At home with Edward James

April 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

A wonderful look at the great eccentric (and nomad) Edward James. An hour well spent for such a wealth of inspiration, though perhaps it’s best that we’re not all so fabulously rich as to indulge in such follies as James seemed powerless to avoid.

Strange Flowers

So yesterday we paid a brief visit to the far-flung digs of Austrian artist Alfred Kubin, and while we’re on creative spaces I thought I should pass on this video which I only came across recently. It’s a 1978 documentary concerning, and extensively featuring, Edward James, described by the narrator as “a legendary man most people have never heard of” and “the last of the great eccentrics”. That narrator, by the way, is no less a personage than jazz singer George Melly, of whom Quentin Crisp famously said “Mr Melly has to be obscene to be believed”.

Of course being “at home” with Edward James is a multinational undertaking. And people, what wonders the journey brings! James describes the travelling menagerie that is his life in the high, piping voice which contemporaries always remarked upon. His irascible temperament and bitterness are also much in evidence. There is little to…

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Robert Mapplethorpe in Paris: Grand Palais, Musée Rodin

March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé may have spotted Robert Mapplethorpe’s talent early on, but for a long time France failed to give the legendary American photographer the institutional recognition he deserved. Not anymore.

Today the Grand Palais in Paris is unveiling the artist’s first retrospective in the country, while the Musée Rodin is gearing up for an intimate presentation of his photographs, shown alongside works by the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin.


Robert Mapplethorpe, Thomas, 1987

The exhibition marks a new direction for the Grand Palais, which has only recently started to dedicate major solo shows to photographers. It began with the 2012 Helmut Newton exhibition, also curated by [Jérôme] Neutres.

Opening on April 8, the Musée Rodin exhibition will gather 102 photographs presented alongside 50 Rodin sculptures. Italian curator Germano Celant was the first to link the two artists. But it was the French art critic Judith Benhamou-Huet who suggested the idea to the Musée Rodin—she’s co-curator of the show, associate curator of the Grand Palais retrospective, and the author of the monograph Dans la vie noire et blanche de Robert Mapplethorpe, out this month.

“We chose Mapplethorpe’s most sculptural photographs, then looked for pieces that would resonate with them in our collection,” explains co-curator of the Musée Rodin show Hélène Pinet. “It’s very much Mapplethorpe-Rodin, not Rodin-Mapplethorpe.”


(via ARTNET:

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