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Grand Palais

Venue  |  Exhibitions  |  Reviews
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Niki de Saint Phalle: Are her Nanas Too Sexy?

by James Loks
It really is a crying shame that Niki de Saint Phalle wasn’t crooked of back, thick of brow, dull eyed with pustulant skin, lank hair, an uneven gait, and a voice that sounded like a hoarse crow hacking its lungs up. At a push I’d even settle for poor and dull witted, but she wasn’t; she was pretty and rich and aristocratic. Now, there is nothing wrong with this—she wasn’t the first and she won’t be the last artist to come from this milieu—but there is a problem when her huge and comprehensive retrospective is so liberally plastered with her, it must be... [more]
Posted by James Loks on 9/21/14
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Mapplethorpe: Very Eighties

by James Loks
At a certain point as I was walking around the Mapplethorpe exhibition I thought, “You know something? I really don’t like Robert Mapplethorpe.” This was during the first half of the show where most of the work was in his "nude portraiture" mode. I mean, I can appreciate the formality of it all—the lines and triangles, neat, original compositions, the sculptural references. But there’s just something in the gelatin-silver-shininess of it; it all seems too slick, too polished, and too self-consciously artistic, in a quasi-Athenaesque type manner (if anyone underst... [more]
Posted by James Loks on 4/21/14
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Auto Interview: Paris Photo 2013

by James Loks
James Loks is a Paris-based staff writer for ArtSlant. On the occasion of Paris Photo he thought it would be worth taking the time to ask himself some questions concerning the nature of art fairs, photography, and lack of real world Lynchian characters. Initial impressions of Paris Photo? Very cold. If you post on the website that press registration begins at two pm, it's a really good idea not to then decide that it starts at five. The ensuing confrontation between a bunch of disgruntled journalists, the majority of whom had just got off a plane direct from Germany, two very flustered inter... [more]
Posted by James Loks on 11/19/13
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Anish Kapoor

by Frances Guerin
A friend who visited Anish Kapoor’s Leviathan, the latest in the Monumenta series at the Grand Palais, told me that it was “beautiful”. He used words such as “breathtaking”, and “divine” – and had an image of something that would be ethereal, gorgeous, dreamy, something that would give the experience of serenity. And as I entered the belly of Leviathan, I felt my body swaying, I became nauseous, not knowing where to look, completely disoriented, wanting to find a place to stand; my experience of this mindboggling “sculpture” (if that is what one calls such a creation) was anything but soothi... [more]
Posted by Frances Guerin on 5/30/11
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Colette, Kapoor, and the Jacaranda

by James Patrick Benn
Paris never disappoints, but the jacaranda do. Last year, they gave us the best performance of celestial purple I had ever seen. This year, nothing. Flat. The bare trees skipped the flowering and moved unnoticeably from bare branch brown to spring green leaf. I’m not sure how that happens, but it did, and I’m disappointed. The word for disappointment in French is déception. I absolutely love that word. It sounds so dramatic and James Bond. Such a loaded word to describe such a hollow, lonely feeling: déception. It comes from the Latin meaning « to take away ». That’s how the jacaranda left me feeling... [more]
Posted by James Patrick Benn on 6/7/11
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Down the Ladder into the Pit of Hell

by Frances Guerin
      As we stepped inside the Grand Palais last night, attacked by the deafening and unpredictable noises of what could have been an industrial site in full swing, or the engine room of an old train, James announced, “we are all off to Auschwitz.” And each step we took into the heart of Christian Boltanski’s newly installed edition of the Monumenta series, was like a step further down the ladder into the pit of Dante’s hell.I am a big Boltanski fan, in fact, I would even go so far as to say I am a follower of his work. I have been touched by it, challenged by it, overwhelmed by it, and ha... [more]
Posted by Frances Guerin on 1/18/10
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May the FORCE be With You

by Natalie Hegert
I attended La Force de l'Art 02 on the opening weekend and expected long lines outside the Grand Palais.  Though the exhibit was in its final weekend (later extended) the line for TAG--the graffiti collection of Gallizia--stretched out past the grand entrance and Andy next door was reeling in hundreds.  La Force de l'Art?  Nobody.  Not a single person waiting to see the triennial of French contemporary art.  ORLAN was signing books that day and looked a little forlorn at her table, waiting for people to notice her.  There were a few people milling about inside however, and the opening was... [more]
Posted by Natalie Hegert on 5/11/09
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Tagging LOVE

by E-Slant Team
By commissioning works from the foremost graffiti artists, Alain-Dominique Gallizia has compiled - and continues to compile – the most important painted record of what was, until now, an ephemeral art. Now 150 works have been brought together for an unprecedented project in the history of Art, shown in a world-first exhibition at the Grand Palais.From the street to the Grand Palais.  For the first time ever, this art sauvage is being shown at a Paris cultural institution, in the south-west gallery, undergoing restoration, on the first floor overlooking the nave.  This new gallery provides... [more]
Posted by E-Slant Team on 4/12/09
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TAG au Grand Palais

by Natalie Hegert
From my blog www.autoterrorist.org: At one of the most prestigious national institutions in Paris the post-graffiti collection of architect and lover of "l'art sauvage" Alain-Dominique Gallizia is on view in a newly restored hall. We visited TAG au Grand Palais to check it out. 150 international graffiti writers and artists are part of Gallizia's collection, which he started in 2006. As an architect he realized that with graffiti, the architects were no longer the only "artistes de la rue." He began to invite graffiti writers into his studio to paint canvases for him, as he felt the... [more]
Posted by Natalie Hegert on 4/24/09
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Seeing Through the Grand World

by Frances Guerin
        The idea of yet another Andy Warhol exhibition was greeted by me with a sigh of under-expectation. After the exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London, which I did not see, but heard was underwhelming, I was not expecting too much from the recent Warhol fever in Paris, including the current exhibition at the Grand Palais. However, I am pleased to say, I was pleasantly surprised, even excited, by the opportunity to rediscover my admiration for Warhol. Even though I have seen his work many times over the years, there is something about it that makes yet another visit worthwhile and r... [more]
Posted by Frances Guerin on 6/11/09
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International Herald Tribune

PARIS: No show in Europe at the moment bids to be more spectacular, or ends up being more exasperating, than "Picasso and the Masters," sprawling here through the Grand Palais. If there's good news to the financial meltdown, it's that maybe bloated blockbusters like this one should become harder to organize. Not that anyone in Paris seems discontent with the exhibition. From morning to night, long lines inch through the front doors to pay obeisance to this endlessly popular Spaniard, who was ahead of his time not least in churning out so many works... (read more) [more]
Posted by Natalie Hegert on 10/28/08