Paris Exhibitions, Spring 2022

Gaudi and Maillol exhibitions at the Musée d’Orsay. Photo: Nina Heyn

After two years, Paris is again full of American tourists. You hear them everywhere—on the streets and in the museums and Metro subway. This means that all the exhibitions I was planning to scout out are very crowded, but I‘m persevering….

The Musée d’Orsay has two temporary shows. The first is a spotlight on Aristide Maillol (1861-1944), a famed Art Deco sculptor who, it turns out, also created a lot of good paintings. The second exhibition is devoted to the life of Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), whose most famous works are houses he designed in his native Barcelona—a city that embraced the sinuous Art Nouveau style to a degree rivaled only by Vienna. Gaudi’s modernist architecture embodies both his city’s development in the last quarter of the 19th century and the delightfully over-the-top style of the period. The Paris exhibition traces Gaudi’s beginnings, when he submitted for his architectural diploma his vision of city structures (a fountain, a pavilion) that would blend neo-Gothic with Moorish elements and his own nascent style.

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