Painting on Carpet, or a Sort of Carpet

My trip to Paris with my husband is not a textile trip, but all trips with lots of art end up being textile trips, too.  In the past two days I saw paintings that were done, purposely, on carpet.  The Jim Dine show at the Pompidou contemporary art museum was fabulous.  I hadn’t see a lot of his works featuring tools; both Mike and I liked them enormously. Like this one:


In the triptych below, which had emotional power in its size and strong images, the crow is painted on carpeting–everyday loop carpeting.  How did Jim Dine know that would be just the right base, and that just the crow needed it?

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(Apologies: I didn’t write down the names of either of the Dine paintings.)

Today we visited the Institut du monde arab, the Arab World Institute.  The exhibits were beautiful and instructive, and I liked the inclusion of both older artifacts and more contemporary art works.  This piece by Moa (or Mohamed) Bennani was my favorite.  (It was impossible to get a good photo because the closeness of another exhibit meant I could not stand directly in front of it, and it was under glass.)

Les Tapis. Mohamed Bennani. 1989

This Tunisian abstract artist chose to create the painting on a Berber carpet, but left the bottom and top row of zig-zags or pyramids unpainted.  Those caught my attention, in their beautiful randomness and uneven-ness. Some are smoother, others more jagged; some are tall, others short.  The label said that Bennani’s mother was an embroiderer, and the use of a traditional textile is part of his personal story.


This Tunisian costume was particularly beautiful.


The camels in this charming kelim looked a bit like large turtles.


Here’s a textile piece from yesterday’s visit to the Pompidou Museum. Senga Nengudi, a performance artist, used pantyhose which she filled with sand, knotted, stretched, and fixed to the wall.  I wasn’t that excited about it.


Annette Messager used pantyhose sculpture more evocatively, in an installation filling an entire room with dark images, “Les Piques.” The number of impaled things was disconcerting.

The collection at the Georges Pompidou Museum is huge; we only saw half in our first two+ hour visit. The building itself is erector-set interesting, but doesn’t seem to be aging well. It seemed tired and dated, a little run down.  While we were inside Mike came upon  water dripping to the floor, and had the fleeting thought that it was part of an art work.  But several staff members showed up a minute after, covered up a nearby sculpture, and then promptly–stood around.

Cover the sculpture
Look at it (Mike to the right)
This is the art work next to it!

This is the exterior of the Georges Pompidou. But what you don’t see is the SNOW that is starting to fall again.  It’s bone-chilling cold here, but always an adventure.






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