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eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherRoyal Academy of Arts
File size3.6 Mb
Release date 07.06.2002
Pages count448
Book rating0.7 (0 votes)
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Between 1900 and 1968 Paris was the undisputed capital of modern art, and the city is captured in all its splendor in Paris: Capital of the Arts, the extraordinarily ambitious catalog accompanying the show of the same name held at London's Royal Academy of Arts and Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum. Curated by a series of leading academics and curators and spearheaded by Sarah Wilson, both the show and the catalog aim to re-create Paris as “the hedonistic capital of Europe, an artistic crossroads and a testing ground of unparalleled vitality, the goal of artists in search of freedom and inspiration.” The result is a dizzying display of 280 works in full color of a collection of international artists who lived in Paris and invented modern art.French artists of the stature of Matisse, Braque, Duchamp, Fautrier, Dubuffet, and Klein, as well as Picasso, Miró, Ernst, Mondrian, Dalí, and Giacometti are just some of the artists who drew their inspiration from Paris.

Some attempt to organize the vast amount of material on show is made by the catalog's essays, most of which move from one quarter of the city to another. The rise of bohemianism and cubism is discussed in relation to Montmartre, while the development of surrealism is located in Montparnasse. Finally, the more political postwar developments of existentialism and political confrontation are analyzed through an exploration of Saint-German-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. Considering the wealth of artistic material on Paris itself, there are some unnecessary contributions, including those on Eastern Europe and the French Riviera, and the catalog suffers from a sadly rambling and incoherent introduction by Wilson, but overall this is an impressive overview of the mother city of modern art. —Jerry Brotton,

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