Antoni Clavé, a multiplier

In Paris, until 25 February, the BnF is presenting a short but stunning retrospective featuring lithographs and engravings by Antoni Clavé, accompanied by the publication of a new catalogue raisonné on his engravings. Spotlight on this event. Antoni Clavé once bathed in glory but over time, the tide has ebbed. In the 1950s up to the 1980s, his models, his kings and warriors, and his bullfights in earthy ochre and black tones gained a certain renown. Subjects that might seem a little dated today, like Bernard Buffet and his clowns some would argue. “Above all, he was a humble artist who steered clear of honours,” remarks Aude Hendgen, an art historian for the Archives de Clavé and head of the catalogue raisonné recently published by Skira. “In Barcelona, he always refused having a museum devoted to him despite several proposals.” A Clavé Galerie does exist, but in Japan: the first venue to be entirely dedicated to the artist, designed by Tadao Ando, and inaugurated in March 2011 in Yamanashi, near Tokyo – after the artist’s death, therefore, in 2005. Today, the exhibition at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF), “Antoni Clavé, estampes”, mounted following the donation of 92 prints by Clavé’s grandchildren, displays fifty or so pieces executed between 1955 and 1995. The fruit of numerous techniques: lithography, etching, aquatinting, engraving, carborundum engraving, goffering, collage and lithography on Kraft paper. The exhibition’s aim, according to one of its curators Céline Chicha-Castex, is to establish a link between Clavé’s engraved and painted work, and to reveal a few of his references. But above all, it is to bring back into the spotlight an artist who has been a little neglected, left in the shadows of other great Catalans: Antoni Clavé, the bridge that one could nonetheless place between Joan Miró and...

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Ancient books printed to order

Paris, 2 July 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Following the announcement of their partnership on 21 March 2011, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) and publishing house Hachette are now offering to reproduce and sell ancient books held in the Gallica digital base. Approximately 40,000 of the 200,000 books digitalised on the Gallica account are ready to be reproduced to order, and will be offered for sale for the first time in over a century. A list of books available for print is currently available on the website of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Once printed, the books can be picked up from any book store, with an ordinary estimated delivery time. Works are priced at $15, and the website states that approximately 65,000 are to be available for print by the end of the year....

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“The Golden Age of Marine Maps” at the BnF

Paris, 6 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA) “L’Age d’or des cartes marines” (The Golden Age of Marine Maps) is an exhibition that will take place at the National Library of France from 23 October 2012 to 27 January 2013. A selection of 200 objects which date from 14th to the 18th century and are related to marine geography such as maps, globes, astronomical instruments, but also paintings, engravings, manuscripts and other art objects will be on display. This exhibition is placed under the patronage of Esri France, first editor of SIG software (Geography information system) since 1969, sharing the same values as the BnF, it is therefore natural that the bringing together of these two categories was done. Rony Gal, General Director-President of Esri France declared in his press release: “This project is completely coherent with our philosophy and our values, notably the opening of the world and the transmission of knowledge. This exhibition brings together both the origins of cartography and, via the BnF laboratory, the most recent technologies allowing us to reinsert the historical vision of the territory in today’s...

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National treasure: writings by philosopher Michel Foucault

Paris, 5 June 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). The partner of famous French philosopher Michel Foucault is putting some 37,000 pages of the late thinker’s writings up for auction. According to the Government, they are a national treasure. Consequently, they cannot leave the country. Valued at €3.8m, the State has to gather this sum for 2015 as numerous American universities have stated their intention to buy these writings. The French Government told the Journal Officiel that it considered these archives as “essential for the study and comprehension of Michel Foucault’s work.” These writings, dating from the middle of the 1960s until the philosopher’s death in 1948, include lecture notes, manuscripts copies, and studies necessary to the writing of his books. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France asserted that it was confident and would be able to raise the required funds, notably through its numerous sponsors. The Musée des lettres et des manuscrits may also contribute to this acquisition. In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, Daniel Defert explained that “he and the philosopher’s family would prefer to see the archives staying in France […] However, should it be impossible, he will not object to have them stored in the United States, a country which provided a lot to...

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Bibliothèque nationale de France and Institut français announce plans of cooperation

Paris, 19 January 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). Xavier Darcos, the president of Institut français (the French Institute) and Bruno Racine, the president of la Bibliothèque Nationale de France (the French National Library), both signed an agreement on 18 January 2012 stipulating the future cooperation between the two institutions. The agreement aims to combine the efforts and expertise of both institutions, with particular regard to the following areas: concerning francophonie (the French speaking global community), the setting up of a Digitised Francophone Network (RFN) in order to encourage contact between francophone writers. concerning the launch of IF/VERSO, a database for the circulation of books written in the French language, the putting in place of a reference system for translated works; and the improvement of Culturethèque (Institut Français’ digital platform), using the digital contents of the BnF and its digital library, Gallica. The agreement also outlines plans to work together to promote reading amongst youths, to cooperate in the organisation of events promoting French literature abroad, co-publishing works, and making the research section of the BnF and the 1500 films of Institut français available to the...

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