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A river runs through it…

Up and out the house for breakfast at Poilane Cadogan Gardens – boiled eggs and soldiers, yummy, my fave, together with one of my fave girlfriends!  Girl’s morning out and we decided to do something different, so we uber’d to  Tate Britain which was not our destination, and jumped on the Tate boat headed for Tate Modern – to see the Giacometti exhibition.  Definitely worth a visit and definitely take the boat.  It was beautiful on the river.  It seems strange that we don’t use river transport more as it is a great way to get around London, if you are heading west/ east.

 

Alighting on the south bank, we walked past the Shakespeare Theatre (in the round) and strolled along the river bank, looking across to see St Paul’s and that beautiful skyline of the city; we had a poem written for us by the Poet for Hire and listened to  a lady busker singing in a beautiful lilting Irish voice.

The Giacometti exhibition is wonderful and covers his career from Switzerland in the ’20s, to Paris in the ’30s, back to Switzerland for the duration of the Second World War and then back to Paris, until his death.  Sadly we were not allowed to take any photographs but suffice to say following his journey was so interesting, from his early works influenced by the likes of Rodin, Arp, Brancusi, Picasso, Archipenko, Miro,  not to mention the influence on him of African and Oceanic Tribal art.  Many post war artists were influenced by him as well, Moore, Bacon, Paolozzi, Calder to name a few.

Go see it, it’s really worthwhile, and take the river boat!

 

24 hours in Paris – Centenary of Auguste Rodin’s death.

It is quite amazing what you can get done in Paris in 24 hours!  Robert and I TGV’d Avignon Paris on Sunday to meet up with the gallery staff members.  This included the youngest member, Dexter, 12 weeks old, his first trip to Paris!  Naturally we arrived in time for lunch (Could not bear to miss a meal in Paris).   Cute little place in the 7th Arrondissement, 79 Rue Saint-Dominique…..Thoumieux.   Every Sunday they have a brunch which is served until 3pm.

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Brunch at Thoumieux
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Burrata – yummy!

Sneakers on, time to walk off brunch, so we strolled across the gardens looking onto Les Invalides (where Napoleon is buried) to the Musée Rodin on the Rue de Varenne.  The museum has been recently renovated and they have done a wonderful job.  For years we have been visiting it in all it’s decrepit glory – it is now superbly restored and the  collection is beautifully displayed .

This is a great time to visit – Spring – the gardens are wearing their new greens, the roses are in full bloom and seeing the sculpture against the backdrop of bright blue skies is a treat.

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Hotel Biron Musée Rodin
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Le  Penseur
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The Gates of Hell

Aperó time at one of the Costes restaurants overlooking les Invalides – Café de l’Esplanade before meeting up for dinner at Le Basilic an art deco Parisian bistro with seating outside all year round overlooking the basilique St. Clothilde and its gardens.

Up the next morning,  and a walk across the Pont d’Alexandre to our next rendezvous, Le Grand Palais  

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Pont d’Alexandre

Remember the reason we came to Paris?  2017 is the 100th year of Rodin’s death, so for us that’s quite a big deal bearing in mind the gallery’s  expertise of Auguste Rodin’s work.  The exhibition is huge.  It also shows the influence Rodin had and still has on other sculptor’s and artists.

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Annette Messager,  George Baselitz, Rodin

Here is a fun story……Rodin was working on the clay of the man with a broken nose – l’homme au nez cassé.  He had to go away for a few days and asked Rose Beuret to make sure she kept the muslins covering the clay sculpture damp so the clay didn’t dry out and crack.  Guess what?  She didn’t do a good job and when Rodin came home the back of the head had cracked and fallen off.  Here is a photo of the plaster and a photo of the finished head in marble.  Look closely to see how he solved a problem!

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L’Homme au nez cassé

Any one of the below would do me fine!

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Femme accroupie et Danaïde

Then off to the last meal!  Walking back along the Alexandre bridge towards the left bank there is a quay side restaurant on the right hand side called Faust a fun cocktail bar and restaurant in a great setting, filled with Parisians.  Definite recommendation!IMG_6994.JPG

Then the TGV back to Avignon……home in time for dinner!

Bye bye NYC, hello London

Just before I leave the NYC blog behind –

Went down to the Elizabeth Street Sculpture garden.  This is run by the Reiver family of the Elizabeth Street Gallery.  Mr Reiver has held the lease of the garden lot since 1991,  and has filled it with reclamation sculpture, flowers and edibles, a little bit of zen in the bustle of the city.  Now it’s coming under threat.  They want to construct a building on this plot, therefore doing away with the garden. Mr Reiver’s son Joseph has started a petition to save the garden.  I so hope he succeeds as it is a lovely, harmonious and gentle corner of NYC.

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And finally, I just have to introduce you to Harry.   Harry Beare to be precise, lives with my brother and sister-in-law in their New York apartment and is the coolest city dwelling cat, and serious poser………..

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Harry Beare

LONDON

Flew back to London, and was welcomed with a perfect spring day, sunny and crisp.  Then as is my wont when in London, I hit the ground running – just 3 days to get everything done. Didn’t stop me from taking the London bus though….. nor a quick visit to my favourite London store – Fortnum and Mason .  It’s such a treat going in and looking around.  Much to my and I’m sure the family’s surprise, I just went in to look!  Didn’t buy a thing.  I love the colours of the goodies, the packaging, the sweetie counter –

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Fortnum and Mason

And finally reunited with my furry girls! Boo the pug-a-poo and Mimi the Yorkie.  I’d left them with my mum-in-law whilst in the U.S.  They were over-weight and furry but after 10 days on the fat farm they came back svelte and silky.  Thinking of moving in with my mum-in-law for 10 days……maybe it will work for me too!

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Boo and Mimi Bowman

Had a wonderful evening with friends and family at Milos, a greek fish restaurant at 1 Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4NR.  I cannot rave enough about this restaurant.  The food was extraordinary, as was the service.  We stuck to Greek wine as well, which was delicious – can’t remeber the name, sorry!  The bill was pretty extraordinary as well, but oh so worth it!

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Dinner at Milos

GORDES

Early the next morning we left for Gordes.  For once we left on time 7.00 a.m, got to the Eurotunnel early, only to discover a train was stuck in the tunnel, so huge delays.  My girls are so well behaved!  They sat in the car for 12 hours, not a whine,  not a woof!  And it was a looooong day!  Even though we were on the highway all the way, the views were beautiful. Past Lyon the weather turned stormy and I got fixated by the clouds.  Fortunately, Robert was driving at this point, because I was snapping away.  Huge rain storms, thunder, lightening.

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Rain and rainbows
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Armageddon clouds!

And so we arrived in Gordes 21h30, pretty exhausted, all four of us.  The next morning, Sunday  we drove to Isle Sur La Sorgue, a favourite haunt of ours.  Sunday is market day.  We needed a few things for the house,  fruit and veg, light fixtures and of course, lunch.  L’ aparté is a lovely local restaurant situated along the river Sorgue which runs through the village.  The food is good old fashioned simple french food, the baguette unfortunately is also delicious, so no banting I’m afraid, and the ladies who run the restaurant are wonderfully friendly and charming.

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The river runs through an old mill wheel.
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L’Aparté – L’isle sur la Sorgue
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Verre de pipi d’Ange,  (A glass of Angel’s pee!);  recipe for Pastilla Marocaine

Absolutely delicious!

And on to Appy Nursery the nicest, probably the most expensive nursery just down the hill from the beautiful village of Rousillon – Rousillon is built on ochre pits, where the paint pigments have been mined for centuries. Definitely worth a visit……but getting back to the nursery.  May is planting time here in the Luberon so Robert and I went to stock up on flowers and vegetable plantings – tomatoes, aubergine, chili peppers.

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Plantings for our terrace

This part of the world, the Luberon, is vey beautiful.  Ancient villages atop the hilltops, lavender grown in the valleys, vineyards, sunflowers.  Many moons ago, and I’m not telling how many……..I first left South Africa to go to Aix-en-Provence, where I took a french language course for 6 months (L’école pour etudiants étrangers).  It was here that I fell in love with the region of Provence and got to know areas like the Luberon.  Fast forward so many years, and I dragged Robert down here on the way to the Côte d’Azur.  The next year we rented a house close to Roussillon and the rest is history (well, ours anyway). The following year, together with my folks, we bought a house down here, in the one village I never wanted to be in – Gordes.  It is a beautiful village, dating back to Roman times –  for me it was always too touristy!   20 years later, Robert and I are still here and now that Mica is out of school and I’m ‘retired’, we are spending a lot more time here.   Just to tempt you a bit, I will post a few of our favourite places……

Veranda in Menerbes, definitely my favourite restaurant in the area. Chef Hubert is a wonderful chef, creating light, innovative but typical french dishes.  The staff are amazing.  Go early evening, and take a walk around the village before stopping in at Cinq for an aperitif or light meal or both.  Aurelio will look after you.   Dora Maar, Picasso’s lover and muse during the late 1930’s and ’40s , lived in this village from 1944 when Picasso bought the house for her, until her death in 1997 after which a resident of both Houston and Ménerbes bought and renovated the house to transform it into a retreat for writers, scholars, and artists.  In 2006, the MFAH was asked to direct this project, now called the Brown Foundation Fellows Program at the Dora Maar House. Amenities include four private bedrooms, each with a private bath; three studies for writers and scholars; a studio for artists; and a piano. Residents share the kitchen, library, living, and dining rooms, and two garden areas. The house is equipped with high-speed wireless Internet access, laptops, a printer, and a fax machine.  We have met a few of the artists that have taken advantage of this program, and have visited the house.

My favourite little Italian restaurant is in Coustellet, a 10 minute drive from Gordes.  La Dolce Vita!   Perfect pasta, delicious proscuitto and melon and a lovely rosé, life is very sweet in this part of the world.

We drove to Les Baux de Provence before the U.S trip to see the exhibition at Lumiéres des Baux de Provence.  It’s a 40 minute drive from us and is situated in the heart of Les Alpilles, close to St Remy de Provence. This is is an old quarry that has been converted into an artspace – illumination – wonderful light shows on different subjects. With soaring ceiling heights and various chambers, gigantic images projected onto the walls,  this year is  Bosch, Breugel and Arcimboldo and is a real feast for the eyes and ears.

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Go in the morning, when it’s not too crowded and then head out to Le Mas de Rose in Orgon for a delicious meal in a beautiful setting in the garden of Au Potager du Mas

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Au Potager du Mas – yum!

So I’m settled down here for a while and enjoying the good life.  Sunday we are training up to Paris for two days to view the Rodin Museum and the Rodin exhibition at the Grand Palais.  I’ll be back on Tuesday!

NYC

I’m loving playing tourist here.  Wandered down to the Whitney Museum

Edward Hopper 1929
Joseph Stella – Brooklyn Bridge 1939
30 000 000 immigrants! Makes one think of the present day immigrants
 

Really enjoyed this collection.  The wonderful thing about  museums is how large their collections are, and how small a percentage is on display at any one time. So you never know what you’re going to see.

Loved this! Dyslexic detective.
 

The Whitney Biennal is on at the moment too. It’s too avant-garde for me so I see no beauty in the art. Could be my age!

Sunday was family time and my sister-in-law produced a beautiful brunch.

I’ve spent days wandering around.  My step counter is working overtime, but it makes up for the food that’s being consumed.  Went down to Chinatown today and checked in for dimsum – a few pics to make you hungry – Nom Wah Tea Palace. The food was delicious but a warning, portions are BIG.

We took a nice long  digestive walk over the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn.

Looking at Manhattan from the streets of Brooklyn
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Manhattan Bridge – view down river

There is huge development happening in this part of the world.  We went to see the new Empire Stores, in Dumbo (down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). An amazing development in an old coffee warehouse abandoned since the early 1900’s, that has been restored and modernized in a sympathetic way.   A development my nephew has been involved in since the start of the project! 

Empire Stores – Dumbo Brooklyn
 

Headquarters to West Elm, the huge lifestyle furniture store;  Ciccone’s is opening soon;  Feed has just opened, a store with cool ecological products, whose profits go towards feeding the needy.

Self explanatory!  

Then took the New York Ferry up river, towards 34th Street. Again, huge amount of development on the Brooklyn and Long Island side.


One more day in New York, then heading back to London.

A new challenge 

I find myself at a crossroads in my life. I’ve always had a direction, a goal, a passion.  I’ve been a real Jack of all trades in my life – advertising, pilot, interior designer, chef, sommelier and art dealer.  I’ve lived in 6 different countries, speak 3 languages. I’m married, have a 22 year old daughter – I divide my life in 3 countries and still travel a huge amount with my husband – we have a sculpture gallery and deal in sculpture from the mid-19th Century to present day. I no longer work in the gallery but travel with him for the international art fairs we do.

So!  grown up daughter.  Retired from the family business.  3 homes in very different countries……. but no direction, no goal.  

Looking for a new challenge, a new learning path.  A girlfriend said I should start a blog. I’ve never kept a diary, never kept a log of my life so this is a very alien thing for me to do.  

However, it’s a challenge and I do love a good challenge,  so here goes.

We had 3 days in Washington staying with the above mentioned girlfriend in Georgetown. I hadn’t been there since the 80’s!!!!  Amazing stay with lovely people and a gorgeous micro golden doodle – Thula – which means shut up in Zulu! 


If you are in the area in the next couple of months please please please go to the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum. I guarantee you’ll come out with the biggest smile on your face.  A real treat – courtesy of our wonderful hosts who organized a private view!  How lucky were we?

We then flew down to Norfolk Virginia to view the Chrysler Museum of Art.  This is a jewel of a museum with a wonderful collection of fine art, from Ancient Egypt to today.  The mainstay of the collection was compiled by the 5th son of the Chrysler family – yup! You’ve heard of the Chrysler Building in Manhattan, well that family.  Walter Chrysler dedicated his life to building his private collection. What makes this collection so special is the quality and the beauty of the works. Each and every piece is an exquisite example of its kind.  I found myself falling in love again with the Renaissance works and the Flemish old masters.  Having being in the art world for so long I admit to having become a tad jaded  – I know I’m sounding arrogant, but there are so many works we have come across over the decades  ‘in the business’ that seeing this quality and craftsmanship in the Chrysler collection thrilled me.   Really looking forward to another visit there. By the way, the restaurant and museum shop are excellent too. I got some really early, I know, Christmas shopping done!
It’s the Tefaf Spring Art Fair at the Armory in NYC and the gallery is exhibiting here.  Bowman Sculpture. We have a strong sculpture collection of Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin and a little jewel of a Picasso to name a few.  Some beautiful contemporary works to be seen as well.  

On another booth I  particularly liked a Korean artist Sung Hee Cho. She uses oils and rice paper to create a colorful, almost 3 dimensional canvas. 

 

Adrian Sassoon – ceramics – has some wonderful de-constructed Chinese porcelain objects. 

Kehinda Wiley’s ‘Akila walker’ on Sean Kelly’s booth

I’m hanging out with my brother and  playing tourist. Went down to the World Trade Center ; the memorial to 9/11 is wonderful. Beautifully designed water feature in the footprints of the twin towers.  Emotional!  

Cinco de Mayo – in NYC and it’s pouring!  

Flood warnings posted to our phones. The world’s weather has gone nuts. The Cape is experiencing temperatures in the 30’s, it’s autumn for goodness sake! The Luberon is sooo cold with the Mistral howling….the vines have frozen, so guess it will be a lousy harvest this year. Normally we are planted up by the 1st May, the terraces and garden all dressed in their Spring finery!  

That’s enough for a first posting. Back in a while