Hongkong - Le French May 2001

25 March - 17 June 2001

The Le French May festival draws from the full range of classical and contemporary arts, bringing some of the world's biggest French-speaking stars, hottest shows and most spectacular exhibitions and concerts to Hong Kong every year. Recent years have seen visitor numbers swell to around 100,000.

Since 1993, Le French May has presented about 150 events including art exhibitions, classical and pop concerts, classical ballet, contemporary dance, street performances, film, gastronomy and literature.

Previous years' highlights have included exhibitions of Rodin and Chagall, The Ballet du Nord and The Lyons Opera Ballet.

Pudong Century Park, Shanghai 2000

The ninth cast of the Thinker, commissioned by the Rodin Museum in 1998, was reported to be the most spectacular art piece on the fourth Shanghai Art Fair 2000. Primarily because of the Biennale's success and significance, its curators Hou Hanru, Zhang Qing and Li Xu were selected as the year's best Chinese curators and the Shanghai Art Museum was declared the best Chinese art museum in 2000.

Rodin had supervised the manufacturing of 6 casts during his lifetime, the Rodin Musee had another 25 copies cast, so that the Shanghai copy is Nr. 15 of 31 copies altogether. In November 2000, the work was acquired by a Shanghai company for 10 Million Yuan (ca. $ 1.2 Million), to be placed in Pudong Century Park in Shanghai.

Biennale di Venezia 1995
Centenario 1895 - 1995

This exhibition covers a century that is exceptional from an artistic point of view. It saw the birth and triumph, but also the end of the modern movement. We are taken from the birth of this movement up until what is defined as "post-human".

Which are the opening and closing works and artists of the exhibition?

It starts at the Palazzo Grassi with Group Portraits and goes from Maurice Denis' Omaggio a Césanne (1895), to Jorg Immendorf's Café Deutschland and Guttuso's Caffè Greco (1976). However the exhibition will be opened with works by the most important artists of the time, Rodin, Degas, Boccioni and Eakins. We will then conclude at the Giardini with Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, Antonio Lopez, Maria Lassnig, Marlene Dumas, and video artists, namely Gary Hill, Bill Viola and Mona Hatoum. This exhibition also illustrates the metamorphosis of the artist, from the time when he or she takes refuge in a group (academy, school and so on), right up to the confrontation with solitude, on the fringe of a society that is ever more technologised.

Monte-Carlo, 1993
IV Biennale De Sculpture

Report by Bettina Werner

Since its creation, the Printemps des Arts of Monte-Carlo has not contented itself to rest solely upon its lauded reputation of bringing critically acclaimed performances of music and dance each year to Monaco. It has strived equally to expand its program to include the other arts, most notably sculpture.

Thus, in 1987, it was with open arms that we welcomed the inauguration of a Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, now a biannual event organized by the rare talent of the Marisa del Re Gallery in New York. This exhibition quickly evolved into a major artistic event, attracting the wide acclaim of the international press. The event itself has become international, as the City of Palm Beach, Florida welcomed to its shores the Illeme Biennale de Sculpture de Monte-Carlo 1991, and keeping the original title, in the winter of 1992 exhibited a selection of the works from Monte-Carlo. These were works which during the six previous months had graced the gardens of the Monte-Carlo Casino with their unusual and mischievous presence -- to the great joy of millions of visitors and their children.

In my view, the most invaluable element of this Biennale is the direct and daily contact established between an immense yet unsuspecting public, and contemporary art, normally considered so intimidating as to be only properly viewed within the sanctified walls of a museum. In actuality, these sculptures blend naturally into the very heart of our city, whose squares and gardens are rejuvenated by the unexpected shapes and colors of the sculptures which are representative of the art of our time.

It is precisely the confident selection of works exhibited which to me seems to characterize this Fourth Biennale, where one can appreciate sculptures by the great Modern Masters such as Rodin or Bourdelle, Leger or Miro, side by side with more recent pieces from among the most significant artists and diverse movements of contemporary art.

H.S.H. Princess Caroline of Monaco



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