Marseille is a glorious city. I’m sure for some the lack of must-see monuments, museums, hotels and restaurants would be off-putting but for me its standing as a multi-cultured modernist metropolis by the sea, with a seemingly constant supply of sunshine, is enough. Plus, I finally made it to the Picasso and Popular Arts and Traditions exhibition at MuCEM. It was pretty much the most fabulous thing I’ve seen all year, and going back to sketch for as long as I’m allowed is now firmly at the top of my To Do list. The exhibition is structured around Picasso’s work in the arts and crafts tradition with objects from the museums own collection providing historical context. It features metalwork, such as engraved tin dishes common to northern France, linocut posters, tapestries, sheet metal sculptures, ceramics and of course a healthy helping of paintings and drawings too.
According to the exhibition catalogue ‘restoring the popular arts to respectability was a reflection of a heightened sense of modernity’. If you’ve never seen any of Picasso’s ceramics then I strongly suggest you google them now. You’ll never want to use a bland IKEA anything again.
My opening comment that Marseille has no must-see attractions isn’t strictly true. The MuCEM building may be the newest note worthy architectural addition to Marseille’s skyline but theres also a Zaha Hadid structure and Le Corbusier’s ground-breaking Unite d’Habitation in it’s favour.
Picasso and Popular Arts and Traditions runs until 29th August, more information can be found on the MuCEM website here.
Another one for the summer To Do list is On Air 2016 – the free music events held by La Friche la Belle de Mai. Every Friday and Saturday night from 3rd June to 27th August, eat, drink and enjoy the view from their top terrace, 7 – 11pm. For more information visit their website here and to see what it looked like at 11pm (as opposed to 7pm when I arrived, like the English girl that I am) visit their Instagram page here.
Song of the Day: Free by The Martini’s (for that full on Empire Records vibe).