Thursday, May 28, 2015

Red Scorpionfish at Chez Janou

The service is friendly and welcoming under this awning at Chez Janou in Paris's Marais neighbourhood -- a very comfortable place to unwind over lunch.
 William Kimber and I ordered the filet de rascasse à la niçoise. All we knew of the rascasse is that it is a white fish. Later, at home, we learned it is called the Red Scorpionfish and looks like this.
We were in no hurry as we snacked on olives and settled into the house Côtes du Rhône.
 Bill thought our waiter looked rather like the popular French actor, Romain Duris -- perhaps it was Duris, doing research for a role as a Parisian waiter.
 Duris delivered the fish on a bed of tasty fennel bulbs à la niçoise.
It came with a lime wedge.
The flavours were very delicate. The meal was very light, but satisfying.
Having no commitments, we felt like we had all the time in the world.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Richard Lenoir Market, Paris

 John and I are very lucky to be living very near to the fabulous Marché Richard Lenoir especially now that I'm often cooking our dinner at our apartment.
The market starts at the Bastille monument
and runs up the Boulevard Richard Lenoir.
 The market sells clothing, but
 specializes in fresh produce from around France. Watermelon. anyone?
I always get fresh spinach ( L'épinard, in French) for sauteing and salads.
 We like to have pears mixed with strawberries in our morning yogurt.
John and I love the produce sellers
 and fellow shoppers in the morning bustle.
 There are always free samples.
I've been getting terrific pork chops from one of the butchers.
 There's a fountain at the center of the produce stalls where other types of merchandize are often sold.
 The fish produce is always beautifully displayed.
 You can also find prepared foods like this rhubarb nectar,
these seafood snacks,
 and this tempting paella to take home for lunch!
 Maybe with some vanilla flan for dessert.
 We never leave without at least one fresh olive baguette for dinner
 as is obviously poking out of John's bag on the way home.
Last week we took home a lovely little bouquet of
lily-of-the -valley.
No more to be found now!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Markus Lupertz at MAM

Bill and I were thrilled by the quality of the paintings at the Markus Lüpertz retrospective at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM) last week.
We were also astonished that we had never heard of Lüpertz, who has been painting to great acclaim in Europe for more than 50 years.
The exhibition contains both paintings and painted bronze sculpture. Here's a recent sculpture -- Achilles, 2014, at the entrance to the retrospective.
The show presents his most recent work first then works back through his career.  We were unprepared for how much we would love the paintings in his Arcadias series, executed between 2013 and 2015.
Here's another Arcadias painting (all are untitled)
with a detail.
I wish I could show you pictures of all of these panels. Matin/Midi/Soir/Nuit ou Adieu/Attaque/Saint Samaritaiin/Arrivee a l'auberge, 2009
The work is magnificently installed in the spacious galleries. These in his "Backs" series were inspired by Matisse's nudes.
A painting from Lüpertz's Mycenaean Smile series -- Cinq tableau sur le sourire mycénien - Jour d'ete, 1985
After Goya -- Arme verschränken, Schwartzer Mann, Rosa Fenster, 2002
From the war series: 11 November, 1988
11 November (detail)
Spectre de l'entre-deux: berger avec oiseau, 1986
Poussin -- Still Life, 1989 from a series that used elements of collage from Poussin works.
Poussin -- Still Life (detail)
Bill snapped this still from biographical film shown at the exhibition. Nice to see Lüpertz has grown into a grand old man.
Self-portrait, 1983 from a room of works inspired by Picasso's work.
Room with Lupertz' dithyrambe series. On the left the first panel of Makus Maillol -- Dithyrambe, 1976
Makus Maillol -- Dithyrambe (central panels), 1976
On the left, Castaway Helmets -- Dithrambe I, 1970
Tire track, 1966
We'll end with the earliest Lüpertz canvas in the show -- Untitled (Donald Duck), 1963.
An early Lüpertz portrait by Benjamin Katz. Nice to see the artist expressing such well-deserved confidence. Where has he been all our lives? We think his retrospective is one of the best shows of paintings in Paris this season.