Vassily Kandisky, The Centre Pompidou Collection” show opened in Milan, at Palazzo Reale, yesterday December 17 recounting the artistic and spiritual journey of Vassily Kandinsky, one of the pioneers of abstract art (the exhibition will run until April 27, 2014).

Promoted and produced by the Milan department of culture, Palazzo Reale, the Centre Pompidou, 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE and Arthemisia Group, this major exhibition presenting over 80 key works by Kandinsky in chronological order is curated by art historian Angela Lampe  of the Centre Pompidou and, for Italy, by Ada Masoero.

Deeply impressed by Monet’s Haystacks series at the Impressionist exhibition of 1896 in Moscow, Kandinsky abandoned a university career to become a painter. In addition to undertaking the classic course of studies under the guidance of masters such as Anton Azbé and Franz von Stuck in Munich, he stayed at Sèvres near Paris from 1906 to 1907 (Park of Saint-Cloud, 1906). He thus developed and artistic vision encompassing numerous fields, from painting to music and theatre, in which he sought and defended what he defined in his well-known text as “the spiritual in art”.

The show is organized in sections corresponding to the major periods in Kandinsky’s life, from the early years in Germany to those in Russia and then France, providing an opportunity to discover a host of crucial works such as Old Town (1902), Windmill in Holland (1904), In Grey (1919), Yellow-Red-Blue (1925), Colourful Ensemble (1938) and Sky Blue (1940).

The exhibition opens with a surprise, plunging visitors into an environment endowed with “the power to transport them outside space and time”. The wall paintings of this initial room, recreated in 1977 by the painter restorer Jean Vidal, faithfully reflect the five original gouaches that Kandinsky produced for an octagonal room at the Juryfreie Kunstausstellung, the “jury-less show” held annually in Berlin from 1911 to 1930. The gouaches were among the works donated to the Centre Pompidou by the artist’s widow Nina in 1976.

The exhibition develops in chronological order in four sections over eight rooms.

Munich, 1896–1914

Kandinsky moved from Russia to Munich to study painting in 1896, when the city was abandoning Symbolism to become a European capital of the Jugendstil or Art Nouveau, a movement pursuing the path of art through decorative projects. Kandinsky began with small, late-Impressionist landscapes like Schwabing (1901) and works of glowing colour in tempera inspired by ancient Germanic legends and the life of old Russia (Old Russia, 1903–04). It was, however, as from 1908, during summer stays at Murnau, where his mistress Gabriele Münter bought a house, that he created the first works using bright colours to translate reality into flat, two-dimensional images inspired by Fauvism. Landscape thus became a pretext for exercises on form and investigations into the power of colour leading to the initial process of abstraction (Improvisation III, 1909).

Kandinsky wrote Concerning the Spiritual in Art in Munich, a lucid theoretical analysis of his pictorial experimentation, from the relationship between form and colour to that between colour and sound. He led the Blaue Reiter project with his friend Franz Marc, which was to hold two shows in the period 1911–12 and produce in May 1912 the celebrated Blaue Reiter Almanach, where music and visual arts were closely entwined and popular and where “primitive” arts were assigned a primary role in a radical renewal of painting. Kandinsky created his first works totally detached from reality during this period (Painting with Red Spot, 1914), translations of his inner world into abstract images.

Back in Russia,1914–21

When World War I broke out, Kandinsky was forced to return to Moscow and left nearly all the works produced in Munich with Gabriel Münter. He worked exclusively on paper in 1915 (Untitled, 1915) and only resumed painting in 1916. After marrying the much younger Nina Andreyevskaya and returning briefly to figuration, he was caught up in the aftermath of the October Revolution and occupied key roles in the new cultural institutions until 1920. While he painted little due to his official commitments, he now espoused abstract art definitively (as in the crucial work In Grey, 1919). Having come under attack from the younger and more radical constructivist avant-garde for his spiritual expressionism, he thus decided to return to Germany in 1921.

The Bauhaus years, 1921–33

Kandinsky, who gained recognition for his written work, was invited by Walter Gropius to teach at the prestigious school of architecture and art known as the Bauhaus. He took charge of the wall paintings course in 1922 and produced the huge decorations for the atrium of the Berlin Juryfreie Kunstausstellung with his students in the same year. 1922 also saw the Small Worlds portfolio of prints, a synthesis of his pre-war Expressionist works, the new and more geometric style of the Russian period and the new developments of the Bauhaus (Black Grid, 1922). The years at the Bauhaus saw close friendship with Paul Klee and the publication of Kandinsky’s other major theoretical work Point and Line to Plane (1926). The titles of his paintings – Orange (1923), On White II (1923), Yellow-Red-Blue (1925) – highlight the relationship between colours and geometric shapes. The first organic forms made their appearance in 1930. The closure of the Bauhaus in 1933 under pressure from the Nazi regime forced him to move again, this time to Paris.

Paris, 1933–44

Kandinsky arrived in Paris in 1933. While indisputably the capital of the art market, the city was also devoted to its own artists (Picasso and the Surrealists above all) and had little interest in the pure abstraction of a Russian artist with German citizenship. Kandinsky moved into a house at Neuilly-sur-Seine looking onto the river and the Bois-de-Boulogne. Enchanted by the limpid, crystalline light, he lightened his palette. At the same time, not least through the influence of his Surrealist friends Jean Arp and Joan Miró, his paintings and works on paper saw a proliferation of biomorphic forms, amoebae, creatures of the depths, embryos and insects (Colourful Ensemble, 1938; Sky Blue, 1940; An Intimate Celebration, 1942). Kandinsky plunged into this microcosm, also in order to escape from the anguish of war. He died on 13 December 1944 without seeing the end of the fighting.


The Centre Pompidou collection

Palazzo Reale, Milano | 17 dicembre 2013 – 27 aprile 2014

MON 14.30 – 19.30 | TUE, WED, FRI, SUN 9.30 – 19.30 | THU, SAT 9.30 – 22.30

Info and booking: +39 02 54916






A real wind of colors is blowing through Indigo Salon in Paris (17-18-19 September 2013) which also features Bruno Boggia Design Studio (Como, Italy). The popular Parisian event  welcomes merging operators in textile design and fashion from around the world. Indigo Salon (Parc d’Expositions, Paris-Nord Villepinte) also this year is bringing new creations and fabrics. Studio Boggia is proposing in Paris patterns which anticipate   fashion trends. In fact, Indigo Salon is a special preview (Première Vision) of what will happen in the world-fashion. Textile designs by Boggia are focusing on a various range of colors and shapes combining tradition and innovation, as we admire in this photo-gallery…





Pablo Picasso , “Portrait of a Lady,”

1928. Gouache, ink, and collage on

paper.  © Louvre Abu Dhabi.


 Pablo Picasso’s never before exhibited work Portrait of a Lady is one of the artworks in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection and included in the “Birth of a Museum” exhibition. The papier collé, a type of collage using glued paper cut-outs is, according to the hypothesis of John Richardson, a portrait of famous socialite and fashion muse Natalie Paley, granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and wife of the couturier Lucien Lelong. A renowned model in her day, she was well-connected in fashionable Parisian circles. Picasso may have used photographs as a source, as he did for many other portraits, to capture her oval face, fine features, and slim silhouette.

Louvre Abu Dhabi will open its next exhibition on April 22, 2013 on Saadiyat Island showcasing important works of art from the Louvre Abu Dhabi permanent collection, some of which have never been seen or revealed before.

Born of an agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France, Louvre Abu Dhabi will display art, manuscripts and objects of historical, cultural and sociological significance. The museum and its growing permanent collection is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi. Spanning millennia, the items on display will originate from societies and cultures all over the world, but universal themes and common influences will be highlighted to illustrate similarities arising from shared human experience transcending geography, nationality and history.

Like the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the exhibition proposes a singular and original rereading of the history of art and is built around several key artistic and aesthetic questions core to the identity of the new museum: universalism, the comparison between art works from great civilisations from the most ancient times to the contemporary and the multidisciplinary nature of artistic creation. It will also explore the status of the work of art, through universal themes in the exhibition such as questions of the Figure and the Sacred.


Commenting on the latest milestone for the Saadiyat Cultural District, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said: “The aim of this exhibition is to evoke the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ambiance and aesthetics, and to begin to tell the story of the birth of this museum. The whole exhibition experience is another chance for visitors from the United Arab Emirates and abroad, to see the remarkable art works in the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection as we prepare for the museum’s opening. Even before opening its doors, Louvre Abu Dhabi is setting its precedent as a place of cross-cultural dialogue and exchange.”

Artworks include one of the finest examples of a standing Bactrian Princess from the end of the 3rd millennium BCE; a Middle-Eastern gold bracelet with a lion’s head approximately 3000 years-old; a painting titled The Good Samaritan by Jacob Jordaens, one of the major Flemish painters from the 17th century and a painting by Oman Hemdy Bey from 1878, titled A Young Emir Studying; a selection of the James Ivory miniature collection includes fine examples of the chivalry ideals of the Rajputs schools depicted and an evolving dialogue between East and West culminates at the end of the exhibition in a cycle of nine canvases by contemporary artist Cy Twombly.

As with all exhibitions organised in preparation for the museums in the Saadiyat Cultural District, it will be supported by a diverse Cultural Programme of talks, tours and workshops and a book detailing a significant part of the collection acquired to date will also be published and launched in April.

Henri Loyrette, President-Director of the Louvre Museum, said: “This exhibition is a major milestone in the realisation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi in so far as it unveils the admirable and high quality of the art works that will reflect the heart of the future Museum’s permanent collection. Moreover, this exhibition will embody remarkably the essence of the forthcoming birth of this universal museum. The exhibition will travel from Abu Dhabi to Paris to be presented at the Louvre in Paris in October 2013.”

The general curator of the exhibition is Laurence des Cars, Curatorial Director of Agence France-Muséums (AFM), who is supported by a TCA Abu Dhabi and AFM team of diversified skill sets. Museography is done by architect Jean-François Bodin. Construction of the iconic building designed by Jean Nouvel has begun on Saadiyat Island and the Museography design is in progress.




Fellow blogger Theadora Brack through her interesting blog People,Places and Bling kindly asked me about pics I shot in Paris a few years ago for my project “Lacer/actions” (Images of torn and decomposed publicity posters and urban tokens). I have just to say that also in Paris the traditional billboards have been replaced by electronic or plastic displays. It was not so easy to find them. But luck helps who dares… and who opens the doors of perception.

So, I had the way to capture some interesting images also in the French Capital. They were located in central areas, but not so visible to absent-minded passers-by. I took also some shots under the bridges, though the light conditions weren’t so good… In some tube stations I caught other images with nice shapes and colors blots: they seem to be a sort of elusive ghosts or mysterious tokens stolen from a beautiful city which wants to keep inside all its colored secrets… Et voilà mes images…



In 1983, the Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, gave Pontus Hulten the task of creating a graduate school for research in contemporary art. Its antecendents were to be the Weimer Bauhaus School and Black Mountain College in the U.S., and it was meant to function as an alternative to Paris’s École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. The Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques (Iheap) offers participants a course of study where they can free themselves from the inherited art history of the 20th century, by investigating crucial issues of art in the 21st Century, an ongoing history in which the participants will eventually take part.

IHEAP is the Education section of the Biennale de Paris. The programme presupposes an intellectual orientation to which it is desirable, but not indispensable, to adhere. The Institute is open to all those who have an interest in singular and extreme practices which currently and sporadically appear in the art world and elsewhere. Iheap is for those who want to change their artistic practice or professional activity, for those who after several years of art school want to break free of alienated learning, who expect more from a school than a framework for artistic production, for those who reject art as it is commonly practiced, and finally for those who wish to work on essential issues in intimate and experimental conditions.

Only twenty students a year are chosen to study at Iheap. The course of study is completed in two years (or sessions). The first year is composed of two ten-week cycles, three half-days each week, dedicated to a single theme. The second year is dedicated to the creation of an investigative text of thirty pages, without illustrations. Its purpose is to demonstrate the development of the participant’s research. The development of this document will be carefully followed by Iheap’s staff. Study at Iheap is equivalent to a post-graduate degree. The application fee is 65 euros. Tuition is 2000 euros for the first year, 500 euros for the second, payable in one or two installments. Financial assistance is available.

More informations:

Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques (Iheap), Biennale de Paris, Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, 11 rue Berryer,  75008 Paris, Tél. : +33 (0)1 4534 3004, http://iheap.fr




There’re also some geometric shapes and topics – such as those presented in this photo-gallery – in the new textile collection that  Bruno Boggia Studio (Como, Italy) displays from today in Paris at “Première Vision” of Indigo Salon (September 19-21, 2012,  Paris-Nord Villepinte). Lucia and Bruno Boggia, along with their collaborators, participate to the famous Parisian event bringing a range of novelty already appreciated in different parts of the world. Bruno Boggia Studio created beautiful limited-edition silk scarves with my torn poster images…  


In Paris they propose designs and fabrics which  anticipate the next fashion trends. The Indigo Salon is traditionally considered the “first vision” of what is going to happen to the world-fashion. The Paris Show puts on display ideas and suggestions for the next catwalks and pret-a-porter fashion shows, trying to overcome the effects of the market crisis. Best wishes for a speedy recovery are also coming from the Bruno Boggia Studio’s colorful proposals which focuse on the most effective colors, combining tradition and innovation. As shown in this pics, where geometry suggests ideas and emotions to textiles.  



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The Department of Culture, Fashion and Design of the Municipality of Milan, Palazzo Reale and 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE with the Musée National Picasso are pleased to present the great return of Picasso to Milan with a retrospective exhibition realized thanks to the support of Gruppo Unipol. The exhibition will open 20 September 2012 at the Palazzo Reale: “Pablo Picasso. Masterpieces from the National Picasso Museum in Paris”.

Milan is hosting Pablo Picasso’s brilliant and fundamental work for the third time, following the major exhibitions in 1953 and 2001. These two shows coincided with crucial periods both in international politics and everyday life in Milan. And they left their mark – Head of Culture Stefano Boeri emphasizes –  but we do not yet know whether this appointment with Picasso will be another appointment with history for Milan. We do know that organizing this meeting between a major city and the brilliant precursor of contemporary art provided opportunities to reflect on history – as confirmed by the rooms in Palazzo Reale devoted to the preparation of the 1953 exhibition. This show is a tribute to Picasso, to Milan and to the coincidences – never completely accidental – that have characterized the life of a leading interpreter of modern times.”

The exhibition was curated by Anne Baldassari, internationally recognized as one of the most important Picasso scholars and the curator of the Musée National Picasso in Paris, which houses the world’s largest collection of works by the Spanish artist.

With more than two-hundred-fifty works – many of which have not left the Paris museum prior to this global exhibition, for which Milan is the only European venue – including paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, illustrated books and prints, the exhibition is a veritable chronological excursus through Picasso’s artistic production, allowing comparison of the techniques and expressive means with which the artist challenged himself over his long career.

Through the unique and exceptional collection of the National Picasso Museum in Paris, the Milan retrospective presents, among the many masterpieces, works that allow the visitor to travel over the history of art through the evolution of the artistic language of this undisputed twentieth-century master, enjoying masterpieces like “The Celestina” (1904), “Man with a mandolin” (1911), “Portrait of Olga” (1918), “Two women running on the beach” (1922), “Paul as Harlequin” (1924), “Portrait of Dora Maar” and “The Supplicant” (1937).


As the curator explains in the catalogue, “The collection of the Musée Picasso thus represents Picasso’s work in progress, his surprises, his leaps forward and his regrets, his meanderings and his retreats. Through it one can observe paintings that become sculpture and vice versa in the invention of intermediate dimensions: painting without a background or contours, flat panels like icons, carved wooden pieces illuminated with colour, the optical tricks of collés, tableaux-reliefs and flat constructions, hollow, open, perforated sculptures, filiform spatial graphic works, paintings in the round, models made out of folded paper, plate sheets that have been cut and opened out into space. Even the drawings, the pages of sketchbooks and the engravings converse in a continuous to and fro, to reconstruct the iconographic logic of a narrative that explores all of the possibilities, almost reaching the myth of the birth of images: here one gathers the minute reasons for sequences that go from the identical to the multiple through the intermediate stages that describe, to thousands, this mythographic gesture”.

Picasso is the unquestioned leader of twentieth-century art and embodied its turbulent, innovative spirit.  Born in the Spanish city of Malaga in 1881, after studying art in Barcelona, where he was enrolled in the School of Fine Arts at the young age of thirteen, and in Madrid, he made his first trip to Paris in 1900, the city where art and culture would influence him so enormously as to leave their mark in all of his work. At the time of his death, in Mougins in the south of France in 1973, he had produced more than 50,000 works using diverse languages and artistic means, in a stream of epochal turns and stylistic changes, astonishing testimonies to the private life, civil and political engagement and recherche of an inexhaustible artist.

Within the exhibition – designed by Italo Lupi with Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto and covering more than 2000 square metres on the upper floor of the Palazzo Reale – there will also be documentation of the exhibition that Picasso held in 1953, also at the Palazzo Reale, where the great canvas “Guernica” (1937) was shown in Italy for the first time, in the Sala delle Cariatidi.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition, with texts by Anne Baldassari, Isabelle Limousin, Virginie Perdrisot, Francesco Poli, Pablo Rossi e Annabelle Ténèze, is published by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition was published by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE.


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