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22.2.08

Les Journaux

Loris GréaudThe main exhibition space of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris has been given over to a solo show by a young French artist named Loris Gréaud (pictured). The show, called Cellar Door (through April 27), essentially recreates his studio inside the exhibition space, as reviewed by Valérie Duponchelle (Un artiste de 29 ans s'offre les 4000 m2 du Palais de Tokyo, February 14) in Le Figaro (my translation):

A project like Cellar Door is a utopia. For me, the immaterial is not a source of frustration, but a very productive force, a motor of desire. My exhibit is like a mille-feuille made of successive layers. A 5-year-old child can find something here as can someone who has studied art history all his life. [...] My first aesthetic shock I owe to Bruce Nauman and his video Mapping the Studio. I did not know the work of this important American artist when I went to see his exhibit at Beaubourg. I was a student in graphic art and I took advantage of every break to visit museums and galleries. I loved going back into his world and feeling completely overwhelmed. That moment of anguish is my definition of art. I felt the same reaction in front of Géricault's Raft of the Medusa in the Louvre."
The always entertainingly acerbic Jonathan Jones finally took the advice of many readers, by getting out of London to have a look at public art and museums in the smaller cities of Great Britain, for The Guardian, and was pleasantly surprised, once he had actually left London:
In the silvery early morning light under the great glass roof, colossal lovers embrace; the man's suit and the woman's skirt, their limbs and smooth faces are all cast in bronze on a scale that is - according to your feelings about the sculpture unveiled last year at London's St Pancras Station - either moving or grotesque. Welcome to the land that taste forgot. How can a country that vaunts its artistic brilliance greet people off the train from continental Europe with this artless folly? Aesthetically backward, sloppily executed, it is a work with no merit whatsoever ... but hold on.
The Scots, pioneers of photography? Yes, it's true, says Paul Kelbie in The Observer:
The first survey of Scotland's role in the development of photography has been compiled by Dr Tom Normand, of the School of Art History [of the University of St. Andrews], to assess just how the university town was pivotal to the development of the art form in the 19th century art. In the 1840s, the townsfolk and university professors created some of the most important images in the history of the photography. Scots pioneers helped spread the new visual medium from the major cities to the towns and villages, throughout the highlands and islands and to the rest of the world.
You can waste a lot of time looking through the digital collection of photographs in the university's collection.

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