Jean-Louis Vincendeau and Currer Bell College

Version française

Long overdue, the second confinement finally is the occasion to publish a series of images that Jean-Louis Vincendeau has been creating in the past half year.

These minute, often temporary installations, constitute, in all their ephemerality, beautiful poetic reflections, often referring to literature read, or art seen. Not devoid of a sense of humour, they are made with found materials, whether manmade or natural, and carefully positioned in tiny theatrical surroundings, usually against a background of one or two strong colours. In fact, they seem to be like visual haiku’s, inviting us to take a moment, sit still, watch and wonder.

Below also some impressions written on the occasion of Currer Bell College’s latest visit to Paris.

Following the previous meeting on Thursday 19 September 2019 at the café “Le Rouquet”, a café frequented by René Daumal and Patti Smith.

 Meeting of the Currer Bell College on Wednesday 21 October 2020 at the café restaurant “Le Cavalier Bleu” in Paris :

 Formed in Munich in 1911, Le Cavalier Bleu (Blaue Reiter in German) is a group of the expressionist avant-garde. Vassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc are its leading figures.

 Long before that: in 1622, during the Guyenne war, the young King Louis XIII, modestly accompanied by his squires Pontis and Baradas, found himself fortuitously forced to spend the night in the castle of the Knight of Auberhodes.  During his sleep the king had an initiatory dream, which led him to charge the knight with a secret mission linked to the salvation of the kingdom, and the young gentleman dressed in blue became the blue knight. This dream has since been the subject of a book by Henry Montaigu.

 Arthur Danto reads a book by Muriel Spark, ‘The Beautiful Age of Miss Brodie’, in which Sister Helene of the Transfiguration – formerly Sandy Stranger, a teenage girl and rascal pupil from Edinburgh – is supposed to have written a book called ‘The Transfiguration of the Commonplace’. Arthur Danto is intrigued by the title and writes to Muriel Spark asking permission to use it. She agreed and so what was once fiction became reality.

 We visited the exhibition linked to the Marcel Duchamp Prize, out of the four remaining artists our preference goes to Hicham Berrada.

 We also visited the exhibition Martin Barré sober and relevant: a highlight of the day …


Like every year, the Currer Bell College met in Paris – initially the plan was to visit the famous café “Le Rouquet” again, but circumstances brought the College to “Le Cavalier bleu”. Named after the famous painting by Wassili Kandinsky, the café did not seem much different from any other Paris café-restaurant, but in fact it was an important meeting place for artists, writers and scientists. This was also the case that morning of 21st October 2020 because the meeting of Currer Bell College was first preceded by a meeting with the artist duo Hantu who were preparing an important solo exhibition in Paris. After the necessary details had been discussed, the Currer Bell College moved on to the order of the day and ordered their lunch. They then visited the Centre Pompidou for the Prix Marcel Duchamp which they unanimously felt should have gone to Hicham Berrada. More important, however, was the retrospective by Martin Barré, who surprised with his enormous finesse. Unfortunately the Currer Bell College had planned a visit to the Paris Asia Fair in the afternoon. Apart from a previous stop at L’Élysée Saint Honoré, no further words need to be said about this. The day ended, however, with a beautiful autumn walk via Boulevard Hausmann to the Gare Saint Lazare, in the distance taking in the Pagoda, which would certainly have been more worth a visit than the fair, passing by the Jaquemart-André Musée where a Turner exhibition was on display and along the Église Saint-Martin. Once arrived at the station, the members of the Currer Bell College bid a heartfelt farewell, uncertain about the next date of the meeting but firmly convinced that it would certainly take place.






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