My little snippet of the Pompidou

By Sujay Shah, B.F.A. Painting, SCAD Savannah

“It was nice to go to the Centre Pompidou after the D’Orsay in the same day, you know, because the Pompidou is like the grandchild of the D’Orsay.”- Ann Haley

The Pompidou is electric and striking especially at night because the steel wire exoskeleton is backlit by the interior lights. A zig-zag tube runs along its frontal side that houses escalators to transport guests from one level to another. The atrium of the Pompidou looks like a mash up of a giant airport terminal, a game arcade, and a cinema lobby. The atmosphere felt very informal and helped us all to comfortably enjoy the artwork during our class visit on Thursday night, November 1, 2012.

Upon entering the Pompidou, one finds an incredible and provocative sculpture of two footballers: the much loved French national captain, Zinedine Zidane, and Italian defender Marco Materattzi. Zidane is seen to be head butting Materattzi in the chest, just as he did in the 2006 World Cup Final. (I was glued to the screen watching that particular game live at the age of fifteen. Zidane was later given a red card and sent off for his part in the heated exchange, and Italy went on to win the game and become the world champions.) The sculpture is monumental, standing at 16 feet, and indelibly controversial for immortalizing Zidane in some sort of heroic fashion regardless of his recklessness. It certainly made me laugh and it was great to know that the Pompidou shares the same twisted sense of humor. I bring this up because a significant part of my painting process this quarter has involved observing footballers and making abstractions of them.

Using the tubed escalators, I finally got up to the museum section that was located on the 4th floor. The bottom level housed contemporary and more recent art works which the Pompidou regularly re-curates. I wanted to see the artwork chronologically, so I reluctantly passed a Cy Twombly and rushed to the upper level. The upper level housed works from the beginning of the 20th century. BAM! As soon as I got to the upper level, I was head butted, just like Marco Materattzi, with an overriding sense of blue. I had just stumbled upon three monumental Miro paintings that were larger than life and completely occupied my field of vision. To see a cool video of these works being installed, click here.

I really enjoyed my time at the Pompidou. I loved it so much so that I ended up visiting twice. I certainly got my Mondrian, Kandinsky, Picasso and De Kooning fix along with Miro.

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