Paris Celebrates the Life & Legacy of André Derain & Christian Dior
12 April 2017
See Two of the Leading Pioneers in the Realms of Art & Fashion
Paris has an unsurpassed reputation when it comes to the development of art and fashion; which is highlighted in two exciting exhibitions this July and October. Firstly, master couturier Christian Dior is remembered at Musée des Arts Décoratifs; then co-founder of Fauvism, André Derain takes centre stage as the Pompidou Centre explores the artist’s most prolific period.
André Derain: 1904-1914 the Radical Decade
4th October 2017 – 29th January 2018
Friend of Vlaminck, Matisse, Braque and Picasso – Derain joins his colourful comrades as one of the most influential avant-garde artists to emerge out of the 20th century. The pre-war period between 1904 and 1914 was a particularly productive stage in the career of the French artist; hence that is the area of exploration for Centre Pompidou’s Derain retrospective – the first of its kind in over 20 years.
The look at Derain’s radical years will feature over 100 paintings, 40 graphic works and 20 sculptures; displayed chronologically – beginning with his co-founding of Fauvism in 1905, when Derain joined Matisse in the fishing port of Collioure. Paintings on display from this year include Boats at Collioure and Portrait of Matisse – which were first exhibited at Salon d’Automne; where the term les Fauves or ‘wild beasts’ was coined for the first time by Louis Vauxcelles. Another Fauvist highlight is Derain’s series of paintings from his time in London. Here he would paint multiple pictures of the Thames and Tower Bridge; hailed by art critic T.G. Rosenthal, who said “not since Monet has anyone made London seem so fresh and yet remain quintessentially English.”
The exhibition – like Derain – then moves away from Fauvism; as the artist travelled to Montmartre in 1907 to be near his friend Pablo Picasso. Here Derain began to shift from the vivid Fauvist palette to more subtle tones, showing the influence of Cubism and Paul Cézanne in paintings like his series of Bathers (1907 – 1908). The most evident of Derain’s foray into Cubism on display, include his Still Life’s (1910 – 1911) and his iconic The Last Supper of Jesus from 1911.
After 1911, Derain had begun to grow disillusioned with the likes of Cubism and Cezanne, himself stating “Cezanne disturbs me. His efforts to achieve perfection are incompatible with the liberty of human thought.” This period in Derain’s career is marked with his collection of Expressionist works, most notably his numerous portraits including Portrait of a Man with a Newspaper (1913) and Portrait of a Young Girl in Black (1914) – also referred to as his ‘Gothic’ period, with his painting demonstrating features of the ‘Old Masters’.
It is here where the look into Derain’s ‘Radical Decade’ ends, after he was mobilised for military service in World War I. However, more than a mere showcasing of Derain’s avant-garde artwork, the exhibition also presents an exploration of the painter’s previously undiscovered archives. Photographs, collections of prints, artwork reproductions and personal letters are displayed alongside his most iconic paintings; providing for the most important look into the life and work of André Derain to date.
6th July 2017 – 7th January 2018
While fashionistas may argue over the acceptability of kitten heels or the true origins of the LBD, few will quarrel over the influence that Christian Dior has had on fashion. This July, the iconic designer and his legacy are remembered at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs – commemorating the 70th anniversary of the fashion-house.
Emerging out of the prosperous post-war period, Christian Dior would revolutionise fashion in 1947 with his New Look silhouette; shedding the regimented designs of World War II, thus beginning a momentous decade in fashion history – one that Dior himself called the Golden Age. But if the 40s and 50s were golden, the following years would be platinum by comparison; as the fashion-house moved beyond mere dressmaking and into realms of ready-to-wear, accessories, footwear, jewellery, fragrance and make-up – while still maintaining tradition as a creator of haute-couture.
Now Christian Dior resides as arguably the most desirable brand in the world; and the rich history of the fashion-house can all be discovered under one roof, in the most significant retrospective on the iconic designer to-date. On display, there will be numerous pieces designed by Dior himself, which will be joined by creations from the likes of Yves Saint Laurent; who succeeded Dior as creative designer of the company after his sudden death in 1957. Other head designers: Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri – the first female creative director of Christian Dior – will also have their Dior collections showcased.
The surplus of 400 dresses and stunning haute-couture will also be presented alongside accessories, sketches, designs, photographs and archival materials; shedding light on the inspiration behind momentous collections. An ever-changing array of special events and interactive workshops will also be available in the galleries and central nave of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, throughout the duration of the exhibition.
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