The 25th edition of the AVV – Art in Geneva Old Town – art openings and guided tours will take place this coming weekend, starting on Thursday evening, 2 May, from 18h00, when some 13 art galleries will hold a communal vernissage introducing their latest exhibitions to the art loving public, collectors, and art world professionals. They will again open their doors to the public on Saturday, 4 May, from 11h00 to 17h00. A wonderful opportunity to visit galleries, view artworks, and talk with gallery owners and other art lovers in an easygoing social setting, this is something that I (and maybe even you?) might hesitate to do when on my own.
Just as the season for languid, lazy moments has arrived in the Swiss Romandy comes a new exhibition at the Hermitage Foundation in Lausanne that captures the very essence of hot summer days and nights. In Manguin: The voluptuousness of color we see some 100 works — paintings, sketches and watercolors — by the painter Henri Manguin (1874-1949) who indulged his passion for color so ardently the contemporary poet Apollinaire called him the “voluptuous painter”.
Until 21st of May, the Fondation de l’Hermitage in Lausanne gives us a privileged look at the use of pastels across five centuries of art. Some 150 masterpieces from public and private collections in Switzerland — from early Renaissance masters to contemporary artists — give us a captivating look at this exceptional technique. Sometimes the word “pastel” when used in reference to the color of clothing, decor or makeup can conjure an image of the faded or wishy-washy for me. But seeing the effect of pastels in artworks, such as those now exhibiting in Pastels from 16th – 21st century at the Hermitage in Lausanne, I realize that pastel shades – even in the most subtle rendering — are anything but weak.
To coincide with the stunning exhibition Rembrandt in Geneva at the Domaine de Penthes until 23 October, Tête à Tête – Swiss Events has mounted a parallel exhibition entitled Dutch Art & Design, “Old Master, New Masters” which is featured at the Museum until Sunday, 25 September. The exhibition is of limited-edition works by photographer Hendrik Kerstens and designers Jurgen Bey, Joris Laarman and Marcel Wanders. It offers a contemporary vision of Dutch art and design as created by these “New Masters”. In a dedicated room visitors can also watch biographical videos of the artists as well as “making of” videos of key works from the exhibition.
More than any other painter, in my opinion, the great Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) captured in his paintings the essence of his sitter’s soul. Yet to some fine art experts he was an even better engraver than painter. A stunning exhibition entitled Rembrandt in Geneva of some 100 of his etchings at the Domaine de Penthes in Pregny-Chambésy until 23 October offers visitors the chance to decide if they agree with the scholars. Whether or not they do, there’s no doubt that inspired genius pored from Rembrandt’s fingertips.
If like me you’ve been slow to fully embrace the Olympics Games after an endlessly negative media build-up however legitimate, then I recommend a visit to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne to help you get your Olympic mojo back before they’re over for another four years. Informative, inspiring and just plain fun, I found myself reliving so many special Olympic moments and personal memories from past Games that I came away appreciating all over again what the fuss is all about.
The weather on Lake Geneva in June 1816 was especially bad — we know what that’s like lately but rather than climate change being the culprit as it is today, a volcanic eruption in faraway Indonesia was to blame for the storms over Europe that Summer. (Well, in fact, the eruption did evoke catastrophic climate change for years after its eruption leading to widespread crop failure and mass hunger on the continent.) Torrential rain was proving tedious for five young visitors to the area — all exiles from scandal and debt in London — and one of them, their host one sodden evening at his rented digs, the Villa Diodati in Cologny, put down a challenge as a means of distraction: “We will each write a ghost story,” he said. Frankenstein: the first science fiction novel The works resulting from that competition would achieve literary acclaim and over time, none more so than that of 19-year-old Mary Godwin, the lover and soon-to-be wife of the renowned poet Percy Bysshe Shelley who was there along with their host, the infamous Lord Byron and the latter’s personal physician John William Polidori. It took some time for Mary …