• Sunday, September 27, 2020

American Artists Paris

The American Artists Storm Paris
September 3, 2014
By , Art Contributor and CEO of Art Privee

Paris is home to the art greats, like Monet, Renoir and Rodin, who laid the foundation for the modern-day art world. But in the past 160 or so years, Americans have made quite a bit of progress in the art world, and they are taking Paris by storm.

More recently, in March of 2014 pioneer video artist Bill Viola, and American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe were both the focus of large retrospectives at the Grand Palais in Paris.

It was Viola’s first retrospective in France, and the first time the Grand Palais had an exhibition devoted to video art. Twenty of his videos, such as “The Encounter,” were displayed in room after room – each one different, but all fascinating, meditative and spiritual.

Although his acclaimed show at the Grand Palais closed in July, you can still see Viola’s works if you hop over to London, where his piece Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) is on display at St. Pauls Cathedral and can be watched at specific times.

Robert Mapplethorpe’s retrospective at the Grand Palais showcased over 250 images, with subjects ranging from self-portraits, classical sculptures and beautiful, colorful flowers.

If you missed the Mapplethorpe retrospective at the Grand Palais, you can still view the ingenious pairing of Mapplethorpe’s photographs with Rodin’s sculptures at the Musée Rodin on the left bank. The dialogue between Mapplethorpe’s black and white images and Rodin’s white casts and dark bronzes is brilliant. Although the artists lived at different times, they were both obsessed with the body. This show emphasizes how each presented different aspects of the body, in some cases using drapery to highlight his subjects.


“Mapplethorpe sought the perfect form, whereas Rodin attempted to capture the sense of movement…”


The show at Musée Rodin continues through September 21st, which gives you a good reason to high-tail it over to Paris (besides the opening of the new Peninsula hotel, of course). 

View more photos and read about many other fabulous art experiences at Linda Fischbach’s art directory at www.artprivee.org.