Paris Visit: Centre George Pompidou

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The Pompidou Centre as seen by Brion Gysin.

This museum is amazing. It’s also amazingly hard to get into. The queue goes round and round forever, and once inside you’re into another queue. But I digress.

I spent a few hours in the modern art permanent collection here which was absolutely brilliant.

Ascending the famous escalators one gets a great panoramic view of the city below. This is great considering the giant contribution the city has made to the art inside, a theme which is continued when walking between rooms, Paris always outside through big windows.

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Photo: Paris Digest

On show is the expected classic history of modernism shown through a series of masterpieces. It was great going without knowing what’s on show, every room a new surprise.

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Raoul Hausmann- Mechanical Head

It’s hard to pick highlights, but seeing large Matisse works in the flesh was great, seeing all the Braque/Picasso classical cubist works was great, seeing Hausmann’s famous mechanical head was great. Everything was great.

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Yves Klein- Grande Anthropophagie bleue Hommage a Tennessee Williams

Another big favourite was seeing this huge work by Yves Klein. Yves Klein was an amazing artist, completely nuts. He was a master at Judo, claimed he could fly and invented his own shade of blue, the famous International Klein Blue. His work, and the nouveau realisme movement he founded, tried to find a new realist art away from soviet realism and avant-garde abstraction. He seems like the archetypal dumb modern artist, my-kid-could-have-done-that, but a little more research makes him seem like one of the most intelligent and funny artists of the second half of the 20th century, particularly his photo-backed claim to be able to fly.


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