Photo of the Week

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The Louvre lights up. © Paris Update

 

Paris Update This Week’s Events

For full details about an event, click on the title to visit the official Web site (in English when available).

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Hélène Angel's Primaire. Cinéma Le Brady, Paris, Feb. 24

Virtual reality on show
> Virtuality will host speakers and networking sessions on this hot topice. Centquatre, Paris, Feb. 24-26.

Contemporary textile art
>Miniartextil is an exhibition of new textiles from around the world. Le Beffroi, Montrouge, Feb. 22-March 19.

A barnyard in Paris

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> The Salon International de l'Agriculture brings the best of the country's livestock and crops and the products made from them to Paris. Porte de Versailles, Paris, Feb. 25-March 5.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, March 1-April 13.

Paris semi-marathon
> Starts and ends on the Esplanade du Château de Vincennes, March 5.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Matthew Lancit's Flâneurs (Street Rambles). Cinéma MacMahon, Paris, March 3.

Literary conversations
> The festival New Writings, New Styles brings well-known Irish and French writers together to discuss contemporary literature in the two countries. Irish Cultural Centre, Paris, March 3-4.

Indian film scene
> The festival India Express takes a tour of new and classic films focusing on the subcontinent’s major cities. Forum des Images, Paris, through Feb. 26.

Young European photographers
> The Festival Circulation(s) features emerging photographers. Centquatre, Paris, through March 5.

Frank Capra Retrospective
> The great American director in the spotlight. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Feb. 27.

 

Art - Temporary Exhibitions

 

Biennale de Sculpture

A Stroll Through
150 Years of Sculpture

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“Eve au Rocher, Grand Modèle” (1907), by Auguste Rodin. © Ville de Yerres

The small town of Yerres, about an hour from Paris, would seem to be an unlikely place for a major exhibition covering a century and a half of sculpture and including greats of the past like Auguste Rodin, Antoine Bourdelle, Alberto Giacometti and Germaine Richier as well as many talents of the present.

The Biennale de Sculptures is held on the former estate of painter Gustave Caillebotte, with its large park dotted with follies, including a tiny chapel and an ingenious “deep freeze” dug into the earth long before refrigeration existed.

A pleasant stroll around the park takes visitors past the larger sculptures. Off in the distance on a grassy knoll is Jaume Piensa’s “Isabella” (2015), the head of a woman in cast iron. From far away it looks three-dimensional, but if you approach and walk around it, you will see

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Views of Jaume Piensa’s “Isabella” (2015) from different angles. © Ville de Yerres

that it is almost flat, with the features skewed to offer an illusion of realism from any angle.

Straddling the river that runs through the park (where the Caillebotte family practiced rowing) is “Fight Club” (2011) by Kasia Ozga, three massive forearms with the hands clasped together, probably for an arm-wrestling match rather than in friendship, given the title.

I was especially drawn to another massive piece, Denis Monfleur’s powerful “Le Grand Assis” (2013), a roughly carved head and torso in Chambois basalt, strangely affecting even though the face is blank.

Less monumental and more in tune with the natural setting were two works by Florence de Ponthaud, whose site-specific works, “Aux Aguets” and “Oiseau Comète” are made from tree branches and other natural elements. The former looks like a monstrous insect waiting for its prey on a mound of earth, while the latter, a bird made of branches hovering in a tree above its rough “nest,” blends subtly into its setting.

A few works are on show in the Orangerie in the park, most dramatically Alain Séchas’s monumental “Centaure Mourant” (2008), a

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“Centaure Mourant” (2008), by Alain Séchas, fallen dead to the floor. © Ville de Yerres

copy in plastic of a monumental work of the same name by Bourdelle, with a big difference. From time to time, this robotized version comes to life, and the half-man, half-horse unfolds and collapses to the ground, no longer dying but dead.

In the same room are much quieter pieces by young artists Léa Klein, who works with fabric, and Ana Maria Lozana Rivera, whose hanging

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Detail of “La Carne es Tierra Fertil” (2016), by Ana Maria Lozano Rivera. © Ville de Yerressculptures and other works combine grasping hands with natural elements like bark and live orchids.

Indoors, the highly varied exhibits range from an instantly recognizable sculpture by Dubuffet painted in red, white and blue to a poetic bronze piece by Marie-Noëlle de la Poype, “Moby Dick II,” which is easy to imagine as a fossilized bone from the nemesis of Captain Ahab himself.

Pascal Convert’s “Three Angels of the Abbey of Saint Gildas des Bois,” encases the three white

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Pascal Convert’s “Three Angels of the Abbey of Saint Gildas des Bois” (2011). © Ville de Yerres

angels in crystal, casting mysterious shadows on the wall behind them.

This survey of a century and a half of sculpture in a green setting is a great excuse for a daytrip from Paris. Try not to miss it.

Heidi Ellison

Propriété Caillebotte: 8 rue de Concy, 91330 Yerres. Take the RER D, direction Melun, and get off at Yerres (20 minutes from the Gare de Lyon). The estate is a 15-minute walk from the station, or take the F bus. Tel.: 01 80 37 20 61. Park (free admission) open April 1-May 30, 9am-8:30pm and June 1-July 31, 9am-9pm. Admission to exhibition: €5. Exhibition through July 10, 2016. www.proprietecaillebotte.com

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