• Posted:Monday, October 19, 2009
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An Art Nouveau Revival for backpackers in Paris hostels

Posted in: Travel
An Art Nouveau Revival for backpackers in Paris hostels
I won't lie to you - I'm not really one for artsy-fartsy shenanigans. Show me a Banksy painting on the side of a dilapidated building and I can see the appeal, but mention the likes of Van Gogh, Dali and Seurat to me and there's a chance I'm going to think you're talking about a make of shoe. Truth be told, I'd much rather be out and about, hopping on and off planes and seeing what the world has to offer in the way of mountain ranges, than be schlepping around an art gallery trying to think of something halfway intelligent to say about a painting that looks like a big red splodge. That said, I'm always up for learning something new and, if I'm lucky enough to find myself staying in a hostel in Paris between now and February, I will definitely be making a pit stop at the Musee d'Orsay.

Starting today, the gallery is hosting an exhibition detailing the lost years of art nouveau, which, according to the museum's website, is a discipline that was neglected for many, many moons before its resuscitation in the 1960s. Apparently, the reasons for this revival were numerous, including tributes to the genre paid by the Surrealists, as well as many exhibitions put on in Paris and New York.

The Musee d'Orsay's display, however, is not overly concerned with why art nouveau staged a comeback, but instead compares the work of that period with media and style from the 50s to the 70s, revealing how it has influenced a range of different mediums, including fashion, film and furnishings.

If that doesn't tickle your pickle, there's a James Ensor exhibition being held at the same time, which emphasises the importance of naturalism and symbolism in the artist's creations.

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