Grouchy Weather Week

photo: brasserie en l'ile, ile st louis

On the Ile Saint-Louis; your 'beach' is waiting for you.

Exclusive Art Discovery

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 12. June 2000:- We've had another week of dumpy weather here, which I suppose answers the questions about it impending visitors were posing last month. A glance at 'Metropole a Year Ago or Two Years Ago' shows there isn't much change.

The thermometre is like a yo-yo. Given half a chance it will shoot up a June level of about 25 or more. It stays there for two days and then drops below 20 for the rest of the week.

There is still a lot of occasional rain. This is 'rain' in the sense of pouring-rain, not the usual Paris half-hearted drizzle. 'Occasional' means short, sharp, downpours; but usually at night. The Pyrenees got new snow on Saturday.

I can't make up my mind whether it's better spending the whole weekend inside, freezing - or being sore that it's nice out and I have to stay inside, getting this together.

Lately, weekends have not been blessed with good weather, so I haven't had any choice anyway. Along with the rest of the Parisians I am grouching it out, huddled in winter woolies, until the holidays start.

Then, no doubt, I will have something else to grumble about. I already know I won't be complaining that it's too hot. Thinking about this makes me even grouchier now.

Paris 'Art' Find

By now you may be somewhat bored with Metropole's recent 'arty' trend, so you may think I'm being a bit nervy to shove some more at you. I wouldn't do it if it wasn't any good.

It started in my boulangerie where I saw a poster for an expo. 'Art' posters in my boulangerie are not unusual - this is Paris! - but this one caught my attention for two reasons.

The location of the exhibition was given as La Fondation Deutsch de la Meurthe, way downphoto: painting©jean perrin on Paris' outskirts on the Boulevard Jourdan, in the Cité Universitaire. The illustration on the poster features a big cow and two cattle dealers.

Two cattle dealers and a Charolais cow, by 'imagier' Jean Perrin©

'Now he's boosting cow art,' you may think. But it isn't the 'cow,' it is the art part. Done with pastel crayons, with big shapes, dark and light; squint and it's light and shade and colors and composition, with fine but forceful execution. Nothing timid or half-hearted about it.

I dumped what I had already planned to do on Wednesday and went to see it, because the artist would be on hand, for Wednesday and Thursday only.

The Cité Universitaire isn't known for being handy because it is beyond the Parc Montsouris; located a fair walk between the métro at Porte d'Orléans and the RER Cité Universitaire.

The Cité Universitaire isn't known for being a centre of art either. But I found La Fondation Deutsch de la Meurthe at number 37 as advertised, and found the small expo in it, and found Jean Perrin, the maker of the cow pastels.

The well lit but small exhibition room was full of them. All cows. Some with cattle dealers or herdsmen, some without.

The director of La Fondation Deutsch de la Meurthe found Jean Perrin where he lives and works, southwest of Dijon. He liked the cows so much that he invited the artist to Paris - for the first time in his life - to show just the cows.

The director said they are Charolais. I've seen these at the Salon de l'Agriculture and they are very big, blond sweeties.

Monsieur Perrin told me he does chickens too - with a big grin - and trees, rocks, gardens. His wife makesphoto: degraffiti rue e cresson tapestries, in the haute-lisse Gobelins' method, but with modern designs. These were fine to see in the sample book he had on hand.

Actually, Jean Perrin doesn't call himself an artist and says he is an 'imagier.' I think he is shy. Sure, he does colors, but these are laid on forms, for an effect of big volumes - and the way he does it is far beyond mere 'coloring.'

High-pressure graffiti clean-up of my building's walls is noisy and wet.

While we were talking about his Gallo-Roman home town of Autun, some people who had also seen the posters in their boulangeries filled up the room and start waving cheques around.

There was no price-list for the framed paintings, because Monsieur Perrin didn't want to appear to be a carpetbagger; coming to Paris to put good stuff on the market, for dumping prices.

All the paintings have one price, and it is Monsieur Perrin's 'Autun' price. If I had had a chequebook with me, it would have been very hard not to come away with one of these works - but I was given a copy of the poster.

The exhibition 'Boeufs à la Croque' continues without Monsieur Perrin until Friday, 30. June. To see it, you'll have to phone for an appointment. The number is 01 40 78 82 02.

The Rue des Artistes

If you are at the Cité Universitaire, the Parc Montsouris is across the boulevard. It is a shame to pass it up while down in this area, so I gave it a quickie once-over.

On Wednesday I felt more like looking over the streets to the west, off the Rue Nansouty where there are a couple of dead-ends filled wit older houses, all covered with ivy.

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