Monday, June 20, 2011

Art Exhibitions in Paris, May-June, 2011

I know the internet is brilliant for bringing us art from all over the globe, but nothing beats seeing it in person… Nevertheless, I wanted to show you some of the art that I enjoyed the most.


Anish Kapoor, Monumenta 2011, Grand Palais

Indian-born Kapoor now lives in England. His beautiful and intriguing works play with perception and lead the viewer to question their own eyes. Experiencing Leviathan was one of the highlights of the holiday for me. There were supporting exhibitions of his work in other locations around Paris, some of which were equally or even more confounding. But just imagine having the chance to make work for the Grand Palais!

Inside views of Leviathan




And outside of Leviathan, inside the Grand Palais


Anthony Gormley

The first work by Gormley that I saw in a photo was Field for the British Isles. Ever since I’ve wanted to see his work for myself. Although there was a show of related work in Melbourne earlier this year, this was my first viewing. It was in a gallery 5 minutes from our apartment.







I wasn’t aware of this work at Musee de L’Orangerie until just before we left Australia. It made me think of Rothko’s Chapel, and I think it would be much more impressive if visitor numbers were limited at any one time. Apologies for the poor quality of this video. Despite signs forbidding photography, everyone (really!) was clicking away. Security did nothing, but I still felt uncomfortable, hence this poor effort. A longer and smooth view can be seen here


This is just a few of my favourite exhibitions within 5 minutes of our apartment.

Elisabeth Brillet



 A French ceramic artist made these porcelain books!! I was entranced. They have psalms imprinted on them. If you click on her name above, you can see more photos of the exhibition.

Anita Dube


This text-based work by Indian artist Anita Dube at Galerie Dominique Fiat caught my eye. There is more images of the exhibition here.


Zarina Hashimil – Noor

A show of woodblock prints and paper works (including cast paper sculptures) at Galerie Jaeger Bucher. The whole exhibition is well-documented on the gallery site if you would like to see more.






Finally, I really wanted to share this French painter’s work with you. He’s on show at Galerie Felli. We have a catalogue but we posted it back, so I’ve just used a screen shot from the gallery site.

The paintings are on paper, which is then mounted on canvas, I think. It’s beautifully finished with rough painterly edges and the works are very appealing. There are trees, houses and a few objects (a bottle, a bowl) which are all very atmospheric and meditative. I really wanted to buy one, and maybe I will in the future. You can see more on the gallery site. You need to click on “Artistes” and then choose “Cherel”, followed by “oeuvres” (works).


Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Quick Addendum

I have two things to share quickly.

First a bit of exciting news. I just heard by email that my book “Caterpillar is to butterfly as book is to?” has been selected for the East Gippsland Regional Art Gallery “Books Beyond…Words” Award exhibition (that is quite a mouthful!)

I’m really thrilled, as I pushed myself pretty hard working on this before we left Australia, so it is nice to be selected after all that. Great news is that Ronnie, another member of Book*Art*Object has also been selected. Double YAY!

Secondly, late yesterday I made it to the wonderful Relma, (3 rue des Poitevins, 75006) which I mentioned in my last post.


This photo shows less than half of the marbled papers on sale.It was a sight to behold! In the next room are the beautiful, soft skins of every colour (I know, it’s so sad, but nevertheless, they are beautiful and deserve to be revered.


Somehow I managed to arrive with only 10 minutes to closing, which was perhaps lucky or I don’t know how I would have been able to make a decision about which papers to choose. With such a brief visit, I didn’t buy anything, just walked around in a state of bliss and awe. Basically there are two large areas, one for skins, one for papers. Then there are smaller spaces for bookcloth and tools, and further on there are presses, board cutters and any other larger items.

As I was hustled from the shop at 5:59pm (most shops close at 7pm here, hence my mistake) I managed to ask for a catalogue, which turned out to be in both French and English. I’ll quote from the introduction:

“…In the small typical parisian streets of the latin quarter, Relma is a privileged spot for book lovers. For more than (a) hundred years we have been revering books and thinking with passion of everything which can protect it, and decorate it.

It is a magic place, you can discover there the most noble materials…”

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Book arts-related shops in Paris

I have such a lot to share with you, but I am trying to keep information in categories that will make the information easier to find in the future. In this post I’ll focus on places I’ve found where you might buy book arts-related “stuff” in Paris. I am also planning to talk in future about artists books I’ve seen (and bought!), art/artists I’ve seen and in particular, one printmaker and book artist, who we met and got to know a little.

At “Les Puces” or “the Fleas”

Paris has a large number of markets which often run for 3 days of the week, like the St Ouen flea market (Sat, Sun, Mon) which I visited. I read that Les Puces are the original flea markets in Europe, and the term comes from the fact that the area where they are (St Ouen, just beyond the boundary of the Parisian arrondissements) was, in fact, heavily infested with fleas! Fortunately not the case now.

Les Puces are HUGE, covering numerous blocks. The first part is devoted to clothes, but more than half is vintage items. I had a tip to look for a particular shop which specializes in ephemera, pens and other items of interest to calligraphers.

I rarely use ephemera in my work, but I have been doing some ink drawings these past few months. There were literally hundreds of nibs, for calligraphy and drawing, from numerous countries. These are the ones I eventually chose, and the ones on yellow were a gift from Veronique, the store owner.


From: Boulevard des Ecritures, Marche Vernaison, Allee 7, – Stand 128 bis

Just around the corner, down the winding alleys of the market, we bought these wonderful wooden printing blocks. I have longed for some of these since I first became aware of them. We spent a dusty half hour, picking through boxes sorted by letter, until we came up with this configuration. We had to include the large “E” with the circumflex. A few others have french and german script features too.


From: tombees du, Marche Vernaison, Allee 5, – Stand 92


Rue du Pont Louis Philippe

When you wander from the Marais towards the Seine, one lovely street that is lined with interesting shops is Rue du Veille Temple (Old Temple Street). Once you cross Rue de Rivoli, the street name changes to Rue du Pont Louis Philippe. Clustered near the top of this street are a number of “paperies”. My favourite was Calligrane (6 Rue du Pont Louis Philippe) where I bought 6 beautiful sheets of handmade paper. Ahhhh! if only money and luggage allowances were more plentiful. Large sheets of paper are not easy to travel with!

Kimonoya, on the corner at 11 rue du Pont Louis Philippe, sells beautiful items from Japan. They include traditional tea cups, teapots, kimonos, scarves and gorgeous calligraphy brushes on stands. Then if you continue down the lane beside Kimonoya, you’ll come to this gorgeous building. It’s a rare example of what I would have described as Tudor architecture, but my husband pointed out that it’s unlikely to be the term used by the French!



Back in rue du Pont, Melodies Graphique is at number 10. It is a paper and calligraphy shop too, but was unfortunately closed when I tried to visit. The sign on the door read “fermee exceptionelle” (exceptional closure) which sounds serious to me. I can’t tell you much more about it but here are some lovely photos of the interior of the shop here.

One last place that I still hope to visit is Relma, (3 rue des Poitevins, in the 6th arrondissement). It’s a bookbinders shop with a history that dates back to the 1920s. Sounds like heaven!

A bloggy-book arts meet-up

I’ll finish off this post with the best of all! After my last post, former BookGirl, Clara Boza, checked in on Facebook and noticed I was in Paris. So was SHE! Clara got in touch and voila! Here we are enjoying “une express” and the odd macaroon (yes, I know I mentioned them in the last post too!).


Clara is lovely and I was absolutely delighted to meet her. So good to chat about common interests (and in English).  Clara lives in North Carolina, not far from Penland. Hmmm. She has a new blog now but unfortunately I have lost the link. I’ll add it here when I can.

And to really finish off, a few more photos of this wonderful city.