Top Spring Events for Francophiles Outside France

Top Spring Events for Francophiles Outside France

France Today ambassador Martha Sessums rounds up the must-see exhibitions and unmissable events for confirmed Francophiles beyond the shores of La Belle France.

Conceived in close collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the first stop of this travelling exhibition explores Surrealism from a Symbolist perspective. There are many connections and similarities between the two styles, as well as fracture lines. The exhibition uses more than 130 paintings and sculptures from French surrealists Man Ray and Jane Graverol along with Max Ernst and Salvador Dalí to examine how Symbolism, with its focus on metaphorical images, influenced and helped make Surrealism a key art movement.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium

February 21-July 21


Voice: Philippe Parreno

The first solo exhibition in South Korea by French artist Philippe Parreno ranges from video to sculpture to drawings and explores the relationship between time and memory, perception and experience, and the viewer and art. It encompasses works dating back 30 years to the 1990s. Leeum Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea.

Until July 7

Philippe Parreno, My Room Is Another Fish Bowl (2018), © Andrea Rossetti

The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism

The Harlem Renaissance was a Black arts movement of the 1920s to 1940s in which artists portrayed everyday life without racist stereotypes. Many of the artists joined the multi-ethnic creative circles in Paris and part of this exhibition presents their work in juxtaposition with white European artists who were influenced by African art, including Matisse, Picasso and Modigliani. The exhibition will show how the Harlem Renaissance and its development of the modern Black subject was central to the development of international modern art.

The Met, Fifth Avenue, NYC

Until July 28

© William H. Johnson/Wikimedia Commons

Making her Mark: a History of Women Artists in Europe (1400-1800)

Women have always contributed to European art; they just haven’t always been very visible. This exhibition brings together more that 250 objects including portraits, ceramics, textiles, cabinetry and metal work by artists including Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, who is known for her portraits of Marie Antoinette. There are also plenty of lesser-known artists, such as French painter Anne Guéret, and talented amateurs who created their art working in factory settings and workshops. The exhibition inspires a rethinking of European art history.

Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada

March 27 – July 1

Anne Guéret, Portrait of an artist with a Portfolio (Self-Portrait), c. 1793. Black chalk, pen and gray ink and wash, heightened with white gouache on paper, 32 × 40.4 cm. Katrin Bellinger Coll

Hippolyte Bayard: A persistent pioneer

Hippolyte Bayard was a Parisian bureaucrat by profession but he was also a pioneer in photography who is now getting the attention he deserves. This is a rare opportunity to see his fragile photographs from the 1840s, his early processes and subjects and one of the first photographic albums ever created.

The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California

April 9 – July 7

From France Today Magazine

© Wikimedia Commons

Lead photo credit : © Foundation Paul Delvaux, Sint-Idesbald - SABAM Belgium

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Martha Sessums is the France Today Ambassador for San Francisco. Intrigued by France since her first stroll along the Seine, Martha and her husband often travel to Paris to explore the city and beyond. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, delighting in its strong Francophone and French culture community. She was a high-tech public relations executive and currently runs a non-profit continuing education organization.

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