At the Pompidou, the Winners Are…

In English, the neon sign on the Pompidou says “What is there between us?”

If you come to Paris, be sure to visit the Pompidou at night. Gabe and I were there last night and the museum was almost empty. We didn’t feel rushed or distracted by crowds, so the museum was quiet, and the experience was intimate. What a privilege to be almost alone with some of the world’s most important modern art.

Riding the escalator, the lights turned Gabe’s khaki pants red.

To get to the museum’s exhibits, we rode up five floors on an escalator that hangs from the building’s face, providing a view of the city’s sparkling lights. At the top, the first gallery presents art from the late 19th century (Modern). Those that follow move through time to some very recent work (Contemporary). In the second gallery, we split up, I think because we were interested in different kinds of art. Also, I think I was talking too much.

We decided to photograph our favorites, and publish eight winners. And, not surprisingly I guess, they seem to speak to our different personalities. Here they are:

Nested Boxes. Gabe loved the geometric, balanced composition and “trippiness” of this painting:

I couldn’t find the title or the artist’s name

Critical Race Theory. I love Basquiat, and this disorienting story about American history, a multi-media creation depicting a crown of thorns, and anonymous, troubled faces waiting to be sold into slavery.

Slave Auction, Basquiat, 1982

Mickey Meets Michelangelo. Gabe loved the humor and satire in this painting, which connects art icons that were created 400 years apart and “probably annoys Catholics.”

I couldn’t find the title or the artist’s name.

Blind Faith. I was fascinated by the various techniques the artist used to create a sense of freedom and whimsey in this painting — even more so after learning the artist completed it, blind-folded, in two days.

La Notte Cieca, Pinot Gallizio, 1962

Rainbow Room. Gabe was attracted to the psychedelic effect of this room, full of clear color and light and illusion.

Salon by Yaakov Agam

From Russia With Love. I was drawn to the primitive feeling of this painting, and its references to folk art.

L’Automne, Mikhael Larionov, 1912.

Blurred Lines. Gabe was impressed by how the artist created a painting of blurred lines that provides a sense of symmetry but fools your eyes into trying to put the lines in focus.

Again, not sure who did this.

Blue Horse. I loved the horse, the contrast of moving brushstrokes and blocks of color, and the reference to St. George.

Improvisation 3, Wassily Kandinski, 1909

Tonight we joined Berkeley friends, Marianne and Lindsay, for a dinner of Brittany crepes and laughter and a walk through the quiet streets. This is our last night in Paris and, of course, we aren’t ready to leave. Inshallah, we will be back because, as Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.”


  1. Very cool Kim. My favs among the ones you showed are “Blurred Lines” (my “mind’s eyes” are still trying to focus) and the Kandinski. Your trip to Paris appears to have been a grand success! Now onward to jolly old Blimey… and warm beer!

  2. Very much enjoyed seeing the photos of one of our favorite cities in the world. Thanks for sharing your experiences in spite of the Virus. Look forward to again seeing you in SMA or ?

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