Finally, the cold & blistery month of January is behind us - with all the post-holiday, back-to-work madness (and alas, sadness) that it entailed! And so begins the last month of winter, the month of love and romance, the time when we begin to dream of venturing outside the cold apartment doors in search of an interesting social calendar... Yes, February is here - and even though we are in the Ultimate City of Romance, there is much more to do in Paris this month than simply planning romantic dinners and sexy presents! February welcomes the first slate of 2013's exhibitions, a few cool concerts, and the completely underrated Salon International de l'Agriculture. There's lots to see and do in February, so whilst everyone is busy thinking about Cupid, think about the many ways you can fall in love with your own city. The best romance is the one you have with Paris.
1 :: 23 JAN-7 APR :: JOEL MEYEROWITZ, DIANA MICHENER, AND MARTIAL CHERRIER @ MEP
|Maison Européenne de la Photographie|
There are currently three great exhibitions running at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in the Marais: Joel Meyerowitz's Une Rétrospective, Diana Michener's Figure Studies, and Martial Cherrier's Etat d'urgence. All three are very different but brilliant in their own ways. (1) Through his work in colour, Brooklyn-born Meyerowitz has revolutionised the history of photography, capturing the beauty of using a longer exposure with a large format camera. This retrospective his first work in black & white as well as his core work in colour, including the famous images he shot of the World Trade Centre after 9/11. (2) Michener, on the other hand, is known for her delicate way of documenting difficult subjects. Her sensual images of the body are ethereal and haunting, bordering almost on the abstraction. (3) Last but not least are Cherrier's own photographic interpretations of the body, which exude a plasticity and narcissicm that are quite different in tone from Michener's. His exhibiton traces a number of self-portraits and photographic representations that illustrate the inability to overcome biological determination. ** All in all, three very different exhibitions - but all worth checking out at the MEP!
2 :: 1 FEB-21 APR :: LINDER'S FEMME / OBJECT @ MUSEE D'ART MODERNE
|Musée d'Art Moderne|
Today kicks off the first day of the Musee d'Art Moderne's retrospective of works by British artist Linder. Composed of about 200 works drawn from four decades, this exhibition will showcase the depth and diversity of Linder's art, which manifests itself in photography, music, performance, publishing, and fashion. She embraced an uncompromising feminist approach to notions of gender specificity and the sexual commodification of the female body - and it shows in her art, much of which features her at the centre of the work.
3 :: 2 FEB :: NEON TREES @ LA MAROQUINERIE
Utah-based alternative rock band, Neon Trees, comes to La Maroquinerie to play a gig during the first Saturday night of the month. If you haven't heard of them yet, check out their catchy single, Animal. Tickets are €18 each.
4 :: 10 FEB :: NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA WASHINGTON @ SALLE PLEYEL
The National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, will be playing one Sunday afternoon at the Salle Pleyel this month. On the programme are works by Beethoven, Bartók, and Brahms. Tickets range from €10-€85. If you're interested in listening to more classical music in February, check out the Berliner Philharmoniker, which also plays at Salle Pleyel later during the month on the 27th.
5 :: 14 FEB :: SOIREES DE ST-VALENTIN PARTOUT
Paris will be swimming in soirées on the night of Valentine's Day! Blok Paris is hosting its Frenchy Kissy soirée with special drinks prices all evening; the MPAA is hosting its unique Le Bal à La Plage for all dancelovers / bookworms out there; and In Out is serving up champagne all night. If you're looking for a cosier and more romantic evening in, check back soon for Little Pieces of Light's Valentine's Day ideas for les amoureux (coming later this week).
6 :: 14 FEB :: FLASH MOB'S FRIEZE ROMANTIQUE @ PONT AU DOUBLE
Want to do something different for Valentine's Day? :) Take your amour and participate in this year's Frieze Romantique flash mob!! Initiated in 2009, this funny (and childishly romantic!) flash mob consists of 5 languorous minutes of kissing your loved one on the Pont au Double, a few steps away from the Parvis de Notre Dame. Be there on time at 18h with your romantic pose in the ready and your lips well-puckered - and bring a camera to capture the hundreds of people who will be kissing altogether on V-Day!
7 :: 17 FEB :: HOMMAGE A NINA SIMONE @ SUNSET / SUNSIDE
Sunset / Sunside Café is perhaps my favourite jazz bar in all of Paris (it's actually a wonder I have not written about it before - definitely an idea for a future post). In 2012, they used to run a "homage" to great jazz artists of another time, and in February, they re-introduce this series with a homage to Nina Simone, who had one of the most legendary voices of all time. The Raphaele Atlan Quartet will be playing on this Sunday afternoon starting at 4pm, so it's will be a lovely way to ease up to the end of a winter weekend. Tickets are €10.
8 :: 21 FEB-21 JUL :: CHAGALL - ENTRE GUERRE & PAIX @ MUSEE DU LUXEMBOURG
|Musée du Luxembourg|
As a humongous fan of Surrealist / Expressionist artist, Marc Chagall, this is perhaps the exhibition that I am waiting for during all of February!! In the middle of the month, Musée du Luxembourg will be showcasing 100 of Chagall's works that he began at the outbreak of WWI and which illustrate key moments of his life in Russia during wartime as well as in the south of France thereafter. Incorporating elements of Cubism, Suprematism, Surrealism, modernist thought, and of course incredibly gorgeous shades and tones, the works in this exhibition curated by the Grand Palais promise to be incredible.
9 :: 23 FEB-3 MAR :: SALON INTERNATIONAL DE L'AGRICULTURE @ PORTE DE VERSAILLES
|Salon International de l'Agriculture|
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Salon International de l'Agriculture! For those of you who have never been, it is not, as you may imagine, a salon full of only farm animals. Open to the grand public, this salon hosts gastronomic events, bar & cave visits (along with wine tasting!), cooking classes, tourism exhibitions about le provence, and events for kids. There's plenty of stuff to see, eat, and drink, and it's quite a festive atmosphere! The salon is open from 9h-19h every day throughout this period and day tickets are €13 for adults.
10 :: 27 FEB :: SIGUR ROS @ LE ZENITH
One of my all-time favourite bands to come out of Iceland, Sigur Rós, is coming to Le Zenith to play towards the end of the month. Sigur Rós is known for its ambient, ethereal sound marked by Jónsi Birgisson's gorgeous falsetto vocals. The show is currently listed as complet but there are some second-hand tickets available online for true fans.
11 :: 27 FEB-20 MAY :: JESUS RAFAEL SOTO @ CENTRE POMPIDOU
|Jesus Rafael Soto Tumblr|
Jesús Rafael Soto (1923-2005) played a key role in the revival of "kinetic art" in Europe during the 50s and 60s. For the first time, Centre Pompidou will be showcasing 20 of his key works, which in turn will reveal influences of the founding masters of abstraction, from Mondrian and Malevich to Moholy-Nagy.
** OTHER ONGOING EVENTS IN FEBRUARY I'D RECOMMEND **
Due to popular demand, the Grand Palais has extended the dates for its full retrospective in Paris of prominent American painter, Edward Hopper (1882-1967), whose realist paintings and prints gave expression to modern American life in the 20th century. Catch it in its last days!
13 :: 9 JAN-12 FEB :: LES SOLDES DE PARIS
|Daily Photo Paris|
It's the last two weeks of Les Soldes, which are the state-regulated sales in France that run during two periods of the year: once in the summer around summer solstice, and once in January shortly following New Year's Day. Take advantage of this quieter period post the initial chaos to do the last bits of your sales shopping.
14 :: 21 NOV-25 MAR :: SALVADOR DALI @ CENTRE POMPIDOU
Centre Pompidou continues to host the extraordinary Dali retrospective, which showcases 150 paintings by one of the world's most celebrated Surrealist artists. There are also a number of films and writings to supplement the artwork by this 20th-century Spanish painter, sculptor, engraver, and writer.
15 :: 30 JAN-23 MAR :: MARJANE SATRAPI @ GALERIE JEROME DE NOIRMONT
Marjane Satrapi was the reason I fell in love with comic books - and perhaps the reason that the world (re)discovered the art of the French graphic novel. She is the brilliant Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novelist behind the hit political comic-turned-film, Persepolis, which is one of the most cherished possessions on my bookshelves. However, aside from writing and illustrating graphic novels, films, and children's books, Satrapi also paints. You can check out 21 of Satrapi's portrait paintings at the Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont in the 8e.
With that, I conclude this list of events for my ideal social calendar in February. Enjoy this month of love in all the ways possible!