Textiles in Paris are in Hiding–for Me

Yesterday I saw this painting at the City Museum of Modern Art in Paris, one of Lawrence Weiner’s “linguistic propositions.”  It seemed targeted to me and my crabby mood.


IMG_4147Generally I wear the label “intrepid traveler,” but this afternoon, after trekking to the Fondation Louis Vuitton in a Gehry building, the sweet young guard said, “Welcome, but you know there is no art on exhibit now.” Seriously?  After the Cluny Museum is closed and the tapestries are in Australia, and the Gallery at the Gobelins Factory was closed, and it is so bone-chilling cold every day that we have to stop to purchase more underwear tops? Advice to friends: do not visit Paris in March.  Everything is closed, and the weather can be horrid. I became the slowly diminishing stone.

Enough of the complaints.  After my crabby period I saw many paintings at the City of Paris Modern Art by Pia Fries.  She is now in my top ten list of favorite painters. Her paintings had such explosive vibrancy and freedom and color and texture.

I visited the Gobelins Factory yesterday. They only give tours in French, but I read a bit on a French blog about what is covered on the tour, so that was not as annoying as the fact you can’t take photos! It was so disappointing that the gallery was not open, BUT I did meet a kindred weaving soul on the tour, a woman from Finland. That was fun. On this building in the complex you can note hooks along the top; they were to hang tapestries for festivals and official occasions.


IMG_3859Learning bits of French has been fun; The French word for those hooks on the building is crochet. Mike is way ahead of me, as he studied it long ago. Yesterday, during a walk to the Arc de Triomph, we stopped for a beer.  We read the French paper sitting on the bar, and laughed as Mike translated the weather forecast, “Ambience of cold and dry….something, something…accentuates for sensation of glacial cold.” The funniest one was at the Musee d’Orsay, when he read the title of this Cezanne painting as “Death of an Onion.” ??? Oh, “Still Life with Onion.”

Today we went to the Sacre Couer at the top of Monmarte. Directly below the cathedral were an amazing number of fabric shops. Overwhelming, really, and I wasn’t in a fabric shopping mood (nor do I have room in my suitcase). One of the shops had mannequins of unusual small size. I noticed that, in general, in the giant shops the ratio of crappy fabric to beautiful fabric was high, just like in the U.S.


On our last day, I did have a large satisfying dose of textiles, as I returned to the Pompidou just to see the Sheila Hicks retrospective.





One comment

  1. Robbie,
    The way the painter spaced her images on the canvases and her colors are enchanting. The weather sounds like Minnesota.
    Hope I can make it to some Scandinavian weavers’ meetings this spring. Weather is too unpredictable in winter. Thanks for keeping us going.