Alejandra de Argos by Elena Cué



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The Parisian Robert Mallet Stevens (1886-1945), who together with Le Corbusier was one of the most influential architects of the French modern movement, was the designer of this architectural marvel, built in 1927. In 1929 he founded the Union des Artistes Modernes to unite the Parisian avant-garde artists of the first half of the 20th century — Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand




The house is part of a small urbanization designed by Mallet Stevens. On top of the cylindrical hollow staircase, there are a number of different spaces which form the complex design that the owners commissioned. Geometric forms merge seamlessly, creating a harmonious whole. Rue Mallet-Stevens nº 10, 75016 Paris.



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Thanks to gallery-owner Eric Touchaleaume (Gallerie 54), today we can see the concrete light source built by Mallet Stevens for his casino La Pérgola de Saint-Jean-de-Luz: yet another example of how this architect extends his work to sculpture and design.





 martín parr 

We're so obsessed with taking photographs that we forget to live the experience

This is an unmissable opportunity to see 62-year-old British photographer Martin Parr’s current work. Parr’s focus has been on mass tourism, a theme he studies critically but not without humour. In this exhibition, La Maison de la Photographie Européenne has given the artist carte blanche to offer his own personal vision of the city of Paris, with its people, its many streets filled with tourists, its museums, restaurants, fairs, its fashion and anything that might have caught his eye as photographer and foreigner. Read more.


Martin Parr's Parisian world consists of around 60 current pieces and some older ones as well: this is an excellent opportunity to reflect on tourists' irrational hunger to immortalize everything they see, without looking beyond that which lies in front of them, without even feeling what they're experiencing.

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Martin Parr Paris

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Bill Viola, New York’s greatest video-artist, is currently displaying his work in the Gran Palais. The exhibition is in fact a retrospective, containing works from the 70s to the present day.


Viola’s works have always centered around the general concept of Life — natural phenomena such as fire, wind, water and death are some of the specific themes that come up time and again. His search for a natural order in the world, by means of  simple, subtle harmony, is evident to those viewers who invest time in his work, which invites us to escape our day-to-day lives and appreciate the natural principles that sustain existence, the way the Ancient Greeks understood it. Life seen as continuous movement and change (“Life is like a flowing river”). Through his work, Viola wants us to stop and think about who we are, our surroundings, where we’re heading and whether or not we’re actually perceiving the world around us.


Viola challenges the viewer with 20 works projected onto more than 30 screens, ranging from overlapping canvases to a large-format polyptych and each with its accompanying soundtrack filling the room.


Some of the works refer to the great masters of painting — in Going Forth by Day (2002) we see the fresco from Giotto’s Saint Francis chapel; in The Quintet of the Astonished (2000) there is a reference to El Bosco, and The Sleep of Reason (1988) includes a Goya.



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The installation is incredible — the different elements of the exhibition, from the distribution of the videos in each room, the lighting, the spaces, the sounds, all work together in harmony to effectively surround the visitors in the sensorial world of Viola’s art. Unmissable!








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Grand Palais‎




Grand Palais and Musée Rodin.  Until July 13.


The city of Paris is commemorating the 25 years since the death of the great New York artist Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) with two exhibitions, at the Grand Palais and Musée Rodin.

The Grand Palais has amassed over 250 works which sum up Mapplethorpe’s life-long career, the different phases it went through, and what was going through his mind when he pressed the shutter release on his Polaroid or Hasselblad. He was obsessed with beauty and with the idea of a world without limits; he studied the power of nature in the human body to give us unforgettable images of faces, hands, naked bodies, as well as a series of photographs of flowers that add a touch of delicacy to his work.

The creative aspect of his photography goes hand in hand with the technical — he was always aware of the latest advances in optical technology and film development. In fact, the exhibition reveals how his film formats evolved through time: from silver gelatin for his first black-and-white images, his colour Polaroids, the photo-engravings of the later years and even his paper- and linen-printed platinum copies. His large-scale formats are key in understanding his image compositions. For the artist in search of perfection, it was the end result that was truly important, not the photograph itself.

Complementary to the Grand Palais exhibition, the Musée Rodin, in conjunction with the Mapplethorpe Foundation, has organized another exhibition with the aim of creating a dialogue between these two great artists. The exhibition consists of 50 sculptures by Rodin together with 102 of Mapplethorpe’s photos, taking visitors on a journey towards the beauty of the human body. Mapplethorpe’s role here is that of an image sculptor: through strongly marked contrasts of light and the refined poses of his models — reminding us of the great Masters of the Italian Renaissance — he achieves an almost otherworldly corporealness.


The heterodoxy of Mapplethorpe’s work has sparked numerous discussions on the limits of art. This retrospective provides a unique opportunity to understand how an American artist who began his career doing collages with other people’s photos eventually became one of the 20th century’s art icons. Through his self-portraits, the artist himself clearly expressed his personal commitment to the search for new worlds, where everything is possible and nothing is forbidden. "I'm looking for the unexpected. I'm looking for things I've never seen before…”

The exhibition at the Grand Palais includes a room with perhaps his best-known works, those of a S&M nature — this room is not accessible to minors. Not that these works are not worth seeing, on the contrary they contain part of the artist’s essence. All his work is full of eroticism, sensuality, subtlety.



An unmissable exhibition! Advanced booking is highly recommended.














 Museo de Luxemburgo Paris 

Josephine.  Museo de Luxemburgo (Hasta el 29 de Junio)

The Joséphine exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg — organized to celebrate the bicentenary of her death — is a great opportunity for lovers of classical art.


This exhibition allows visitors to see the different stages of Joséphin’s life, from her time in Martinique, her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte and coronation as empress in 1804, to her life after her divorce. The music, culture, travels, fashion, gardens and art collecting present in her life are all witness to her progressive lifestyle and her great influence on the modus operandi of French society in the first half of the 19th century.


History fans and francophiles will enjoy a unique walk through the artistic legacy of this temporary empress (1804-1809) who died in 1814. Paintings, sculptures, furniture, ceramics, tableware, jewellery, precious stones and luxurious clothing are all part of this lavish exhibition.






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On April 19th inaugurates “Michael Clifton & Michael Benevento and D´Ette Nogle Present: Regressing to Mean“, the second solo exhibition by D’Ette Nogle (1974, La Mirada, CA; vive e lavora a Los Angeles) with Clifton Benevento.

Her work is often in service of the host and the particular context in which its presented. Among her works, the video “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy,” in which the artist dances with some of her students from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, putting into practice the assumption that a teacher should learn from the culture of her students in order to develop the right educational practice; in “Reality / Relax” she pays tribute to the structure of Dan Graham’s 1969 “Lax / Relax” performance by reading at home, with her parents, some dialogue transcriptions taken from reality shows. For the 2012 edition of ”Made in LA”, the biennial organized by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, she played inside of the museum the bells used during meditation sessions.




Matteo Mottin asked some questions to the artist.

Matteo Mottin: Could you tell me about “Michael Clifton & Michael Benevento and D´Ette Nogle Present: Regressing to Mean”? How is it structured?

D’Ette Nogle: The structure supports a testing exercise. Participants take two brief 10-question tests, Form A and Form B. The 10-question test presents visual information and the two answer choices are A) true or B) untrue. As soon as the participant completes Form A, their test is scored and they are informed of their results. Then they will complete Form B. Form B is scored and test-takers are able to determine the change between their results on the two forms of the test. They will know if they: advanced toward the mean, regressed toward the mean, or maintained a consistent position in relation to the mean.  The gallery will be organized to support testing by providing an area where participants look at two tableaux that serve as prompts for the first two questions of the test and an area with a table where test-takers may sit and complete the remainder of the test questions. While test-takers wait for their results, they can also make use of a reading table where they may read material from Clifton Benevento’s extensive art library.

MM: “Regressing to Mean” reminds me about my Statistics exams… Why did you choose this title?

DN: First, there is the direct connection to the language of statistics, as you mention, and the idea that when a result is extreme in its first measurement, the second result will be closer to the average. Conversely, if the result is extreme in its second measurement, it will tend to be closer to the average on the first measurement.  Also, there is a connection to the other content of the exhibition, the theme of schadenfreude and the potential connection between “meanness” and low self-image on the part of the person feeling schadenfreude.  Finally, using elements from my previous show at Clifton Benevento (the office partitions), there is an intentional regression to mean or to communicate a link to my first show at the gallery which is then intended to convey a comparison between the two shows and highlight the vulnerability of the art practice to evaluation or assessment–which is often self-imposed (e.g., “Has she improved or regressed?” or “Have I regressed or is this an improvement?”)

MM: In this exhibition you overturn the common relationship artist-viewer within the exhibition circumstance: here you use a test to give marks to the visitors, and these marks are based on the answers given by a gallery representative. Could you tell me about the reasons behind that? 

DN: I see it as an opportunity to consider the typical circumstances that determine how art is viewed and evaluated. In the testing exercise, one person’s subjective answers are compared to another’s, that of Silke Lindner, an employee of the gallery.  People working at galleries are often called upon to provide answers to questions about the artist and the art on view.  In this case, you have the opportunity to see how your interpretations of the work compare to hers.

MM: You’re using the same grey office partitions you used in your first solo exhibition with the gallery, “Michael Clifton & Michael Benevento and D’Ette Nogle Present: Information from Two Sources” (2012). Besides that, is there any other connection between these two exhibitions?

DN: Each of the two tableaux residing within the office partitions present a scenario, one involving a blonde female and one involving a male. In Information from Two Sources, there was a video within each partitioned space, one presenting the text from an Elle magazine article about the lifestyle of the actress Blake Lively whose role on the series Gossip Girl is characterized in the article as “the perfect escapist heroine for our recession-era daydreams,” and one presenting the narration of a viral video made by an investment publisher named Porter Stanberry called “End of America.” In the video, Stansberry employs fear-mongering and advises potential investors to invest in as much gold and silver as they can afford. Another link to the first exhibition will be a series of three Thematic Posters for Exhibition (Improving, Regressing, Norming). Each of the three will graphically represent improvement, regression, and a consistent relationship to the mean.  In the first show, there was an “Investment Opportunity” which presented a portfolio of prints based on scans of my hair, one gold portfolio containing color prints of my blonde hair and one silver portfolio containing black and white prints. I see the “Investment Opportunity” and the Thematic Posters, in their representation of value variations, as an opportunity to consider how art and artists are collected and valued.

MM: This exhibition builds around the notion of schadenfreude, i.e. the joy derived from the misfortunes of others. Why did you decide to deal with this topic?

DN: As a statistical phenomenon, regression toward the mean is also associated with “second-year syndrome” and “the sophomore slump”. I’ve been considering the “sophomore album” and the projections we might be placing on performers or other producers.  When we perceive someone’s diminishing success, we may actually be seeking the experience of schadenfreude. When the value judgment is placed on the production of art or some other form of cultural expression, it is difficult to attribute it to the statistical phenomenon or a desire within ourselves.  The investment of art largely operates within set conditions that determine value and affect what, by extension, will be valued by others.  Within these conditions, it’s difficult to determine what is “true” and what is “untrue.”

Until May 24. The gallery is located at 515 Broadway between Broome and Spring streets, New York. Opening hours are 11am-6pm Tuesday though Saturday.









 Written by our friends at in colaboration with Matteo Mottin

Contributor: Maira Herrero, 
MA in Philosophy.






Olafur Eliasson elvira gonzalez informarte es

My first encounter with the fascinating world of 47-year-old Copenhagen-born Ólafur Elíasson was over a decade ago, in October 2003 in London’s Tate Modern. I found myself before an incredible installation that took up the entire entrance of the museum (Turbine Hall). I was greatly taken aback: light, colour and sound enveloped me so intensely that I actually thought I was seeing a real twilight sun in front of me. Reality and fiction started merging in my head, flinging me and the other visitors in the hall into a whole new dimension of perception. I have been following the artist consistently since then, an artist I consider to be one of the most established in the contemporary international art scene. His artwork, via sensory, imaginative and technical means, offers viewers a range of possibilities for its interpretation.


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On February 21, Ólafur Elíasson presented his second exhibition, Your Successful Uncertainty, at the Elvira González Gallery in Madrid, the curious title once again representing a nod to the visitor, and a subtle reminder that interaction is a key element of his art. This is not the first time Elíasson starts his artwork titles with the possessive pronoun: Your Uncertain Shadow, Your Blind Movement…


This exhibition is part of Alejandra de Argos’ selection of the Top 10 Exhibitions in Madrid.


The works included in this exhibition are formally very different from one another, yet they all relate to this relationship which is always present in Elíasson’s work: nature as a creative force, and science through method, as answers to life’s endless questions. Elíasson is an explorer in the true sense of the word: he explores and searches through contact with the natural world, which he then represents in his images, such as the ones included in this exhibition (The Hot Spring Series); he picks up pieces of wood on his long walks, transforming them into artworks full of aesthetic and technical meaning (Access Compass); he experiments with everyday materials, such as a decomposing mirror attached by a magnet to a meteorite found in New Mexico; or he reminds us of the importance of water on our planet through an inverted cataract (Waterfall Machine). His works always relate to space as a reflection of movement, light, weather, the experience of life, etc. For Elíasson, the simple act of walking creates space and time (Leer es respirar, es devenir. Escritos de Ólafur Elíasson. GG, Barcelona 2012).


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To understand this artist is to understand the reality of our contemporary world. He works with nature to try to unravel its mysteries — he has set up an experimental laboratory in his Berlin studio, where a team of architects, scientists, artisans and art historians help him to execute his ideas, transforming them into the finished pieces that we see in museums and galleries. He is always on the lookout for new ways of merging science and nature, equally interested in both the technical and physical aspects of art, the organic and inorganic. We could say his work can be synthesized as a constant search for the artistic representation of life’s natural phenomena.


His commitment to art extends to education too — Elíasson is also a professor at The Berlin University of Arts. In 2009 he created the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments), and since then he has been responsible for providing students with his own brand of innovative art education. His comprehensive training approach has led him to take trips with his students in order for them to better understand their relationship with their surroundings. Out of this approach came the Little Sun lamp, a small solar-powered light source that has allowed him to bring light to those remote places of the world that are not connected to the power grid.


When taken as a whole, Ólafur Elíasson’s work is once again a reminder that there can be no meaning in a world without art.




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