“artist”

Rendezvous at the Patinoire Royale!

It’s a majestic space stretching over nearly 3,000 m2, which once delighted roller skaters. Today it’s an exhibition space with a difference, in the middle of Brussels. We spend an hour with Valérie Bach and find out about her commitment to contemporary art… at the heart of a historic monument. Valérie Bach moved to Brussels in 2005. At that time, she opened her first art gallery in the Sablon district. It was in 2007 that she and her husband discovered La Patinoire Royale, a neo-classical building constructed in 1877 right in the centre of the Belgian capital. Semi-circular arch windows, a magnificent Polonceau structure, period glasswork… They fell in love with it immediately, and very soon after, the couple bought the site. As of 2012, the Galerie Valérie Bach began presenting its programme on this site in the wing looking out onto Rue Faider, while restoration of the building’s nave continued, overseen by the Jean-Paul Hermant and Pierre Yovanovitch architecture firms. It was thus in April 2015 that Valérie Bach, along with her director Constantin Chariot and his team, inaugurated this new hybrid venue which has preserved its historic name. Already, three exhibitions have taken place here: “La Résistance des images”, showing nearly 170 works representing major figures in narrative figuration, curated by Jean-Jacques Aillagon; “Let’s Move!”, a vast retrospective of kinetic art organised by Arnauld Pierre; and “Prouvé / Takis” organised in collaboration with the gallery Downtown. And now, until 25 March, and for the first time since the opening of La Patinoire, all of the venue’s spaces are being handed over to one artist: Joana Vasconcelos from Portugal, whose show includes a few monumental works. You are the manager of the Patinoire, as well as of the gallery bearing your name. What is the relationship between these two spaces? Despite...

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Speedy Graphito is not a street artist!

Pertinence and impertinence… These are the traits of Speedy Graphito’s artistic journey, as revealed by the retrospective on him currently being held at the Musée du Touquet in France. See for yourself. How did you become Speedy Graphito? I’ve always painted, and I took my first drawing lessons at the age of nine. From then on, one thing led to another: I created stage sets between 14 and 20 years, and then I went through five years of training at an art school, including two years at the Ecole Estienne in Paris. My first paintings produced under the name of Speedy Graphito date back to 1984, the same year as my first exhibition at the Espace Pierre Cardin. Afterwards, the gallery Polaris – run by France’s youngest gallerist at the time – decided to back me. It was my creation of the poster for “La Ruée vers l’Art” in 1985 which ensured me sudden, immediate notoriety throughout France. Then came exhibitions, solo shows at the FIAC, and street-art interventions on the walls of Paris… “La Ruée vers l’Art” is incidentally the starting point of the show on you at the Musée du Touquet, the gateway that allows us to sweep through more than 30 years of your career. Is this retrospective important for you? I find that it’s important, at this stage of my career, to show the different periods that have marked the last few years, because people mainly know the recent works that they’ve seen on Internet. The show is a way to present series that seem dissociated from the rest, but which slot in with a global approach. The 70 paintings on show mainly come from my own collection: I try to keep at least one painting per period. Something else that is important in an...

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Pascal Pinaud or the memory of gestures

A big season lies ahead for artist Pascal Pinaud. Two exhibitions are currently featuring him near Nice (“Sempervivum” at the Fondation Maeght and “C’est à vous de voir” at the Espace de l’Art Concret), before being followed up by another at the FRAC Marseille. The south of France is fertile artistic territory, and Nice is one of its breeding grounds. Near the end of the 1950s, the Ecole de Nice wrote a chapter in the history of art. This artistic movement asserted its independence from Paris, led by figures including Arman, Albert Chubac, Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Ben and Bernar Venet. Found at the crossroads of different movements – Nouveau Réalisme, Fluxus, Support/Surface –, this school would add colour to the French scene. Pascal Pinaud is a child of this Nice School, even if he was born a bit further off to the west, in Toulouse, in 1964. Graduating from the Villa Arson (Nice) in 1990, he has taught at the same school since 1999. He has also carried out a number of projects in the region, such as an “exuberant composition of hybrid street lamps” for a tram stop in the Saint-Jean-d’Angély district (Nice, 2007). The three institutions which have programmed Pascal Pinaud in 2017, the Fondation Maeght, the Espace de l’Art Concret and the FRAC PACA, thus pay a fine homage to a child – albeit an adoptive one – of the region. One retrospective, two in situ projects At the Fondation Maeght, “Sempervivum” resembles a retrospective:  paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, installations and neons, produced between 1989 and 2016, are being shown to the public. “The show conveys the impression of a collective exhibition,” confides Pascal Pinaud. He’s not wrong either, so wide a formal spectrum is covered by the artist’s works. Pascal Pinaud works in series...

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Fons Hof: “Art Rotterdam, a very active little fair”

Destination the Netherlands for the 18th edition of Art Rotterdam, from 9 to 12 February. An international vision, a European perspective… A meeting with Fons Hof, the fair’s director. Dedicated to the emerging scene and young contemporary-art talents, Art Rotterdam is welcoming around one hundred Dutch and European galleries. The fair is being held at the Van Nelle factory, a huge modernist-style industrial building, built between 1925 and 1931, today on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The director of Art Rotterdam, Fons Hof, tells Art Media Agency about the specificities of the fair and what’s new for the 2017 edition. Can you give us the lowdown on Art Rotterdam? For this 18th edition, we are expecting around one hundred galleries spread between the main section and the New Art section. Art Rotterdam defends the new and emerging contemporary-art scene. While remaining on the European scale, its outlook is international. The selection committee chooses galleries on the basis of their programming and their international approach. These are mainly established in the Netherlands, with foreign participants making up 40 % of the main section, and 20 % of the New Art section. Selection for the New Art section, reserved to galleries which have existed for under seven years, is in the hands of Natasha Hoare, a curator at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. In the workshops of the Van Nelle factory, the Intersection section is welcoming, for the third year, installations and performances by artists or non-commercial structures. For the fifth year, the Mondrian Fund will be presenting the “Prospects & Concepts” exhibition, featuring the work of 66 young artists who received grants from the fund in 2015. The curator is Stijn Huijts, director of the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht. Finally, the selection for the video...

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Data: Picabia, nihilism and humour at auctions

A painter with talent, cheekiness and an eventful life… Francis Picabia marked the 20th century with the eclecticism of his painting and his significant contribution to French and American intellectual life. And what does the market make of him? Francis-Marie Martinez de Picabia was born on 22 January 1879 in Paris. A single child born to parents representing Spanish aristocracy and French bourgeoisie, he grew up in a certain material comfort but was not spared from emotional affliction. He was seven when his mother died of tuberculosis, and he found himself stuck with his father, Juan Martinez Picabia, the Cuban consul in Paris, his bachelor uncle Maurice Davanne, a curator at the Sainte-Geneviève Library in Paris, and his grandfather Alphonse Davanne, a wealthy businessman and enthusiastic amateur photographer who at one time was president of the Société Française de Photographie. In this universe that was possibly a little too virile, Francis escaped boredom by painting. In 1895, after school, he signed up at the École des Arts Décoratifs with Braque and Marie Laurencin as his teachers. In 1899, Francis Picabia joined the Salon des Artistes Français thanks to his painting Une Rue aux Martigues. At the start of the 20th century, his painting owed a great deal to impressionism. He showed at the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants, but also in galleries such as that of Berthe Weill or at the Galerie Haussmann. His paintings sold well. In 1908, Francis Picabia met Gabrielle Buffet, a young avant-garde musician who encouraged him to continue his research. Supported by his personal fortune, he gradually shook off his ties with his synthetic style and his dealers to trace a path through the 20th century’s “isms”: fauvism, futurism, cubism and orphism. His style stretched in all directions and adapted itself to every constraint, every manifesto. Some of his...

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