We had aimed to visit both the Magritte and Hergé exhibitions in Paris, but unfortunately we didn’t manage to book in advance for the Hergé one – so we missed that (standing outside for one and a half our in the cold didn’t appeal to us). Instead we went to the Orangerie and Jeu de Paume. It was a fabulous weekend of art, art and art (and a bit of food).
The Centre Pompidou did not only have the Magritte exposition on offer but also a retrospective of Cy Wombly’s work. It is always quite a different experience of seeing 50+ paintings of an artist in one exhibition instead of just one picture in a whole collection mixed with other artists. What happened at the Tate exhibition of Rothko some years ago, happened here as well. We discovered how to look at and read a Wombly painting. I can certainly also recommend Roland Barthes’ texts on Wombly.
One of the best parts of the Magritte exhibition was the interview with a journalist on the curtains that frequently appear in his work. The interview went a bit like this (check the audioguide app):
Journalist: there are certain themes that occur often in your work. Is it ok to talk about themes / Magritte: no I don’t like that word. I would rather use the word figures. Journalist: Curtains is one of the figures you often use. Why? Magritte: Because they exist. Journalist: But there are so many other things that exist. Magritte: Yes, but I have a limited repertoire.
Another fascinating exhibition was at the Orangerie. American Painting in the 1930s. Soon to be seen in London.