“contemporary art”

Ready Art, “the Hermès of the French artistic scene”

Launched in 2015, Ready Art may well become the indispensable tool for collectors who wish to encounter the French contemporary scene over the Internet. This selective website is a place where handpicked artists meet galleries. The platform Ready Art sets out to present top artists from today’s French scene to cybernauts from every country. The founders of this wonderful project, Tristan Vyskoc and Albane Rouvière, come from the universe of finance, but have always maintained close links with contemporary art. They are collectors themselves, and Tristan Vyskoc, also an artist. We talk strategy and artistic creation, collection and start-ups …   What originally inspired you to launch the Ready Art site? Tristan Vyskoc: We both worked in consultancy for fifteen years. We sold our business in 2014 and really wanted to work in art. We’d already invested in art-related web sites such as Artips and Barter. At the same time, we’ve always been collectors, and I’m also an artist. We noticed that artists close to us had trouble being represented on the Web. So we looked for a viable economic model with a very strong positioning. We worked for twelve months before launching Ready Art, in February 2016. We want to show the French scene exclusively and to support it internationally, with the idea of becoming the Web leader on the French scene in five years’ time. Many people told us that we were “crazy” and that we wouldn’t succeed… Albane Rouvière: Our site promotes the French artistic scene but our spectrum is fairly broad. Our artists are French, whether born or residing in France, or having a strong link to France. In addition, Ready Art is a networking platform. Works can be placed on the web site by galleries, or artists directly when they aren’t represented by a...

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Bertrand Lavier, an a cappella interview

Following a long collaboration with the gallerist Yvon Lambert, Bertrand Lavier is, for the first time, showing work at the Almine Rech gallery. The artist is presenting a set of works from different “construction sites”, series that he gradually picks up over time as his work evolves. A guided tour.   Bertrand, your exhibition starts with a “painting room”… Here, I present several series of works, including new “Walt Disney Productions”. These works have classic frames, which give them a kitsch insolence. Stemming from one fiction – the one drawn by Walt Disney – they tip over to another – one associated with the field of art. These bright white wooden frames with foliage and arabesques highlight their artificial aspect. This is the first time that you’re using frames even if they were already present in the 1947 Walt Disney cartoon Mickey at the Museum of Modern Art. The Walt Disney Productions “construction site” started in 1984 with a series of Cibachromes, then ink jets on canvas until 2013, the year when I started painting on these prints. It was also in 1984 that I started covering mirrors with a “Van Gogh touch”. From 2011, I stopped covering their entire surface but instead would paint them with a “brushstroke touch” immortalised by Roy Lichtenstein. This way, I appropriated a fundamental gesture from contemporary painting and used it on the mirrors and Walt Disney Productions. This gesture, freer than the “Van Gogh” touch, allows me to easily follow the curves of painted motifs. For the Walt Disney Productions presented here, the fact that the whole of the canvas isn’t covered with paint means that the motif of the serigraphed outline is left visible, showing the stages preceding the final result. Have you used all the works that Mickey and Minnie discover...

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Peter Campus, withdrawal and extension

The Musée du Jeu de Paume is devoting a rare and beautiful retrospective to the work of Peter Campus, a video-art pioneer who remains too little known in France. From collective introspection to the serenity of his recent years, we take a glimpse at his trajectory. It’s a shame how rare are the opportunities that arise to see Peter Campus’ work in France. Only one appearance stands out in the last five years. That was in 2015, at the Galerie mfc-michèle didier exhibition “Anarchive, Affinités / Diversités”, presenting a collection of interactive multimedia projects. On that occasion, Peter Campus’ video offshore (2013) was presented: a fixed shot of the banks of Shinnecock Bay (New York State) synthesized into large reworked pixels. The last solo exhibition of Peter Campus in France dates all the way back to 1993: a project at La Box, the gallery of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Bourges. And there’s a good reason for this rarity… If Peter Campus’ video work is so little displayed, it’s because they’re a real headache to show. Regarding Optical Sockets (1972-1973), made up of four video-surveillance cameras placed on tripods on floor-level, each at a corner of a square, with four monitors superimposing the images of visitors penetrating the field of the camera’s range, the video artist exclaims: “We took two days simply to adjust the settings of this installation!” More than mere logistical issues, his setups also gave him cause to worry about the endurance of his work. “Once the work is switched off, it’s over. It’s not as if it could stay present like a sculpture in a museum. I didn’t know if my installations could live more than a few years,” he explained to Mathilde Roman in the exhibition catalogue. With “peter campus, video ergo sum”,...

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Nana Oforiatta-Ayim: a new model of showing contemporary art

Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence, the country’s capital Accra saw open a new multi-purpose contemporary art space. ANO aims to serve as a hub for the city’s growing art scene. Interview with Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, writer, art historian, filmmaker and founder of ANO.   ANO – what does this signify? It actually comes from the Ghanaian word for grandmother. In Ghana, grandmother or old woman, is a metaphor for knowledge and wisdom. ANO is very much also about bringing to the fore hidden or untold cultural histories, so she seemed like a very good metaphor for that. Also, in Esperanto it means belonging. When I started working in arts, African art was very much outside of the centre, so it is also about belonging to the world’s discourse and having our place. How was the idea for this new art space born? Last year I helped to set up a gallery, called Gallery 1957, in the Kempinski Hotel in Ghana. I had always realised the need for more sustainable spaces, but now understood the pragmatism of it. So more spaces that sell art, that invite collectors in and that give artists an opportunity to be sustainable and profitable. The space in the hotel was quite limited; a lot of people are very shy of coming into a five star hotel. So before, where we had been working more on content and narrative, now the idea of growth and even of profit, for growth, came into play. What are your plans for this space? It will be an exhibition space for exhibitions, performances and screenings, but it will also be a space for the creative community in Ghana to get together. So there is a library and a research centre. There will be lectures and workshops as well....

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Fair play

There are plenty of art events on in Paris this March: five remarkable fairs and exhibitions a gogo. Everything you need to plan an enthralling itinerary, with stops dedicated to drawing, contemporary African art and design… Are you ready for a suite of springtime fairs? From 30 March to 2 April… It’s THE must event: Art Paris Art Fair, this year welcoming 139 galleries from 29 countries. Half of the exhibitors are from overseas, and the fair has attracted many new faces this year, with 50 % of the participants being new galleries. An unmissable gathering for the art world and the general public, this fair, held at the Grand Palais, allows visitors to discover what’s happening in the art world with an ever-savvy focus on overseas scenes. This year, its general curator, Guillaume Piens, is backed up by exhibition curator and cultural consultant Marie-Ann Yemsi (also to curate the next Bamako Encounters), who has helped to select top galleries from the African continent – including the Maghreb – and its diaspora, most of which are exhibiting for the first time in France at the event. Amongst the twenty or so galleries singled out for this African focus, a few come from very diverse horizons: Uganda is present via the Afriart Gallery from Kampala; there’s also Nigeria, with Art Twenty One based in Lagos; the Ivory Coast is represented by the Fondation Charles Donwahi from Abidjan; not forgetting South Africa, with Whatiftheworld Gallery from Cape Town. The October Gallery from London, representing El Anatsui in particular, and Parisian gallery Magnin-A, namely exhibiting Chéri Samba, present great classics in modern and contemporary African art. Also of note: the solo show accorded to South African artist Kendell Geers by Barcelona-based ADN Galeria. Emerging African creation is also represented by stands in...

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