibition at the same time and in the same place, features the little-known Slovenian artist and photographer, Veno Pilon. After a rough and tumble war, he began at the Beaux-Arts in Florence and washed up in Paris in 1926. From the remains of the eastern empires, he settled into the Montparno melting pot with ease - and recorded it in line, portraits and photographic halftones - the terraces and the artists.

There's a story to go with this, yet to be written. Doing Foujita or Pascin kept Montparnasse under book-length - with the mob from the east, there are dozens of new stories.

Musée du Montparnasse, 21. Avenue du Maine, Paris 15. Métro: Montparnasse. The Russian show continues until 1. August. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 13:00 to 19:00. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 22 91 96.

Today's Russians in Issy - this is how the announcement begins about our second lot of Russians - which is about the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Alexandr Pushkin's birth, which Issy intends to do in a big way from next Saturday, 13. March until Sunday, 11. April.

Issy-les-Moulineaux gets this honor because of the many Russians who settled in the area after the Revolution. The show will be a double one: rare books illustrated by Russian artists and a hundred portraits by 36 painters. Just as the French spellings of the names need translation, I also need to clear up what will be where - between Issy's Médiathèque and the Musée Française de la Carte à Jouer.

Le Premier Techno-Mariage On-Line de l'Histoire Numerique.' (Hit 'Technomariage') Whether it is a 'first' or not, I don't know.

Mr. André Santini is the mayor of Issy - as well as deputy in the national assembly - and he will officiate at the online marriage ceremony of Fred Forest and Sophie Lavaud, on Thursday, 18. March, starting at 16:30 at the Hôtel de Ville in Issy. You are invited to assist with the ceremony too.

All of the above, except for the Russians in Montparnasse, has something to do with France's coming 'Fête de l'Internet.' This year, with current online events the way they are, there may be more sparks. For beginners, there are two 'official' organizers are they are not talking to each other. For their different viewpoints, see the AFI site and the AFUU site. And no, I have no idea what the initials stand for or against.

Les Rues de Paris au XVIIIe Siècle - 'As seen by Louis Sébastien Mercier.' A few years before the Revolution, the writer Louis Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814) ploughed the streets of Paris, threaded his way through the crowds, looked in shop windows, observed the work of artisans, heard the cries of street vendors - 'for 30 years.'

Not content with this, he set it all down in his 'Tableau de Paris,' written between 1781 and 1789. In 12 volumes with 1,050 chapters. He knows whether Parisians were eating cakes, bread or nothing. He went on the write a science-fiction novel, set in the year 2,440.

Paris' history museum, the Musée Carnavalet, is going to be showing a selection of Mercier's works - reduced to 8,000 pages - along with a whole assembly of paintings, household objects and even pots and bones dug up by the Vieux Paris commission.

Daily life in Paris has not been the centre of historian's attention in the past. This show should do much to upset this imbalance - and should do much to show us Paris as it was, in the streets of the 18th century.

Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris - from Thursday, 18. March until Sunday, 20. June. 23. Rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:40. Entry: 35 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

L'Age d'Or de la Céramique Chinoise - is a big show that has recently started. This is a public exhibition of the private collection known as the Meiyintang Collection, and it features 99 selectedinvitation: ceramique chinoise pieces from the beginning of the Sui dynasty in 581 to the period of the Yuan dynasty, or about 1368.

This show is a concentrated version of a wider show of the collection, mounted in London in 1994. It also follows the Cernuschi museum's recent exhibitions of Chinese art objects in 1997 and 1998. The show's catalogue has been written by the well-known authority, Regina Krahl.

Musée Cernuschi, 7. Avenue Vélasquez, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers. Open from 10:00 to 17:40 daily except Mondays. Info. Tel.: 01 45 63 50 75.

Autour de l'Ordonnence de Villers-Cotterêts - In August of 1539, the Chancellor of François 1st composed a general order concerning justice and the police. For good measure, two articles of this order - the 110th and 111th - also laid down the rules for the writing and editing of administrative, judicial and notarial laws or decrees.

Basically the two articles ordered the usage of the French language, which was not in universal use throughout thebrochure: ordonnance de villers cotterets country at the time. Basically, the new orders said Latin was no longer considered to be one of France's official languages.

One of the first orders of business, was to define country - 'pays' - as a place where everybody spoke the same language most of the time. Thus, 'pays' in a familiar sense meant, 'C'est mon pays: il est du même village, du même canton que moi...' A long time later, Albert Camus wrote, "Oui, j'ai une patrie, la langue française."

The original of this document is on show at the Archives Nationales, Musée de l'Histoire de France, Hôtel de Soubise, 60. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Closed Tuesdays; open Monday to Friday, from 12:00 to 17:45; and weekends from 13:45 to 17:45. Entry: 20 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 40 27 62 18.

Short Takes: - See the Federico Garcia Lorca play 'La Casa de Bernarda Alba' at the Théâtre de l'Est Parisien, 159. Avenueposter: lorca, la casa de bernarda alba Gambetta, Paris 20. Métro: Saint-Fargeau. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 20:30; Wednesday and Thursday at 19:00; and on Sundays at 15:00. Until 21. March. Info. Tel.: 01 43 64 80 80.

'Les Acteurs à l'Ecran' is a modest festival celebrating film actors by showing them in about 100 films. Some of the actors will be present after the screening and two prizes will be awarded. From 19. to 28. March, at the Ciné 104 at Pantin and the G. Méliès in Montreuil. For the program, write to Les Acteurs à l'Ecran, 61. Boulevard Jules Guesde, 93200 Saint-Denis. Info. Tel.: 01 48 20 99 20.

The '10th Biennale de Danse' goes on in 20 towns with 50 performances, in the Val-de-Marne. Starting on Wednesday, 10. March, it runs until Friday, 16. April. For the complete program, dates and locations, Info. Tel.: 01 46 86 70 70, or hit the Web site.

'Journée de Noces Chez les Cromagnons' by Wajdi Mouawad and directed by Jacques David, is playing until the end of the month at L'Etoile du Nord theatre, 16. Rue Georgette Agutte, Paris 18. Métro: Guy Môquet. Info. Tel.: 01 42 26 47 47. This production is part of the Printemps du Québec en France 1999.

Laves Emaillées - Prolongation - made for the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul church in the 19th century by Jules Jollivet, and stashed for decades in obscurity because they were judged 'immodest,' these works have be restored and can be seen in an exhibition that has been prolonged until Sunday, 2. May. On view in the atelier of Ary Scheffer, at the Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16. Rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Pigalle. Except Mondays, open daily from 10:00 to 17:40. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

Que la Lumière Soit! - is how the Samaritaine department store describes a display that will begin on Thursday - of lamps by contemporary designers. These lamps are of two types: 'Earth and Nature' and 'Contempory Design' and they will be on view in Magazin 2 on the third floor for two weeks. Samaritaine is, of course, at the north end of the Pont Neuf.

Rue Louise Weiss: - Normally this would be about the modern art galleries grouped in the rue Louise Weiss. However, this exhibition is not in Paris; not in the 13th nor in any other arrondissement.

The galleries from Louis Weiss are on exhibition in the Abbaye Saint-André, in Meymac, which is near no place in particular, in Corrèze. If you take the N 89/E 70 between Clermont-Ferrand and Brive-la-Gaillard and start asking around in Ussel - Meymac is about eight kilometres off the main road, to the northwest.

If you get lost, call Caroline Bissière or Jean-Paul Blanchet at 05 55 95 23 30. This exhibition is open daily except on Tuesdays, from 14:00 to 18:00. Tell them you heard about it in Metropole and they'll think you are from the moon.

The Centre Culturel Suisse: - is a small but busy establishment in the Marais, which promotes Swiss culture. It also has temporary exhibitions and the next one will be of Michel Huelin's 'paintings and vidéo.' This starts on Saturday, 6. March and runs until 6. June. In parallel, there is also an exhibition at the Galerie Zürcher, which runs until 8. April.

Centre Culturel Suisse, 38. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul. Open Wednesday to Sunday, from 14:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 42 71 38 38. Galerie Zürcher, 56. Rue Chapon, Paris 3. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 11:00 to 19:00.

La Second Surprise de l'Amour - is by Marivaux and is directed by Daniel Mesguich. This is running at the Grande Salle of the Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet, located in the Square de l'Opéra Louis-Jouvet, 7. Rue Boudreau, Paris 9. On Tuesdays at 19:00, Wednesdays to Saturdays at 20:00, and at 16:00 on Sundays. Until Saturday, 20. March. Info and Resa Tel.: 01 53 05 19 19, plus at fnac, Virgin and Crous.

Rimbaud, Dernière Escale... - a play based on the correspondence of the Rimbaud family, written by Michel Rachline with Laurent Malet. Nada Strancar directed and the principle actors are Laurent Malet, Madeleine Marion and Ophélie Orecchia. At the Théâtre Molière Maison de la Poésie, in the Passage Molière, 157. Rue Saint-Martin, Paris 3. Performances continue until Sunday, 21. March; Wednesdays to Saturdays at 21:00 and at 17:00 on Sundays. Info and Resa Tel.: 01 44 54 53 00, plus at fnac.

'Vivre Paris' - is an exhibition featuring 30 artists from Latin America who live and work in Paris. From the description, 'grand masters' are placed beside upcoming 'young Turks' and varying styles are placed edge to edge.

On Wednesday I paid a quick visit and found the Espace Electra to be an attractive gallery, and a glimpse around a corner wall revealed some visitors inside a sort of pink shower; so I think you may find some amusing as well as interesting works here.

'Vivre Paris' can be seen at the Fondation Electricité de France's Espace Electra, 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone. Until Sunday, 18. April. Info. Tel.: 01 53 63 23 45.

Pièce Pour un Rhinocéros et Autres Morceaux Choisis is a minimalist spin-off from the 'Festival Musiques en Scène,' which is actually on show at the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Lyon.

Ian Carr-Harris' rhinoceros can be seen until Wednesday, 24. March, at the Centre Culturel Canadien, 5. Rue de Constantine, Paris 7. Métro: Invalides. Open from Monday to Friday, from 10:00 to 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 44 43 21 90.

Banlieues Bleues '99 - If you like the Blues and you don't mind the 'Burbs, then you'll want to take in all or some of the 16th edition of Banlieues Bleues which takes off in various locations in Seine-Saint-Denis starting Tuesday, 9. March. This festival features 57 groups and lasts for six weeks, until Friday, 16. April. This is a lota Blues and a lota Banlieues!

Besides individual entries, there are combo tickets available. For reservations or more information, Info. Tel.: 01 49 22 10 10, or Fax.: 33 1 49 22 10 11.

'18 Heures - 18 Francs' - is how the poster, which looks like it's a rerun from last year, puts it. Paris film houses, in cooperation with the city, will be offering 18 hours' worth of movies for only 18 francs. All yours, from Wednesday,10. March to Thursday, 18. March. At a cinema near you, if you happen to be in Paris.

David Hockney's 'Espace / Paysage' at Beaubourg - This is Hockney's first reappearance in Paris since 1974. Since then a lot of new water has been run through his ever blue pool; which now includes a hole no less than the Grand Canyon represented here with a panoramic collage of panels, 12 metres wide by three high. This show continues until Monday, 26. April; from 10:00 to 22:00. Closedpainting: garroway hill, david hockney 1998 Tuesdays. This is in Beaubourg's Galerie Sud. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 46 25.Garroway Hill, painting by David Hockney ©1998

The The Pompidou Centre - AKA Beaubourg: is open from Monday to Friday, from 11:00 to 18:00 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00. Info Tel.: 01 53 01 86 53 and Fax.: 33 1 42 72 97 47.

There is also an exhibition of David Hockey's photographs, taken from 1968 to 1997, at the Maison Européenne de la Photo. Until Sunday, 14. March. Until Sunday, 30. May, you can also see the 'Courant Continu' show by Ralph Gibson as well as the 'Portraits - Réel/Virtuel' exhibition by Catherine Ikam and Louis Fléri. The address is 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

The 23rd Paris International Marathon: - The Marathon de Paris - is to be run on Sunday, 4. April 1999. To register, try the fax number 33 -1 41 33 15 69, or give the Web site a hit.

This marathon is the big one for those who don't like the short run of the little one in March. (Take a look at 'Scene' from last week for details of the Mini-Marathon, now over.) The marathon starts on the Champs-Elysées and ends up in the Avenue Foch after the regulation international distance.

Two Shorties: - both start Friday, 12. March. One is the 21st 'Festival International Films de Femmes, with has a lot of details on the Web site. This festival will be onscreen at the Maison des Arts in Créteil until Sunday, 21. March. Info. Tel.: 01 49 80 38 98.

The other is 'Chorus des Hauts-de-Seine' - part of the 12th Festival de la Chanson - which continues until Wednesday, 31. March. Info. Tel.: 01 47 74 51 11.

Un Ami de Cézanne et Van Gogh; le Docteur Gachet. The poster all over Paris features the Van Gogh portrait of the good Dr. Gachet, with whom Van Gogh stayed for the last 70 days of his life, at Auvers-sur-Oise. What might have been better, is Dr. Gachet's death portrait of Van Gogh; one of the best paintings he did.

Dr. Paul Gachet was probably the first 'fan' of the Impressionists. He urged Pissarro to organize sales of the 'co-operative' members paintings, to aid Daumier. Dr. Gachet suggested offering the paintings of Manet, Monet, Sisley, Piette, Gautier, Degas, Guillaumin, Cézanne... the whole co-operative. Before the first show of the 'Impressionists,' some of them were nearly starving; and Daumier was nearly blind as well.

Exhibition at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, until Monday, 26. April. Open daily except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 20:00; on Wednesdays until 22:00. Reservations required for visits before 13:00. Tickets available at fnac, Virgin and Carrefour. Resa Info. Tel.: 08 03 80 88 03.

Cent Ans d'Histoire de Paris - Is not just about the past 100 years, but about the efforts of the 'Commission du Vieux Paris' to save old Paris before the bulldozers turn it into first rubble, then into designer-plastic. Along the way, the Commission pushes Paris' history back 5,000 years, by showing a 7,000-year-old pot, found in a local building site. Great stuff!

Hôtel de Ville, Salle Saint-Jean, 5. Rue de Lobau, Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. Until Tuesday, 31. March. From 11:00 to 19:00 daily, except Mondays. No entry charge. Exhibition catalogue available.

Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme - this museum opened for the first time in its new incarnation on 6. December of last year, in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. This is 'in' the Marais, in the rue du Temple at number 71; Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Since it is a new museum, there is also an Internet address you can write to for information.

Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne - Mark Rothko at the Museum of Modern Art - 70 works are on display, done between 1935 and 1969. This amounts to a span of work covering 34 years and it is arranged in chronological order; so you can see either where the artist was going or where he came from. Until Sunday, 18. April.

Rosemarie Trockel and Casten Höller - live and work in Köln and they have ten installations called 'Maisons' on show here until Sunday, 28. March. Also, until the same date, see the works of Peter Fischli and David Weisse, from Zurich. Focused on flowers, their work is made up of superimposed photographic projections.

Musée d'Art Moderne, 11; Avenue du Président-Wilson, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna or Place de l'Alma. Open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:30 and on weekends from 10:00 to 18:45. Info. Tel.: 01 53 67 40 00.

The Musée Zadkine - Strange Beds; I am going to take a look at this. Pierre-Claude de Castro and Alain Sonneville want me to see theirs. These two nighttime museum guards have some sort of exhibition which features their after-work fold-up or down beds, mixed with administrative notes about their jobs, against a background of Ossip Zadkine's 'Odalisque' and 'Dormeuse,' all under the subhead of 'Inactions Interpassives.' In short, it's all Dada!

Musée Zadkine, 100. bis, Rue d'Assas, Paris 6. Métro: Vavin or RER, Port Royal. Except Mondays, open from 10:00 to 17:30. After 17:30, Pierre-Claude de Castro and Alain Sonneville need the museum to guard.

Lettre d'Une Inconnue - is a play by Stefan Zweig that alternates with his 'Souvenirs d'Un Européen-Fragments,' until Saturday, 13. March. The first is on stage Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 19:00; and the latter plays on Mondays and Fridays, also at 19:00. At Le Guichet - Montparnasse, 15. Avenue du Maine, Paris 14. Métro: Gaité. Info. Tel.: 01 43 27 88 61, or get tickets at fnac, Kiosques or Crous.

'Carnets' for Euros - if you have Euro cheques or Euro plastic, the RATP will start accepting the new currency on Monday, 15. March for payment when you buy métro tickets, carnets, weekly or monthly tickets, or any of the combo passes they sell. Apparently you can do this already, but on 15. March all prices will be posted in Euros and francs.

Long-Running Exhibitions, Shows and Events:

Historic Writer's Route - is a tour of 12 famous French writer's homes, located west of Paris on bothposter: biannual danse, val de marne sides of the Seine valley, as far as Normandy. Even if you don't actually visit the houses, this would be a good trip and would probably take a couple of days or wandering around.

Mallarmé, Louis Aragon, and Chateaubriand are not on the route itself, but are in the Ile-de-France. Those on the Seine route are Tourgueniev, Dumas, Zola, Maeterlinck, Michelet, Corneille, Flaubert, Hugo, and Jean de la Varende down at Le Chamblac near Broglie.

There may be more information about it on the Web site of the Ile-de-France regional council, but in the quick look I took I didn't find anything except for a note that the site was undergoing changes.

Royal Paintings: - actually in the Ile-de-France, at Fountainbleau, there is an exhibition of a collection of 48 paintings grouped together for the first time. Some of these are decor for royal surroundings, and Rubens was among the 'decorators,' which will give you an idea of the class of the act.

The Musée du Château de Fontainbleau, is in Fontainbleau with a lot of other sights to see. The main museum is closed on Tuesdays and open from 9:30 to 12:30, and from 14:00 to 17:00 all other days. Info. Tel.: 01 60 71 50 70.

Paris 'Winter Bus' Public Tours: - Some of these are to sites in Paris and some are further away; many tours cost about 200 francs, but there are some for less and some for more. All of this can be found at a little RATP office, just to the right side of the Madeleine.

The 'Winter Bus' season continues until 30. March 1999. The kiosk is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The 'Summer Bus' season has longer opening hours and is open on weekends.

Tropiques Métis: - is a program of plays and Carnival workshops for the young, on Wednesdays in January and March. Toss in a bit - 400 years - of history, and you can find it all in one place until 12. April.

The Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires, 6. avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris 6. This is inside the Jardin d'Acclimatation. Métro: Sablons, in Neuilly, plus a seven-minute walk. Open daily except Tuesday, from 9:30 to 17:15. Entry: 12 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 60 00.

Paris' Museum of Photography - has an ever-changing series of exhibits of current photography and you can get an idea ofwhat is either now on show or about to come by visiting the museum's Web site. There should be a complete program; possibly with dates for the coming of the 11th edition of Paris' Mois de la Photo, in October.

The street name of the Web site mentioned above is Maison Européenne de la Photo and its address is 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

Another Photo-Web site worth a visit is Centre National de la Photo, which is located in the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, 11. rue Berryer, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 53 76 12 32.

Closed - Temporarily - The Maison de Balzac is currently closed for renovations. It will reopen on Thursday, 20. May, for the exhibition, 'La Toise du Savant et de Vertige du Fou - Figures de l'Artiste Chez Balzac.' The museum's library remains open until Saturday, 3. April; then it will close until 18. September. Maison de Balzac, 47. Rue Raynouard, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 42 24 56 38.

Bibliothèque Forney - A recent exhibition of 'Historical Irons' led me to this library and museum. Basically it contains a quarter million works on art, design, engraving, painting and sculpture, plus art deco and the crafts of art - all from the 18th century to today. Worth a visit; a friendly place. Temporaryposter: les acteurs a l'ecran library cards can be obtained by showing a passport. The Bibliothèque Forney, in the Hôtel de Sens, 1. Rue du Figuier, Paris 4. Métro: Pont Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 42 78 14 60.

Scheduled Eclipse Still On: - Do more than tie a string to your finger, to remember this. There will be an eclipse of the sun by the moon, on Wednesday, 11. August, between 12:16 and 12:32. In Rouen and Reims and 4,998 other towns and villages, it will be total. In Paris, only 90 percent, which is not too shabby considering this is about the maximum amount of sun we see.

This sort of celestial event has not occurred since 1724 when Louis XV was a young lad of 14. If you can't make up your mind, the next eclipse is programmed for 2081. If eclipses are your bag, book your flight today!

Some of the above items have been carried over for many issues of this magazine. If you require more information - such as addresses or phone numbers - check 'All Past Issues' either from here, or from the top or bottom of any page in the magazine.

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