Saturday, January 28, 2012

More Grand Palais and the use of the Diorama

Living in Oakland, California as I do, one is often quoted Gertrude Stein's famous line about the city of her childhood. "There is no there there". She said this upon returning to find her childhood home torn down. The rose bushes she loved were gone. She was NOT reflecting on the soul of the city of Oakland! 
Now you can buy a decorative flag with the word "THERE" on it to display on your front porch as it has become such a part of Oakland lore.
Henri Matisse 1905, Woman with a Hat

The current exhibit of the Stein Collection at the Grand Palais, Paris
shows the stunning oeuvre of this famous collector and her brothers, Leo and Michael.
SF Moma inherited her brother Michael's collection which  he brought  back with him when he returned to live in Palo Alto, California. There as students Richard Diebenkorn (my favorite painter) and Robert Motherwell were exposed to the collection.

This exhibit started in San Francisco, came to Paris and is now headed to New York.
BUT the thing that interests me about the exhibit is that they use a life size diaorama to show the study of the Stein family.

The famous salon of Gertrude Stein in Paris.

 Diaoramas are usually the provenance of the Natural History museums and often, um... looked down upon.
This exhibit has received some attention in it's use of a diorama to reinact the original setting of the Stein library. Interesting, no? But really it is more about the collectors than the artists themselves.

For more information on this unique person see:

And just to add to the interest of what a complex person Gertrude Stein was read which sheds light on how this Jewish woman survived in WWII France.

Too amazing.
One funny note. While being criticized, the picture, The Girl with the Green Eyes, by Matisse

Was lambasted as a crazy absinthe drinker...

Which reminds me of a favorite local restaurant my guests and I loved. Le Fee Verte in the 11e.
Really I just had white wine... but my eyes do look weird from the flash. Travelling with Shale was incredible. She made sure to see all the Heres here!

Thinking of my friend and fellow blogger Shale who is beginning chemo next Friday. Glad you are in the good hands of your daughter and foxy boyfriend! Can I bring you some absinthe? It is illegal in the US, do they allow it in Canada? You know Shale... I may have finally had enough white wine to last me.

I am eager to return to Oakland because frankly my There IS there. You know who you are.

From Paris CM

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Grand Palais

Look what we found at the exhibit! A video where the artist placed himself in a dollhouse. Which doll house would you choose?

all pictures by Susan Hale

"Un Sorin des Jouets" I want to live in a Doll House" by Pierrick Sorin

BUT! It is what I call my "I HOUSE". Notice the staircases?
Done in 2011.

This was in the exhibit we went and saw, Des Jouets Et Des Hommes at the Grand Palais. OMG! The Kaleidoscope was there, the Lundby Stockholm was there and antique dollhouses to die for.

Barbie, pregnant and not and as a foosball table was present! Batman, Woody from Toy Story and so many more blogs worth of stories were there BUT pictures were not allowed, until the gift shop which was adorable, well designed with small Eames elephant stools and a playland of castles, tea sets and drawing stations... OH MY!

There were several other art video pieces, one allowed you to substitute your own face in a boy or girl doll. It was a big hit with the little ones. One allowed you to control the pace of the artist on a rocking horse. Very funny to the kids.

The exhibit catalog is in French. But the pictures are in universal view. So we will show you the best parts, more to follow. I would say it was as if they made this exhibit for Susan and me and you. xo CM

Monday, January 2, 2012

En Plein Air

pictures by Susan Hale

For more of this mini art go to

Paris en plein air. xoxo CM