A little background: Toulouse has long been a center for learning. The university is the third largest in France (after Paris and Lyon) with 119,000 students and one of the oldest in Europe (1229). It has been a Visigoth capitol, capitol of Aquitaine and Languedoc, but now the seat of the Midi-Pyrenees region. It is the fourth largest city in France.
It was time for the International Art Festival, which is a good enough reason for us. We got an apartment on the west side of the Garonne River, near the tram, and set out to see what the city had to offer. Here is some of the Art we saw at the airport:
|Artemiss and Siegfried by Alain Sechas from Colombe France 2005|
|222.5 degree Arc x 5 by Bernar Venet from Chateau-Arnoux, 1999|
The works were done by Franky Amete from Guyana. He uses a compass to design his artworks which have a definite African feel. He calls it “tembe” and he worked with local school children to make these:
|Trio Loco by Arnaud Loumeau, Franeck, Soia - Collectif Indelebile|
The next day we went to a neighborhood library (mediatheque) where Franky was giving a workshop on his technique. Marie gave it a shot.
The city seemed to be bursting with Public Art:
|Fontaine Ariege et Garonne|
We happened upon an opening at one of the many galleries we passed:
|Louis Treserras at Sakah Gallery|
|Berit Treserras at Sakah Gallery|
|Liliana Proux, Sakah Gallery|
|Poet. Hill and On Framwork by Mykola Malyshko, 2011|
|Negotiating Table by Lada Nakonechna, 2104|
The next day we went to see the exhibit at Les Abattoirs, which means “the slaughterhouse.” It cleaned up very nicely and surrounded by sculpture:
|What is Public Sculpture no. 3 by Frank Scurti, 2007|
|Les Pes del parpathol-Les Pieds du papillon by Jessica Stockholder of Chicago, 2013|
|La Grande Parade . premier etat (1952) of Fernand Leger by Heidi Melano (1984-93)|
|La Partie de Campagne, 2nd etat of Fernand Leger (1953) by Heidi Melano (1984-93)|
This is a contemporary art museum, inside were displays by Swiss artist Franz Gertsch:
|Irene by Franz Gertsch, 1980|
|Johanna I by Franz Gertsch, 1983-84|
|Schwarzwasser Triptych by Franz Gertsch, 1991-92|
|Channels by Susan Hiller|
|From India to Planet Mars by Susan Hiller|
|Pisseur en face I by Jean Dubuffet, 1961|
|Echelles XIX seicle, Mali, Dogon|
|La Grande Ourse by Jean Dewasne, 1958.|
And more sculpture:
|Agoraphobia by Franz West 2005|
|Arche by Daniel Coulet, 2001|
We heard some music and followed it to a square where an unusual band featuring lots of double reeds was playing. And people were dancing the Sardane.
You may think of Catalan as being in Spain, but it is really just on the other side of the Pyrenees and the culture is found on both sides, like the Basques.
Then we walked upriver to the Chateau d’Eau which had been converted into a museum of photography. Now there was an exhibition for the Festival done together by two artists, Marie Cool & Fabio Balducci (French & Italian) A few of the pieces had to be performed throughout the day:
|by Marie Cool Fabio Balducci|
|by Marie Cool Fabio Balducci|
Across the street was the Hotel Dieu:
|closeup of fountain|
This former convent offered some interesting space for displays by two French artists, Elsa Sahal:
Across the river was the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Every Sunday they have artists selling their work on the riverside:
|Apixia Alais Rainier|
More inadvertent Art:
There were two floors of rooms with art of all periods, plus furniture and decorative items. We started at the end and saw the Impressionist paintings and drawings. An occasional Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, or Monet, but lots of others. There was Toulouse-Lautrec:
The Venetian Room featured a huge chandelier, probably Murano.
There were several by Lucas Cranach, Sr including one that was shipped to another exhibition. The piece entitled Sibylle de Cleves I thought was quite unusual, in color and fashion:
The museum features lots of paintings and sculptures from earlier periods:
|Femme se frisant by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec|
|Conquete de passage by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1896|
|Jeune fille dans un parc by Berthe Morisot, 1888-1893|
|Nymphe chasseresse by Alexandre Falguiere, vers 1888|
|La Femme au paon by Alexandre Falguiere, 1890|
CLICK HERE FOR MORE.
But these were favorites of Marie's:
Before we leave Toulouse, I want to share some of her residents:
We set up our base at a lovely old stone cottage in the Dordogne region.
Just up the road was Abri de Cap Blanc. The was actually an overhang, so cave folks lived right there while the artists carved larger than life reliefs of horses:
And Rouffignac. This cave featured an electric tram ride deep into the hillside where we saw many, many drawings. The Mammoth was the featured animal here, but there was a whole menagerie including rhinos painting on the cavernous ceiling:
Finally, there was Cougnac. The tour started in one cave that was filled with stalactites and stalagmites of all sizes.
That is all we had planned on the artistic front. Here are a few other highlights of our time in the Dordogne.
We visited Chateau des Milandes, former home of Josephine Baker. Here is an abbreviated version of her story. An African-American from St. Louis, she became famous in Paris as the star of Folies Bergere in 1922. She was also the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture.
The name of the group was Los Botarels (pronounced "boot") de Montpazier. And they were wonderful doing dance after dance in the heat. The lead accordionist was obviously the ring-leader as she announced each dance, sang for several, and pounded her sabots on the ground to keep the beat.
And lastly, St. Cyprian where there was a variety of entertainments. We caught these dancers:
|Les Lotophages by Ossip Zadkine, 1961-62.|
|La Grande Prisonniere (La France) by Ossip Zadkine, 1943|
|Femme au violon by Ossip Zadkine, 1918|
|Diane by Ossip Zadkine, 1940|
CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE.
There were paintings by his wife Valentine Prax:
|Jeux d'Enfants by Valentine Prax, 1960|
|Jeunes filles aux oiseaux by Valentine Prax, c 1953|
Before we leave the Dordogne. Here are a few more shots:
|La Dordogne by Pierre Traverse, 1953 in Le Buisson de Cadouin|
Along the way we saw a yard filled with primitive sculptures:
Though we went to Bordeaux for the wine festival, we found an impressive amount of Art there:
Just before we arrived there were sculptures by Jaume Plensa all over the city, but only this one now:
|Sanna by Jaume Plensa, 2013|
|novelist Francois Mauriac by Ossip Zadkine|
As part of the wine festival, there was a special exhibition at the Aquitaine Museum called Chicano Dreams. It was the personal collection of Cheech Marin. We just happened to get there for the opening and saw Cheech and his wife Natasha (in blue):
|by Melanie Cervantes, 2013|
|Jeanine at 39, Mother of Twins by Margaret Garcia, 2000|
It was an interesting show:
|Blue Dog and Piwi by Gilbert Lujan, 1990|
|Nasty Nez by Carlos Donjuan, 2009|
CLICK HERE TO SEE LOTS MORE.
Then we went to the Musee des Beaux Arts.
|Femme accroupie by Ossip Zadkine, 1936|
|Baigneuses by Andre Lhote, 1935|
|Marin a l'accordeon by Andre Lhote, 1920-25|
They have this painting by George Achille-Fould of the artist Rosa Bonheur.
|Rosa Bonheur dans son atelier by George Achille-Fould, 1893|
Notice the unfinished painting on the left? They had that painting too. The last one Bonheur ever painted.
|La Foulaison du ble en Camargue by Rosa Bonheur, 1864-99|
CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE.
The Contemporary Art Museum was in an old warehouse, and had an exhibition by Los Angeles artist, Aaron Curry, called Bad Brain:
|Skeletal Lightening-Suck My Void by Aaron Curry, 2008|
CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE.
And a few other displays:
Now a visit to the wine festival, spread along the banks of the Garonne River.
There was Art at the wine festival also, highlighted by a grove of wine bottles on which several artists were busy painting:
There was also an extraordinary work done with wine corks, in the shape of a cork:
This was followed by the Columbian entry in the International Pyrotechnics competition.
There were great classes. Oh, we didn't understand what was being said, but we got lots more tastes:
|Francisco Goya in Place du Chapelet-Church of Notre Dame where his funeral was held in 1828.|
|The Blue Lion by Xavier Veilhan, 2005|