• Reise auf dem Fisch [Voyage sur le poisson], 1934.

    Reise auf dem Fisch [Voyage sur le poisson], 1934.

    Max Beckmann

    Centre Pompidou
    Place Georges-Pompidou
    September 11, 2002–January 6, 2003

    Curated by Didier Ottinger

    Born in Leipzig, schooled in Weimar, Max Beckmann might have turned out to be another Bauhaus artist had he not set his sights on Paris and, later, Berlin. As a belated Symbolist in the tradition of Hans von Marées, he produced an unforgettable series of devotional triptychs. As an incisive Neue Sachlichkeit portraitist and chronicler, he nailed the decadence of the Weimar Republic. And as a political exile in St. Louis, he practiced a neo-mannerism that puts Thomas Hart Benton to shame and presages early Pollock. Now this first French retrospective, curated by the Pompidou’s Didier Ottinger, lays out the breadth of Beckmann’s achievement in all its glory.

  • La Feuille de vigne, 1922.

    La Feuille de vigne, 1922.

    Francis Picabia

    Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris
    11 avenue du Président Wilson
    July 19, 2013–March 16, 2003

    Curated by Suzanne Pagé and Gérard Audinet

    By now it’s no longer audacious to turn from one Picabia, a major player in the annals of Dada, to another: the silly old artist whose late works, with their puckish anthology of reactionary, “neo” styles, once provoked outrage or embarrassment but now look like ancestral figures of postmodern hipdom. (They even launch the current Pompidou show “Cher Peintre,” an anthology of new realist painting.) This retrospective, curated by Suzanne Pagé and Gérard Audinet (with catalogue essays by, among others, Dave Hickey), presents the whole story at last, and may prove that the late Picabia was more of a Dadaist than the official one.

  • Lebbeus Woods, La Chute - The Fall, 2002.

    Lebbeus Woods, La Chute - The Fall, 2002.

    Unknown Quantity

    Fondation Cartier Pour l'Art Contemporain
    261 boulevard Raspail
    November 28, 2002–March 30, 2003

    Curated by Paul Virilio

    What would we do without the French? While every architect and his barber is musing about what grand thing will rise downtown, our friends in Paris have organized an hommage to New York in the form of a show organized by bunker archaeologist and maître d’oblique Paul Virilio. Ground Zero offerings by a dozen artists—among them indomitable futurist Lebbeus Woods—are set in the context of industrial disasters, natural catastrophes, and in Virilio’s words “happy accidents.” The hope is that this raked-beret treatment will offset the sensationalizing effects of the mass media. And it may just work. What could be more banal than to fill that void with art?