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Three Unmissable Exhibitions in Paris this August

30 July 2015

Explore Historic Artefacts & Modern-Day Masterpieces during an Inspiring Day Out

With its world-class array of galleries and museums, Paris is the perfect destination for art and design lovers. We’ve narrowed down the seemingly endless list of exhibitions and attractions to three that we think are simply unmissable this summer. From a look at Lanvin’s stylish archives, to the chance to see fragile artworks by Patrick Neu and a delve into 2,000 years of theatre in Asia, there’s a day out in Paris to inspire everyone this August.

From Nô to Mata Hari, 2,000 Years of Asian Theatre

Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet

Until 31st August 2015

Beginning with a large textile and paper Barong, a lion-like mythological creature from Bali, this 300 piece exhibition takes each visitor on a vibrant journey through the last 2,000 years of Asian theatre. Indian costumes, Peking Opera dresses and Japanese masks offer the chance to explore the history and connections between traditions and inspirations across the continent. The earliest artefacts, terracotta Mingqi figurines depicting dancers and acrobats, date back to the Chinese Han era (206BC – 220AD), while more recent designs include Japanese textile artist Itchiku Kubota’s kimono designs that illustrate landscapes.

Props include leather shadow theatre cut-outs and three exquisite Indonesian marionettes, each wearing form-fitting blouses and long flowing skirts decorated in floral fabrics, with thin wooden sticks attached to each delicate hand. A diverse selection of films and documentaries are also available to view in the 276 seat auditorium; from a full-length showing of Chinese opera The Peony Pavilion to a 1905 recording of the spy Mata Hari performing a Brahman dance and Javanese puppet show in the museum’s old library. A dynamic celebration of Asian theatre, this informative and exciting exhibition is ideal for visitors of any age.

Patrick Neu Exhibition

Palais de Tokyo

Until 13th September 2015

Fine line sketches on Blue Morpho Butterfly wings and precise etchings into crystal are just two of the mesmerising artistic feats by Patrick Neu on show at the Palais de Tokyo this summer. Born in 1963, the French artist has spent the last 30 years experimenting and perfecting his delicate works, turning “…materials and practices on their head”. Despite exhibiting in the likes of the Louvre and Hermes Foundation in Brussels, his works have managed to remain under the radar to many, however this first major exhibition of Neu’s work should attract a new and enamoured audience.

Having taken 15 years to complete, a full set of Samurai armour crafted in crystal sits upright on a plinth, while a gold coloured straitjacket made entirely out of braided bees’ wings has been carefully placed on a metal stand. A timeline of watercolour paintings show an iris in various stages of decay, while the pièce de résistance is an array of upturned crystal glasses, each blackened with smoke and etched into to reveal exquisite reworks of historic masterpieces, from the growling tiger in Surprised! By Henri Rousseau to the charging horse in Paolo Uccello’s The Battle of San Romano. It’s this ability to challenge perceptions of what art or an object can be made of and how it can be depicted that makes this exhibition truly intriguing.

Jeanne Lanvin Retrospective

Palais Galliera

Until 23rd August 2015

As the oldest French fashion house still in business, it may come as a surprise that Palais Galliera’s Jeanne Lanvin exhibition is the first entirely dedicated to the designer in the capital. Boasting over 100 models, the display is curated by theme, ranging from monochrome colour palettes to jewel-like dresses including the famous La Cavallini, with its black taffeta skirt, red cape and embroidered oversized bow featuring pearls and Swarovski crystals. With inspirations varying between travel diaries, nature books, theatrical documents and ethnic costumes, the array of shapes, colours and construction techniques on show offers an awe-inspiring day out for any fashion fan.

The Parisian born designer began her career in 1885 as an apprentice milliner, launched her own boutique just four years later and began designing garments upon the birth of her daughter Marguerite in 1897. Marguerite was at the very centre of the brand, from the initial expansion into childrenswear to the Arpège perfume created for her 30th birthday and of course, the logo depicting mother and daughter dancing. As well as developing her own expertise, Lanvin grew her team too; over 1,000 seamstresses helped ensure that her womenswear, bespoke tailored menswear, couture creations, bridalwear, lingerie, sportswear and even interior décor collections could all flourish. This enlightening exhibition offers a unique chance to discover more about a fashion legacy that may have been overlooked for far too long.

With such a wealth of beautiful creations and spectacles, a visit to these three Parisian exhibitions will definitely deliver a feast for the eyes this August.


'Palais Galliera' © Marion Decarnelle | CC License


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