My virtual museum

Let’s start with a small Van Gogh, shall we? Atelier des lumières, Paris. Two years ago. They have put up several splendid shows with lights and projectors in an old warehouse in Paris. I don’t know how they can survive the current situation. Live performance has been suspended just about anywhere.

Bird family, by Norval Morrisseau (1931-2007). (c)ourtesy Alex. She bought it in Toronto a little while back. Morrisseau was a Canadian artist from the Anishinaabe First Nation.

Willy Ronis (1910-2009) was a French photographer who rose to fame in the 50’s documenting French life of the era. This work is sometimes referred to as “Le nu Provençal”. I seem to remember the model was his wife. Note the small washbasin. In 1945, only half of the households had a full bathroom in France.

Klimt. Atelier des lumières. 2018.

“Pandora, 1927″, by Hugo Pratt. Pratt was one of the most accomplished artists of the European school of comic strips. Pandora is a character from Pratt’s “Una ballata del mare salato”. The Ballad of the salty sea. Pratt, as many Italian artists in the field was a master of ink. Pure blacks and whites. A consequence of post-war printing limitations. He later developed a great watercolour hand. (Wonderful expo in Lyons, Musée Confluences, coupla years back) (I wish I had that piece. Anyone hear of a burglary at that museum, don’t look at me. I will have an alibi.)

Mother and son. Susanne Valadon and her son, Maurice Utrillo. Valadon started as a model for the likes of Renoir or Monet, who called her “Susanne” (and the old men) in reference to a Bible theme painted by many artists, including Rembrandt. The “old men” in her case, were the painters. Valadon later became a painter, one of the rare women artists then. She lived in Montmartre all her life, with her son Maurice, another painter in his time.

“D‘après moi.” “After, or according, to me”. Self portrait by Suzanne Valadon, 1912. The house she lived in has been preserved and is now part of the Musée Montmartre. A must see. Love the corkscrew with its vine handle. Let’s not forget that wine consumption was high in France then, and among artists. Cheap. Keeps you warm in the winter, when there’s no money to buy coal.

Mother and son again. A few, many, years later. Suzanne Valadon and Maurice Utrillo.

Klimt again at the Atelier des lumières. The original painting was probably done before or during WWI. He died in 1918 from the Spanish flu.

Élégante in Paris. By Willy Ronis. Mid-late fifties. Compare the hat with Klimt’s model above. I remember seeing those hats on the street in Paris when I was a child. They went on until the sixties.

“Pueblo”. City. 1995. By Botero (b. 1932 in Medellín, Colombia). At the Botero museum, Bogotá. Many old cities in Colombia look a bit like that.

I‘ll be damned if I remember where I took this. I think it is street art in Montmartre. c. 2018. Allow me to call it “Angela Davis in the mirror”?

Revelations series, by Andrés Gamiochipi. Acme Art salon #7, Mexico city, February 11, 2020. The last expo we went to. And then the crap hit the bloody fan. (Pardon my French)

The billiard room. Van Gogh. Atelier des lumières, Paris. 2019.

Cat. (I think). By Botero. Botero museum, Bogotá.

Georges-Henri Manuel by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. 1891. Musée Maillol, Paris. Bührle collection. (No idea who the bloke was)

“Light and strength” (Luz y Fuerza. The slogan of the Mexican power company), by Marta Palau (b.1934), at the MUAC. University Museum of Contemporary Art. UNAM, Mexico city.

Bronze by Maillol. Tuileries gardens. c.2014. Paris.

“L‘illusion d’optique” The illusion. By Cazenave. 1794. My parents had bought this engraving in Holland. The young woman and the little boy are relations of Danton, French revolutionary guillotined by Robespierre. I checked in my boxes in Paris 2 years ago. I think the engraving is gone. Pity. Just scanned this from an old negative of mine.

Acme Art Salon Mexico city 2020. I may have featured another picture of those young artists in a previous post. Refreshing to see that Art is still very much alive and kicking. Barefoot too.

Pandora, right, and Tarao, the young Maori boy, in The Ballad of the salty sea. By Hugo Pratt. Dated 1917. To be compared to the other portrait above dated 1927. This is a recent scan of a 1975 Ilford negative in B&W of a pure ink on paper sketch. I find it amazing how modern scanners manage to “find” colour in B&W.

Nude with joyous music”, by Lichtenstein. 1994. (Source Le Point). This little beauty was just sold for 46 frikkin’ million Dollars. I was just a few bucks short. Missed the sale… Darn! 46 million Dollars? Seriously?

Acme Art Salon, Mexico city. February 11, 2020. A year ago day after tomorrow. Amazing, isn’t it? Mark my words: we shall go back. We shall overcome.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. The visit is over. Do come back at leisure though. The Equinoxio Museum is open 24/7, all year round. Door’s always open and the light on. Stay safe.

106 thoughts on “My virtual museum

  1. I very much Bird family, by Norval Morrisseau. Although I very much love Indigenous artists, I’ve never heard about him before. Thanks for introducing me to a new artist and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

  2. An inspirational post Brian! Great to see work of Hugo Pratt again. I do have some comics featuring him on my shelfs, his drawings breath class. And I’m going to check out Willy Ronis. The nude lady and the portrait with the hat make me want to know more of him.

    • A Pratt fan! fantastic. I have a ,large comics collection. Mostly “Franco-Belge”. A few Italians. All of Corto Maltese. I still buy comics whenever I go to Paris or Brussels.
      Do check Ronis. You will probably realize you have seen his pics before. He’s not as well-known as Cartier-Bresson, but in my opinion at the level. There was a wonderful expo on Ronis in Paris a few years back.
      Congrats on Hugo Pratt.
      Tot ziens

    • Rony’s? Yes. Those guys in B&W, with their Hasselblad or equivalent were masters of light. Look at old B&W movies, a Bogart, a Welles, a Hitchcock, how they use lights and shadows…
      Agreed. Totally

      • It takes so much time and patience to get it right. And you never truly knew what you were going to get until you developed it. And no high tech editing software to adjust afterwards. Love it. I miss my Hasselblad sometimes…

      • Yeah. The thrill and disappointment sometimes of the dark room. (Didn’t do much of that though. Just basics. My brother was a photographer. Before he switched to old furniture. So he taught me a bit.)
        I seem to remember you had a Hasselblad. A Prince or a King among cameras. Don’t you have it any more? I’ll keep my Pentax always. Also have a Minox. Spy type… I gave my father’s Agfa to Gini.

      • No. I finally sold it. At the time it helped fund the new equipment. I wish I still had it. But there is a big learning curve on it and it would be hard to relearn. But I do wish I still had it. It’s fun to see a lot of young people using cameras like that today. It sure took great photos when I did what I was supposed to.

      • You might be surprised how fast you re-learn. When I took back drawing and painting after a 40 year gap, I was shocked at how easily my hand remembered. Literally. I knew what I wanted to do, I just let my hand work.
        Do you have old photos with the ‘blad still?

      • I do have lots of old photos. Not as many as I would like. I do have some. I’ve posted a few. But not a lot that are worthy of posting because they are mainly portraits. I did most of my wedding photography with it so not interesting foe the blog.

    • Well, thank you. Much obliged. Just a random selection of art I’ve seen and like. I am fortunate to have travelled a lot. (A bit stuck on the ground lately) and I like Art. It’s part of the ancient Greeks 3 fundamentals: Beauty, Good and Truth.

  3. Thank you for the lovely tour. 46 million? I shall never understand how art comes to have such ridiculous value! It is nice to look at, though 🙂

  4. It looks as if most of these are from the Expressionistic period of art. Is that what you gravitate to? It’s one of my favorite periods. I also like the one right before it, Impressionistic.

    • I don’t really have a favourite period. I see all periods and styles as a way to approach/re-present/reinvent the world. A Greek statue or a Maillol moves me the same. I can go to my knees in front of a Boticelli or a Matisse. Even Pollock. 😉

  5. Fabulous. Loved it. I want to know where your missing picture went. This was so much fun. Thank you. Sorry you were a few buck short of the forty-six million. LOLOLO Unreal. Thank you for this.

    • When my parents died, we sold the Paris appartment. Split the paintings. My brother dealt a bit in antiques or at least knew some people. He screwed up a bit. I’d told him to sell some of the paintings and store others for me. Crossed his wires. it’s all right. I don’t need that painting. I have it in my eye.
      Glad you liked the joke. I wasn’t far really. Only 45.99 million bucks short. 😉 They didn’t take Amex.

  6. Pingback: My virtual museum — Equinoxio | Rethinking Life

  7. Thanks for another interesting tour. The Pratt watercolor looks so current. Really remarkable. I was planning to visit the Attelier des lumières last spring but… I think you would thoroughly enjoy a young and upcoming artist named Mathew Sorgi. Here is a link to a video of some of his recent work: https://youtu.be/v3-TteCve8A

    • ‘Current’ as in modern, to-day? Yes. Even though he died in ’97, Pratt was a great artist. Just a few strokes and here’s Pandora.
      Atelier des Lumières? I remember they had put together a new show. Which probably went down the drain. Though I think they could re-open last summer. Visiting Sorgi now.

    • Well thank you. He’s amazing. And 18! Born in this century. As we say in French: “press his nose” milk will come out”. No ‘diss’ of course…
      Very talented young man. And refreshing. With kids like that we might, just might save this crazy world? 🙏🏻

      • I agree. One of my daughters follows him and she has learned so much by copying his work. He has many free videos where he demonstrates his techniques. Refreshing is the perfect adjective. I love the nose expression. Never heard that one. I’ll have to share it with my daughter. Bon week-end.

  8. An eclectic and beautiful collection; I particularly like the many faces, in different media, communicating down the ages. New lockdown pass-time: create your own virtual museum, collecting from any artwork and artefact across the world.

    • You are making an interesting point. Faces. I like Art as a representation. Of “the” human. What better than a face. Or eyes. I almost always put a face/eyes as a featured image. also only use my own photographs of the museums I’ve been. With exceptions. Lichtenstein being one.
      No relation whatsoever: what do you teach? did we brush that topic already?

      • I love that humans have been representing the human face for millennia. I had to look this up (!) but I see that the earliest portrait is considered 27,000 years old, found in the ‘Vilhonneur grotto near Angoulême’.
        I used to teach English Language, but now crossed to the other side and am a project manager.

      • Thank you so much. I had never heard of it. It’s a recent find. And quite powerful. now 27,000 years? If modern man (cro-Magnon) is 40,000 years old, that was quite early…
        Project manager? 👍🏻 And you can work remote, right?

  9. You don’t find paintings by Utrillo in many museums. In Philadelphia, though, the Barnes museum has a bunch of them on its walls. I live near Philly., and get my Utrillo fix periodically. Not to mention my Van Gogh and Cezanne fixes too (among many others).

    • A good selection. All those in favor say “Aye”?
      Only been to Philly once for a couple of meetings. Freezing winter night and a morning. No time for the barnes. Duly noted. Cheers.

    • Splendid. It looks very much like the Atelier des lumières. I wonder if they sold the license? I’d also wondered then how difficult it could be to “export” the technology. Projector placement and all that. Now, I’m not sure whether I would go right now. There are circles painted on the floor, and people wear masks, but still.

      • I suspect it’s been licensed. Otherwise, a lawsuit might be in order. I don’t intend to go to any venues outside of the grocery store for a while to come. Have made it this far unscathed and don’t want to blow it in the home stretch.

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