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Pacific Northwest Proven Art: Winter’s French Influence 2020

| November 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
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Seattle and Portland tend to have great art, be it performance or visual; there is always something new and cutting edge to check out from Northwest artists. But in this year’s winter months, the highlight of the Pacific Northwest art scene isn’t local artists; this time it’s all about France. The gray months of February and March tend to lead us to dream about more exotic corners of the world, and although Paris is equally as gray at this time of year, there is something enticing about the Parisian winter streets. Both Seattle and Portland are currently featuring various French themed art exhibitions to pull us away from the dreary winter and into a more romantic and artistic lifestyle à la française. Here’s to some French inspiration, probably best enjoyed with a post-museum cafe au lait and croissant.

The Dancer  Portland Art Museum

Pacific Northwest Proven Art: Winter’s French Influence

Portland Art Museum’s landmark exhibition looks at the form of the dancer in the works by Degas, Forain and Toulouse-Lautrec. Inspired by the performance art in France in the late 19th and early 20th century, the three artists attempted to capture the symbolic role of the era’s beloved dancers. At the turn of the century dancers were cultural icons, enticing and captivating both their audiences and artists; the exhibition is therefore not simply about showing the dancers, it is about showing their lives and their essence. That captivation can still be felt today through the some 100 works featured in the exhibition which give us a view into turn-of-the-century France. The exhibition goes from February 2 to May 11.

Roman Art from the Louvre – Seattle Art Museum

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Although not French art, the Seattle Art Museum’s Roman Art from the Louvre showcases some of the most coveted Roman art pieces from one of the world’s most well known art museums, the Musée du Louvre. Anyone who has visited the Louvre in Paris knows the importance of the museum’s Roman collection; walking through the displays in the grand Parisian museum is like a step back in time, unmasking the beauty and complexities of a once great civilization. SAM’s exhibition allows Northwest art lovers to have the same experience, taking advantage of a collection that is unrivaled and manages to show a broad portrait of Roman life. 184 works, including sculptures, mosaics, frescoes and gold jewelry, have been brought in from the Louvre, making it the largest exhibition that the SAM has ever put on. The exhibition runs from February 22 to May 11.

France – Oregon Ballet Theatre

In partnership with Portland Art Museum’s The Dancer, the Oregon Ballet Theatre brings classic French dance to life. France connects the audience to the dancers, bringing them in and making them part of the ballet itself, much like the dancers depicted by Degas, Forain and Youlouse-Lautrec did in their own day. The French program is focused on two duets Pas Deux Parisien and Afternoon of a Faun, paired with two company sized ballets, Afternoon of a Faun inspired by the courts of Versailles and the other an interpretation of Ravel’s Bolero. The ballet production runs from February 23 to March 1.

Although not French art, the Seattle Art Museum’s Roman Art from the Louvre showcases some of the most coveted Roman art pieces from one of the world’s most well known art museums, the Musée du Louvre.

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