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  • sarastgeorge7

La Vie en Rose.

Updated: May 4, 2023

'Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions. ‘ - Pablo Picasso

I knew it was going to be hot today, so a midday visit to a gallery was in order. Galleries generally tend to be climate controlled, so I was hoping for some respite from the city heat.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve been capturing all sorts of multicolour displays on camera. Certain pops of colour keep catching my eye, and I realise there seems to be a common thread. It all came together today when I visited a beautiful exhibition at the Musee Picasso. To mark 50 years since Picasso died, one of Britain's leading designers, Sir Paul Smith, has curated a selection of masterpieces from the Picasso collection, using colour and the evolution of colour in Picasso's work as a theme for this exceptional showcase

This exhibition highlights the different works of Picasso in a colourful and contemporary way, which encourages the viewer to see his work in a new light. Many of the pieces may be more than a century old, but Smith brings them into a modern age.

I was particularly struck by the bold and daring use of colour and pattern to showcase the work. Rather than detracting, it added to the experience, reinventing Picasso and showing how he remains relevant in today’s world. Playful and inventive, the exhibition is more than just the sum of its parts and at times, it is the angles, lines and use of colour and light that Smith employs that create a whole new exhibition in its own right. It was a sensory feast, just like the carefully curated, colourful windows of the shops around Paris.

I bought the exhibition guide, which is its own work of art. It’s written in French, and I managed to make sense of these words from Smith about his intentions. Please excuse the clumsy translation.

‘I had to work in a more theatrical way because I wanted it to be a pleasure for the eyes, a visual experience for visitors to the museum. I hope they appreciate the works, of course, and especially that they experience emotions, such as when you attend a beautiful opera, a play or a rock concert, and that the visual experience is also emotional. Like when, at the opera, it is not only the songs and music that gives you the chills but also the atmosphere of the rooms, the sets…that is what I tried to recreate.' - Sir Paul Smith

I'd say he hit the mark perfectly for me. The conception and design of the exhibition were as illuminating as the choice of the work.,

It was over a spot of lunch in the quiet and well-spaced gardens of the Musée Carnavalet (free to access and delicious food) that I was reminded of the colourful pictures I had been gathering as I explore Paris.

That's Serge Gainsbourg's house which opens as a museum later this year, and Renoirs paints in the picture mosaic. I can see a theme - can you?

The Carnavalet Museum is also the location of one of my other favourite exhibitions by Phillipe Starck; 'Paris is Pataphysical'. It's right at the other end of the spectrum and almost devoid of colour.

I am not sure how to explain the quasi-science that is Pataphysics. It all seemed to make sense in the exhibition, which reimagined Paris and presented it through the lens of Starck

This is the most straightforward definition I can find:

' Pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions ' - Alfred Jarry The exhibition is presented as a tour which makes its way between public spaces and tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Canal Saint-Martin, the Elysée Palace and spaces like the Bain-Douches night club, using imaginary and quirky pataphysical explanations.

Although presented with very little colour throughout, Starck's approach conjures up a world of ideas that are as colourful as they are crazy. I seem to have very few images on camera. It wasn't the sort of event you photograph, preferring to commit to memory. I bought the exhibition guide to make sense of it all at another time. The few images I did keep are ones with pops of colour.

I am now wondering how I am going to carry all these exhibition books back to the UK. Oh well. I won't worry about that now. I am halfway through this little adventure, and as I remind myself each day, if you want to make something happen, you will find a solution, eventually. 'Why do two colours, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.' - Pablo Picasso

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