Monet Solo, Sculptor’s Junk, Basquiat Star in Paris Season

"Women in the Garden" by Claude Monet. The painting will be shown in the Monet retrospective at the Grand Palais, which opens on Sept. 22. Source: Musee d'Orsay via Bloomberg

The Grand Palais is mounting the biggest solo show devoted to the Impressionist master Claude Monet, with 169 canvases loaned by 75 museums and private collectors. To cope with the expected crowds, the exhibition space will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sept. 22-Jan. 24, 2011). Information:

To counterbalance the Impressionist invasion, the Musee d’Orsay had a witty idea: It’s exhuming the half-forgotten Jean-Leon Gerome, an academic painter who hated Monet and his pals and tried to prevent the Luxembourg museum from accepting a donation of their works. This promises to be a fascinating confrontation (Oct. 19-Jan. 23, 2011). Information:

Those who prefer contemporary art can head to the Centre Pompidou and the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

The former is organizing a retrospective of works by Arman (Armand Fernandez), the French-born sculptor who spent most of his life in New York and is best known for his assemblages of junk (Sept. 22-Jan. 10, 2011). The MAM ponders whether the work of graffiti wunderkind Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died from an overdose at 27, was worth the hype (Oct. 15-Jan. 30, 2011). Information: and

After the success of Jeff Koons’s bunnies, two years ago, the Chateau de Versailles will allow another pop artist to shine in the grandiose State Apartments -- Japan’s Takashi Murakami and his cute dolls and manga creatures. Not everyone will be amused. The show opens tomorrow and runs through Dec. 12). Information:

Wily Gianni

The Paris Opera’s first new production is Puccini’s “Il Trittico,” directed by Luca Ronconi and conducted by Philippe Jordan. Juan Pons sings the jealous skipper in the first part and the cunning Gianni Schicchi in the last (Oct. 4-27).

Matthias Goerne sings the title role in Paul Hindemith’s rarely performed “Mathis der Maler.” Olivier Py directs, and Christoph Eschenbach conducts for the first time at the Paris Opera (Nov. 16-Dec. 6). Fans of the late Giorgio Strehler will be pleased to hear that his production of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” will be revived with a top-drawer cast. Philippe Jordan conducts (Oct. 26-Nov. 24, May 13-June 7, 2011). Information:

As in past years, the Theatre du Chatelet sticks to lighter fare, including the musical classics “Show Boat” (Oct. 2-19) and “My Fair Lady,” the latter directed by Robert Carsen (Dec. 9-Jan. 2, 2011). Information:

Among theater productions, Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” at the Theatre de l’Odeon, directed by Julie Brochen, (Sept. 22-Oct. 24), and Ionesco’s “The Chairs” at the Theatre Nanterre-Amandiers, staged by Luc Bondy, (Sept. 29-Oct. 23), look promising.

Both are part of the annual Festival d’Automne, which also imports a Russian “Hamlet,” a Polish seven-and-a-half-hour homage to Andy Warhol and other intriguing productions. Information:

(Jorg von Uthmann is a critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

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