Europe at the Crossroads: Portes Ouvertes de Belleville & the Prè Saint-Gervais, Performers from Around the World — Artists Converge on Paris; Help the Arts Voyager be there

Parce que oui, la Culture française – comme d’ailleurs tous les cultures qui déferle vers Paris – appartient au monde qu’elle a si souvent rayonné, et il faut refusé de la laisse etre confiné et sequestré par les forces de l’Obscurantisme.

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 The Open Studios or Portes Ouvertes de Belleville  and those of the Prè Saint-Gervais, performers including Berlin’s Constanza Macras, Portugal’s Vera Mantero, a major exhibition devoted to Camille Pissarro paintings rarely seen in France, Belgium’s Alain Platel, Spain’s Israel Galvan, Crystal Pite — these are just a few of the major cultural happenings in Paris and environs this Spring that the Arts Voyager and Dance Insider will be able to cover with your support.

Many of you first read about these internationally renowned artists and events for the first time in English in our journals and, continuing our 20-year mission of bringing you stories not told elsewhere, we’ll also be reporting on Giulio D’Anna, a Netherlands-based Italian choreographer whose “OOOOOOO” is inspired by Zagreb’s “Museum of Broken Relationships,” and Jasna Vinovrski’s “Lady Justice,” addressing the relationship between justice and art. Speaking of art, we’d also like to bring you Yasmina Reza’s “Art” as interpreted at the Theatre de la Bastille by the pioneering Belgium theater company STAN . And of intersections between art and society, this year’s Chantiers (Building Projects) d’Europe festival at the Theatre de la Ville features countries in the front lines of the refugee crisis, notably in six short films from Greece addressing this topic and a public brainstorming session with artists from six countries. Most of all we’ll be able to bring you into the studios of the 200+ artists taking part in the Open Studios of Belleville — a neighborhood which in its very MULTI-CULTURAL contours and dimensions provides the best retort to the cloistered vision of French culture represented by the National Front. (We share the FN’s stated pride in traditional French culture; we simply argue that this definition is too limited and does not do justice to the grandeur and ouverture to the world that has always been French culture.) Click here to read our coverage of last year’s Open Studios / Portes Ouvertes de Belleville.

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France, too, is at the crossroads. On May 7  the country will choose between the fear represented by the National Front and the hope and optimism represented by Emmanuel Macron. Between closure and opening. In the campaign between these two ‘cultures’ that has raged in this country for the past two years, CULTURE has been all but forgotten. (Among Macron’s refreshing ideas: More library hours.) With your help, we will be able to do our part in restoring some light to what has always been France’s principal calling card around the world. Our calling for more than 20 years.Many thanks and




Stereotype or not, the mercenary reputation of some art merchants — or gallerists, if you prefer — hasn’t much improved in the 60 years since Michel Ragon‘s novel “Trompe-l’oeil” pilloried them as arbitrary taste-makers ready to ruin an artist over a caprice. But they can also be capable of not just unveiling new talent but re-awakening interest in forgotten figures. Such was the role of Jean-Claude Riedel, who after re-discovering the Franco-Chinese denizen of Montparnasse Sanyu in the middle of the 1960s — Sanyu died in 1966 — championed him for the next four decades from his gallery on the rue Guénégaud in Paris. “The importance of Jean-Claude Riedel in the post-humous recognition of Sanyu cannot be over-estimated,” explains Rita Wong, author of the three catalogues raisonnés on the artist. “Of the 257 paintings repertoried in the first volume of the catalogue raisonné, more than half passed through his hands.” In China and southeast Asia, some of Sanyu’s paintings can go for as much $10 million. The 45 drawings from Riedel’s collection to be dispersed in Artcurial’s December 6 sale marking the 50th anniversary of Sanyu’s death — and on exhibition at the auction house’s Paris headquarters December 1 – 5 — are estimated at much more modest prices, starting in the high four figures. “Sanyu’s paintings are today impossible to find, and collectors are crying for his works on paper,” said Bruno Jaubert, Artcurial’s director of Impressionist and Modern Art. “Jean-Claude Riedel’s collection is exceptional.” Left: Poster for a Sanyu exhibition organized at the Galerie Jean-Claude Riedel. Right: Sanyu (1911 -1966), “Femme au chapeau bleu.” Watercolor and ink on paper, 46 x 30 cm. Collection Jean-Claude Riedel. Artcurial pre-sale estimate: 20,000 – 30,000 Euros. Image courtesy and copyright Artcurial. — Paul Ben-Itzak