Monday, March 29, 2010

Jean Nouvel unveils his plans for the National Museum of Qatar

French architect Jean Nouvel has unveiled his design for the new National Museum of Qatar.

Embodying the pride and traditions of Qatar’s people while offering international visitors a dialogue about rapid change and modernization, the National Museum of Qatar will be the setting for a program in which entire walls become cinematic displays, “sonorous cocoons”, shelter oral-history presentations and hand-held mobile devices guide visitors through thematic displays of the collection’s treasures. Though built around an historic structure, the Fariq Al Salatah Palace, which had served as a museum of heritage since 1975, the National Museum of Qatar is conceived and designed as a thoroughly new institution, in keeping with the high aspirations that animate QMA.

The unstoppable architect has also been selected by the Serpentine Gallery in London to design the next summer pavilion. Let's hope these projects will actually get off of the ground.
Fascinating and beautiful...

More info on :

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde at Tate Modern, London

Van Doesburg, who worked in disciplines within art, design and text, founded the far-reaching movement and magazine De Stijl is celebrated in a beautiful exhibition at Tate Modern in London, which will last until 16th May.

This artistic movement of painters, architects and designers sought to build a new society in the aftermath of World War I, advocating an international style of art and design based on a strict geometry of horizontals and verticals.

Van Doesburg travelled extensively in Europe in the 1920s making connections and collaborating with avant-garde contemporaries of the time. This exhibition explores Doesburg's role as promoter of Dutch Neoplasticism, his Dada personality, his efforts to influence the Bauhaus, his links with international Constructivists, and his creation of the group Art Concret.

Including over 350 works (many unseen in the UK before) by key artists as Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, László Moholy-Nagy, Piet Mondrian, Francis Picabia, Gerrit Rietveld, Kurt Schwitters and Sophie Taeuber, the exhibition features van Doesburg's rarely-seen Counter-Composition paintings and designs for the Café Aubette in Strasbourg, furniture such as Rietveld's iconic Red-Blue chair, as well as typography, magazines, stained glass, film, music, sculpture and more.

Curated by Gladys Fabre, Independent Curator and Vicente Todolí, Director Tate Modern.

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Joris Laarman is an amazing designer

Viktor and Rolf reinvent the white shirt

White Blossom, White Dove, White Nights, White Scent, White Tuxedo are the poetic names of the new Viktor&Rolf's white shirts by the cutting-edge designers.

Scheduled for the Autum/Winter 2010-2011 season, Viktor & Rolf have reinterpreted the eternal classic white shirt. The five-piece capsule collection, made from crisp poplin, is based in menswear trends but adorned with super-feminine details: bows, draping, and ruffles in satin and georgette silk. The capsule collection promises to make a big splash since the pieces are beautiful and I love the way Viktor&Rolf mix masculine and feminine's codes.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lee Alexander McQueen's ashes will be scattered in Scotland

The ashes of Lee Alexander McQueen are to be scattered on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where his father, Ronald, was born, in the next few weeks. “He made it clear his wish was for his ashes to be scattered on Skye, where our family comes from originally, and we are going to honour that,” said McQueen’s brother Michael. “He had been there quite a few times over the years and felt a real connection to the place. Alexander was back and forward all over the world, but he felt at home when he was in Scotland. He was so proud he could trace our family back to Skye and he wanted to return to the family home."

Because it's a beautiful song...PJ Harvey "We float"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Art Dubai 2010 sees robust sales and broad community engagement

I am back from Art Dubai 2010, the art fair of the Middle East and it was absolutely fantastic ! The fair welcomed nearly 18,000 international and regional visitors during the four-day event, up nearly 30% on visitor numbers in the previous year.
Over 70 galleries from 30 countries took part in Art Dubai 2010. The majority experienced strong sales, with buyers including members of the royal family, major international and regional museums and established and new collectors from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the US.

A number of participating galleries, including Athr Gallery from Jeddah, Galerie Christian Hosp and Caprice Horn, both from Berlin, traffic from Dubai and Priska C. Juschka from New York sold nearly all of their available works at the fair which is an excellent sign of the recovery of Dubai.

“In its fourth year, Art Dubai has matured into a highly regarded art event on the world stage shown by the diversity of the work, the significant increase in attendance, strong sales from institutional and private buyers and the greater involvement of Dubai’s art community during the week of the fair,” said John Martin, co-founder of Art Dubai. I definitely think that John is right. I've witnessed this evolution and I am impressed by how professional, how well organised and matured it is.

“I think Art Dubai is a great barometer for where the Middle Eastern art market is heading,” said Hisham Samawi from Ayyam Gallery (Damascus, Dubai). “People seem ready to buy and build their collections, and that has us excited about the rest of the year.”

One of the most impressive pieces was this artwork by El Anatsui, In the World But Don't Know the World, by October gallery which attracted a lot of attention and I would have loved to buy it.

The programme of collateral events was stunning too, with the Global Art Forum, the series of conferences and talks of the underground car park cleverly turned into an "art park" and of course the unveiling of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, which I will be writing more on in the near future.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Phillips de Pury - Sex sale on 19th March

Sex sells, that's for sure ! On 19th March, the pioneering auction house presents Sex, a sale of photographs, drawings, paintings and sketches of artists that include Helmut Newton, Allen Jones, Araki, Mapplethorpe or Nan Goldin.

"This auction will advance the conversation on contemporary art, sexuality and the interplay between them in presenting works that challenge our concepts of desirability, gender and the way we consume sexual imagery."

More info on:

Tom Ford graces the cover of the March issue of Spanish Esquire

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Beauty and tears at the last Lee Alexander McQueen's show in Paris

Lee Alexander McQueen’s autumn collection was inspired by Byzantine art, the carvings of Grinling Gibbons, and Old Master paintings and altar pieces including, in particular, works by Jean Fouquet, Sandro Botticelli, Stephan Lochner, Hans Memling, Hugo van der Goes, Jean Hey and Heironymus Bosch and deelply contrasted with his previous collection which was emphasing modern times and new technologies. The artist wanted to come back to craft techniques and Renaissance and Old Master's paintings.

All patterns were cut on the stand by Lee Alexander McQueen and before the tragedy happened, 80% of these 16 models had been conceived.

He had recently given an interview to Love magazine and said: "I’m 40 now, but I want this to be a company that lives way beyond me, and I believe that customers are more important to making that happen than press. When I’m dead, hopefully this house will still be going. On a spaceship. Hopping up and down above the earth.” Despite the rumours, Gareth Pugh won't be the next Artistic Director. What a job ! Taking over such a master.
I have no other words than this last collection was
B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L and almost brings tears...

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Irving Penn at the National Portrait Gallery in London

Penn photographed an extraordinary range of celebrities from the worlds of literature, music and the visual and performing arts. This exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London (on display until 6th June 2010) is brought together from major international collections and includes over 120 silver and platinum prints, many vintage, ranging from his portraits for Vogue magazine in the 1940s to some of his last work.  

Among those featured in the exhibition are Truman Capote, Salvador Dali, Christian Dior, T.S. Eliot, Duke Ellington, Grace Kelly, Rudolf Nureyev, Al Pacino, Edith Piaf, Pablo Picasso and Harold Pinter.

Beautiful !

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Chanel Fall 2010: very serious and very faux-fur

When I first saw the Chanel Fall 2010 Collection, I found myself surprised. Mixed feelings were going through my mind: was Karl going mad? But looking at the models, the setting, and the philosophy behind the show, my conclusion is that Karl is once again avant-garde and a pure genius ! This show was a statement.

“Global warming is the issue of our times. Fashion has to address it,” Lagerfeld said. Is that why a huge iceberg was set up in a chilled Grand Palais? 

I was also surprised (shocked?) to see that Karl had used fur. But thank God it was fake ! 
“Technical advances are so perfect you can hardly tell fake fur from the real thing. Fake is not chic — we have got a new Chanel tweed to stop copies — but fake fur is.”  Oh Karl, you're so smart !

More info:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quote of the week: Christian Louboutin

"What do you most dislike about contemporary culture? This ridiculous obsession with bad contemporary art and the cult of mediocre celebrity." Christian Louboutin

Friday, March 5, 2010

A bit of Tori at London Fashion Week - Bernard Chandran

I was so happy at the Bernard Chandran's show because not only were they giving Ferrero Rochers ;-) but also because among the crowd, was the talented Karen Binns, Editor and Publisher of What?!  As Creative Consultant, Karen styled Chandran’s Autumn Winter 2010/11 collection.

Not only is Karen the Editor and Publisher of What?! but she's Tori Amos' stylist. And Tori Amos was then a bit among us at this show. What?! was on every seat and featured the beautiful, the amazing, the unique and so smart Tori. I've written about Tori in the past and how inspirational she is. I feel very close to Tori because we share the same references: TOOL and Viktor&Rolf.

She's been in my heart for a long time now and will always be.

Enjoy the pictures of the beautiful magazine and the Edito from Karen:

"One the cover of this issue we have my long-time friend and sista Tori Amos, which I guess speaks for itself. She is one of the most insanely attractive people of our time: singer, songwriter, producer and a true Goddess. Knowing and hanging out with Tori is like flying on a silver carpet with candied apples and red wine. She has been an inspiration to my creative being for the last 17 years. Tori is the true channeler of our times, her success is not from the size of her wardrobe but from the spirit of her blood. Her Goddess is always on tap.
She was born with that 'thing' you just can't purchase, manipulate or steal - it's orginial without a price. Not forgetting to mention her dedication to her charity/hotline RAINN - Rape, Absue, and Incest National Network (" Karen Binns.

The Bernard Chandran's catwalk was very interesting, with plenty of references to the Japanese Noh theatre. Very elegant. The music was also very funny. I am not sure a lot of people understood it. But I did since I am French ! Judge by yourself:

And now my video:

Highlights of the exhibition of London Fashion Week A/W 2010

Kinder Aggugini at London Fashion Week A/W 2010

Among the fashion shows I really enjoyed, Kinder Aggugini, the Italian punk of fashion. The designer has worked at Versace and Costume National, as well as spending years at Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and John Galliano.

Madonna's stylist Arianne Phillips said that: "His creativity, ingenuity and sophistication in fabrics sets him apart. I appreciate his wit, style and irreverent classicism."

The show was interesting, full of nice colours, details and sobre chic. I really liked it. Long-time supporter Shirleen Spiteri and Bianca Jagger were among the crowd.

I hope to meet Kinder soon and interview with him... just for you guys !

Here is a little video I captured - quality isn't that great but still...:

More info on:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Alexander McQueen R.I.P - tribute at London Fashion Week A/W2010

London Fashion Week A/W 2010 paid tribute to Alexander McQueen, showcasing a big billboard with words and drawings from fans that included Paul Smith or Naomi Campbell. I thought it was great and touching.

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