Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Today might be a good day to head over to One Colorado and see what we have in common with Paris.

It's A Rainbow in the Sky, an installation by the legendary artist Daniel Buren. When I say legendary, I'm talking about the Colonnes de Buren, those black and white columns you may know about if you've seen photos of the Palais-Royal. You might love them. You might hate them. Either way, if you know Paris you know them. But what's not to love about rainbows?

Built in 1629, the Palais-Royal was originally the palace of Cardinal Richilieu, who bequeathed it to French royalty upon his death. Some amazing people have lived there over the centuries. Louis XIV, for one, lived there as a child. Several members of the house of Orleans inhabited the place at one time or another. In more recent times, Jean Cocteau and Colette each had apartments there in the 20th Century. And the Palais houses two historic theatres.

One Colorado isn't quite 400 years old, but much of it is Pasadena's version of ancient architecture. The square above is surrounded by some of our oldest existing buildings. Old Town is full of lovely turn-of-the-20th-Century architecture and a decent dose of public art. It's well worth a tour. Do it soon, though. Unlike Buren's Palais-Royal columns, the installation at One Colorado is as temporary as a rainbow. It's here, thanks to the Armory Center for the Arts, until November 15th.


Cafe Pasadena said...

That new camera makes you look like a Pro, P!

I went on an Old Town tour back last century - during the oldie 90's. They still give the tours.

One of the best parts of the tour when we went was a continental breakfast. That was appreciated since we had to bee up early enuf 2 bee there by 9am in the weekend.

Nevertheless, I try to avoid that part of Pasadena, before or after dark, unless I have a damn good reason to be in that area.

Shell Sherree said...

That's a lovely one, Petrea ~ it must be interesting to see from a number of different angles and vantage points. We're on a Paris wave-length of sorts with our posts today!

Hilda said...

I hope you'll give us a tour then! ;)

Pretty man-made rainbow!

Almost Precious said...

Wonderful photo !
Guess some art is meant to last for ages while others are temporary and fleeting, much like Christo's and Jeanne-Claude's: "Surrounded Islands". 1980 to 1983, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida. Using millions of square feet of floating pink fabric, they covered 11 small islands...the islands reminded me of giant pink lily pads, all we needed were some giant purple frogs.

Margaret said...

Just read Shell's post and now yours. Very spooky synchronicity.

Desiree said...

Great fun, will have to check it out!

Bellis said...

Until I pointed it out to them, my dining colleagues hadn't taken any notice of those flags, thinking they were just an awning over the (former) Gordon Biersch patio - a variant on those car salesroom balloons. When I explained they were by an internationally acclaimed artist, their perception changed, and then it was "Wow! Really? Amazing!" Funny thing, art.

Nice photo by the way - it's hard to capture the rainbow.

Petrea said...

Cafe, I'm blushing. This is the old camera. You're sweet! Click on the Armory Center link and see pictures taken from above the flags.

Mamselle Shell, you're right about the different angles. I took a bunch of shots but opted for one that showed off the square.

Hilda, I'll print out a historical guide and do my best.

Precious, I didn't think I'd care much for Christo until I saw his Umbrellas not far from here along part of the Golden State Freeway called The Grapevine. Whimsical, awe-inspiring.

Margaret, as love-struck as Shell and I are with Paris, it's probably not that spooky.

Des, there are a couple of good restaurants right under the flags.

Bellis, I don't blame your friends. There's a resemblance. But no car dealership ever put so much care into their flags.

Virginia said...

AHHHHH the Buren columns were under renovation while I was there! I think they're great but others aren't so high on them. Buren threw a major hissy fit until Paris decided to do the million(s) euro reno. (Hissy fits pay off in Paris I think) Nice to see his work in your city P.

Katie said...

Interesting Buren installation! His columns are still under renovation in Paris, so it's nice to see he's getting out in the world doing other things.

Ms M said...

A nice example of public art, where all can enjoy it. And good photo of it; I would guess it could be tricky as to which angle would best show the rainbow colors.

Lori Lynn said...

Good to know, I really need to come there, it is only 25 minutes away!!

Petrea said...

I'm staying non-committal about public art in Pasadena. I've learned my lesson. I'm just glad we have it.

Virginia, you're right. When I ran into trouble at the Louvre I had a hissy fit and it worked. The French totally respect bitchiness, but only when one is in the right.

I'm not crazy about the columns at the Palais, but I've been in Paris twice in my life. I don't pay taxes there so I don't really have a say in the matter.

Katie, welcome back! You're non-committal on the columns, I see.

Ms. M., I'm partial to the shots on the Armory's website that were taken from above the flags. But I don't know how they got up there!

Lori Lynn, if you come up you must let me know!!!