Art & Culture


Exhibition of filmed portraits taken by Charles Fréger in Monaco Quai Antoine I Exhibition Hall

An exhibition of filmed portraits taken in Monaco by French photographer Charles Fréger, organised and produced by Monaco’s Department of Cultural Affairs, is on display at the Quai Antoine I Exhibition Hall until 3 January 2021. The exhibition came about in the unique context of the period during which lockdown measures were eased. The artist casts his eye over Monaco and some of the various groups and communities that make up the country’s identity. Working people, athletes, schoolchildren and artists were filmed at a time when social distancing had become the norm. Charles Fréger opted to focus on moving images, thereby bringing his subjects closer to the audience. “The portraits, projected in enormous scale onto a 26-metre-long wall, ...

Velázquez’s Las Meninas: A detail that decodes a masterpiece

A small clay pot in Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas could hold the key to unlocking the mysterious 17th-Century painting, argues Kelly Grovier. Sometimes a vase is just a vase. Sometimes it’s a portal to another plane of perception. In Diego Velázquez’s 17th-Century masterpiece Las Meninas, a ricochet of shadows and mirrors that never ceases to intrigue, a small and underappreciated clay jug at the centre of the canvas transforms the work from a disorderly snapshot of courtly life into an arresting treatise on the illusory and ultimately transcendable nature of existence. Erase that easily overlooked earthenware object from the heart of the Spanish Golden Age painting, and its mysterious pulse, which has captivated the attention of observers...

Refurbishment of the "La Noix" public gallery

The Urban Planning Department recently carried out the renovation of the public gallery “La Noix”, connecting Place des Moulins to Boulevard de France in Beausoleil. This work has enabled the gallery to be brought up to standard for the visually impaired, with the installation of tactile plates, the identification of the first and last step of the staircase in a different color, an improvement in lighting. and handrails. On this occasion, plastering and painting work was carried out as well as cleaning of the facing stones. The floor covering has also been changed; two motifs at the entrance to the gallery have been integrated, a nod to the Principality's old mills. The repair of the fountain, which houses the work of La Gerbe, as well a...

French trial opens for activists seeking to 'return' African art

Five activists go on trial in Paris on Wednesday for trying to seize an African funeral staff from France's pre-eminent indigenous art museum, hoping to increase pressure on the government to restitute items they claim were stolen. Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza, a 41-year-old Congolese activist, led the operation at the Quai Branly museum last June, denouncing "the pillage of Africa". "We're taking it home," he said in a video posted on social media after removing the 19th-century funeral staff from Chad and parading it around the building. Since then Diyabanza has staged similar operations at indigenous art museums in the southern French city of Marseille and in Berg en Dal, in the Netherlands. "It was important to a...

Mirό, Painting as a challenge at the NMNM - Until October 25

The New National Museum of Monaco and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation are presenting, until October 25, the Mirό exhibition, La Peinture au défi. Organized by the Estate Joan Mir l'Est, Joan Punyet Mirό (his grandson) and the Galerie Gmurzynska in collaboration with the Successiό Mirό and the Fundaciόn Mapfre brings together more than fifty paintings, three sculptures and a beautiful set of collages and drawings, which cover the entire career of the Catalan artist. The route particularly highlights the creation of the Ballet Jeux d'enfants, for which Joan Miró designed sets and costumes in 1932 for the company of the Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo, but also the radical and lesser-known works of the 1960s and 1970s. Miró, La peint...

The NMNM celebrates the art of ceramics at Villa Sauber

From September 18 to January 31, 2021, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco is presenting the exhibition "Unstable Artifices, Stories of Ceramics" at Villa Sauber. Cristiano Raimondi, guest curator, offers a journey of inventions and experiments observing the diversity not only of forms and decorations, but also of ceramic manufacturing processes. Through a scenography halfway between workshop and cabinet of curiosities and with as a starting point the first productions of the artistic pottery factory of Monaco (1871-1918), the exhibition brings together a selection of more than 120 pieces from international artists: Aaron Angell, Eugène Baudin, Chiara Camoni, Johan Creten, Albert Diato, Simone Fattal, Ron Nagle, George Ohr, Pab...

Taiwan artisans fuse reality and fantasy in miniature worlds

From a bucolic rural grocery shop to fictional battlefields and robot warrior bases, Taiwanese artisans are meticulously handcrafting miniature worlds that fuse reality and fantasy. When he is not designing interiors, 51-year-old Hank Cheng can usually be found in his studio conjuring tiny but intricately detailed scenes. "I like to try to make anything, whether it's clean, old or dirty, to let my imagination run wild," he told AFP. His creations range from a replica of a 40-year-old grocery store in central Taiwan that caught his eye, to an imaginary "secret maintenance base" for a legion of Minions made from a discarded Minion-shaped cookie box he recycled. "When people ask me is there anything I can't make, I...

Illusion. Girl with a Pearl Earring

Think you see a pearl dangling lustrously in Vermeer’s famous portrait of a girl endlessly turning towards or away from us? Think again. The swollen bauble around which the painting’s mystery spins is just a pigment of your imagination. With a flick of the wrist and two deft dabs of white paint, the artist has tricked the primary visual cortices of our brains’ occipital lobes into magicking a pearl from the thinnest of air. Squint as tight as you wish and there is no loop that links the ornament to her ear. Its very sphericity is a hoax. We’ve willed the earring into weightless suspension from the puniest of white apostrophes. Vermeer’s precious gem is an opulent optical illusion, one that reflects back on our own illusory presence in the w...

The culture of Monaco

The culture of Monaco Music Seaside façade of the Salle Garnier, home of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo Monaco has an opera house, a symphony orchestra and a classical ballet company. Visual arts Monaco has a national museum of contemporary visual art at the New National Museum of Monaco. The country also has numerous works of public art, statues, museums, and memorials. Museums in Monaco Oceanographic Museum • Monaco Top Cars Collection • Napoleon Museum (Monaco) • Oceanographic Museum Events, festivals and shows The Principality of Monaco hosts major international events such as : • International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo • Mondial du Théâtre • Monte-Carlo Television Festival Bread Festival Monaco also has an annual bread festival on Se...

Art in a pandemic: Tokyo show tests if fans will come

It's a blockbuster exhibition, featuring some of the biggest names in Japan's contemporary art scene. But will people flock to galleries in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic? That's the question on the mind of Mami Kataoka, director of the influential Mori Art Museum, which reopens on Friday after a five-month hiatus with one of its most high-profile Japanese art shows in years. "We live in a time when we are asked, 'What is the role of museums and what is the role of art?'" Kataoka told AFP at a press preview of the "STARS" exhibit this week. The exhibition was supposed to open in April, running through the summer to attract visitors in town for the Olympics, with works by leading Japanese art figures like...

Monaco Art en Ciel

Four Evenings of Wonder Established by the Monaco Town Hall in 1966, the essential Monaco Art en Ciel (International Pyromelodic Fireworks Competition) every year involves pyrotechnics shows of great quality. Summer is conducive to long evenings outside on the Port of Monaco where the fireworks proliferate for the pleasure and wonder of young and old. A very powerful sound system has been installed on the whole of Port Hercule, allowing spectators to fully enjoy these unique spectacles from the Quai Albert Ier. Countries take each other on in the Monegasque sky in particularly technical salvoes in which visual and musical effects aim for perfect synchronisation! Of all the firework festivals organised in the world, that of Monte-Carlo alo...