I don’t think jet lag helps art appreciation. It is a long way from the west coast to Paris, especially with a lengthy stopover in Toronto. But trying to pay attention to the displays in the Centre Pompidou is a losing battle a few hours after arrival. Even the next day, two galleries are hard to take. The nature of the exhibits didn’t help. In the Pinacotheque they’ve hung Karl Lagerfeld. Not literally, but his photographs and prints. Some are wonderful. I particularly enjoyed his large silkscreens that emphasized the colour and black and white half-tone dots. At magnification, they add a fair bit of interest. But the fashion work, sometimes wrapped around allegorical themes, worked less well. On the other hand, the permanent collection is well displayed and varied, with a nice interleaving of older works (Botticelli or classical Indian temple erotica) mixed with Picasso’s drawings and paintings and up to contemporary. But a little goes a long way when short on coffee.
After lunch we visited the Jeu de Paume and found more photography — a large exhibit of Philippe Halsman works, including lots of Life magazine covers and celebrity shots. An impressive body of work, but a little detail for a jet-lagged viewer.
After a break, we visited friends at their apartment for a glass of wonderful wine, followed by a great dinner at a newer version of Les Cocottes, which I’d liked in its original form. Life is tough in Paris. Four meals so far and three of them excellent. Dinner was followed by the search for the nearest Metro station, and that turned up a wonderful surprise — Christmas lights on the Champs Elysée, including a fabulous show on Le Drugstore. I’m amazed traffic keeps moving.
*And here’s a video of how it looked!*
After all that, I’m amazed I was able to get back to our apartment, hoping for a good night’s sleep.