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Pinacothèque de Paris, Singapore

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by Lydia C. Lee (subscribe)
Lydia C. Lee is still trying to work out what to do with her one wild and precious life. She currently is a haphazard blogger. Read more at or
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Old masters in new light

The largest private art museum in Paris is opening a venue in Singapore. Taking over the Fort Canning Centre, it is set to open with splendour in early 2015.

However, a 'taster' exhibition is open, one room (split into two) is showing a small but masterful collection, giving an impressive glimpse of what is to come. The exhibition is titled "The Art of Collecting, Masterpieces from the Pinacothèque de Paris" and covers 500 years of art, but with modern sensibilities.

This pop-up exhibition contains works of Rembrandt, Picasso, Modigliani, Warhol and even a Tintoretto. However, what makes this exhibition so exciting, and worth making an effort to see, is not the famous masterpieces, which of course are brilliant, but the exciting way in which they've been hung.

The layout is not in chronological order, or by style. The layout is how a private collector might hang them in his house. The result is fascinating. Marc Restellini, the curator says "So forget everything you have been taught, or all you have not learned, let yourself go with the intermingling, the combinations, try to find the keys you are offered in order to hear the works speak to each other." The paintings make you look at them with new eyes, as you see them next to new neighbours. There are also cut-aways in the wall, so depending where you are standing, you may be looking at two paintings, or with a third painting in the middle from the next room. It's wonderful to really think about the works as standalone art, not with the baggage of art history and rules.

Restellini's explains his aim "By combining them according to my sensitivities and with an iconographic, and aesthetic logic, I have attempted to re-establish the original dialogue found within the art lover's cabinet. That timeless place, out of space, wherein the works can converse, communicate with each other and come to life again." At Fort Canning he has definitely succeeded.

I recommend making this a stop on any visit to Singapore - and I for one can't wait for the Museum to open. It will be well worth booking a trip for.
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Why? See brilliant art in a reinvigorating manner
When: Mondays to Sundays | 10am to 7pm (Last admission at 6:15pm), Fridays | 10am to 9pm
Phone: 65 6883 1588
Where: Fort Canning Centre, Fort Canning Park, Cox Terrace
Cost: Adults $15 (Singapore residents $12)
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