Didem Doğan

Centre Pompidou: Tadao Ando and Cubism exhibitions

The Pompidou Centre is located between Les Halles and Le Marais, an exceptional building built in 70 with colourful glass pipes in its exterior- as if the building is inside out- big galleries with neon lights, it has a young and creative atmosphere and there are always interesting works to check out. It is also the home of the Public Information Library and the National Museum of Modern Art. 

There’s an exhibition here on the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The legendary architect who won the Pritzker Award in 1995 gave the perfect examples of Japanese minimalism with temples, cultural centres, houses. The temple on the water in Hokkaido, Japan’s mystic solitary island, the Commerce building in Paris which is still on construction, his works are shown in videos and models. Tadao Ando has an interesting story, while he’s busy with boxing he visits the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and impressed by it he starts studying architecture by taking night classes, he works at a carpenter, he travels to see Le Corbusier’s buildings who influenced his work a lot; his dream has always been to build eternal spaces that would last forever even after we go away from this world.

We then continue to the other gallery where we visit the exhibition on Cubism. Born during the first years of the twentieth century in Paris the art movement was enthusiastically accepted by the intellectuals and the art world. Picasso and Braque were two of the pioneers who were seeking to find other ways to express, instead of using traditional canons and perspectivism they used geometry and abstract forms. They were mainly influenced by primitive art- the exhibition opens with African masks; Cézannne and Gauguin have also influenced their work. Cubism then was a popular art movement in Paris’s saloons. Picasso’s Les Dames d’Avignon was one of the first examples, the original painting is in the collection of Moma in New York, the sketches here show the first examples of distorted, triangle faces, protuberant eyes, diagonal noses, bodies as if they are free from time and space. We see then some landscape paintings, Picasso’s La Rue des Bois from 1908 and Braque’s L’Estaque show nature as minimal and schematic following Cézanne’s advise to depict nature in cylinders, cones, cycles. The movement had an influence over a decade on the art world.

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