4th edition of DDESSIN Paris on the way

DDESSIN will be held from 1 to 3 April in the Atelier Richelieu in Paris. Aiming to support, promote and accompany the up-and-coming scene, the event will be gathering some twenty French and overseas galleries, and will be hosting 5 solo shows — Cristina Escobar, Mary-Laëtitia Gerval, Brigitte Lurton, Anahita Masoudi and Haythem Zakaria. An exhibition “Regards sur la Planète” (Looking at the Planet), echoing the COP21, is being organised by Eve de Medeiros, DDESSIN founder and director, in collaboration with Anne Malherbe, art critic and private consultant, and will gather works from private collections on the theme of nature and the environment. Also of note: the 4th Prix DDESSIN will be awarded by a jury of art professionals, offering the winner a month-long creative residence at the Institut Français in Tangiers in February...

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Fondation Custodia, survival of a tradition

The Fondation Custodia is a Dutch art foundation. It was set up in Paris in 1947 by Frits Lugt to house his collection of paintings, drawings and prints. Today, the foundation has more than 80,000 works and its operation is on a par with that of large museums. Art Media Agency went to meet its director Ger Luijten to find out more. Before talking about the institution, can you tell us a bit more about your background, how you came to become particularly interested in works on paper and joining this foundation? I was a teacher before becoming an art historian. At the age of 20, I taught drawing in Breda, a little town near the Belgian border. It was around the middle of the 1970s that I discovered art history, and I knew straight away that this was my vocation. Later, I joined the army before picking up my studies again at the University of Utrecht, starting art history at 22 years. A turning point was my internship at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, in the drawing collection. Lucas de Leyde was among the museum’s great specialists. I was won over. I worked on several volumes of a reference series by Hollstein on engravings. At the end of the 1980s, I spent three years as a curator of drawings and prints at the Museum of the Bohemian (Rotterdam). This was a great experience. It was a unique collection in the Netherlands with many Italian and French drawings from the 18th century. It was very international. In 1990, I went back to the Rijksmuseum. I spent 20 years of my life there, between 1990 and 2010. I then joined the Fondation Custodia, which allowed me to come and live in Paris. The Lugt collection and the heritage that he wanted...

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Diogo Pimentão at Art Basel Miami Beach

Diogo Pimentão’s physical drawings were exhibited at the Art Basel Miami Beach between 3 and 6 December 2015. Diogo Pimentão’s work seems to draw on Leonardo da Vinci’s dynamic of using the line, the dot and the surface. Pimentão begins his pieces in the studio but only completes them during the exhibition set up by leaning them against the wall or suspending them over the floor. His material is often paper, such as his two works Participle #1 (2015) and Participle #2 (2015) which are made of thick paper covered with graphite lines to resemble a metallic skin, that the artist folds or bends in order to shape into long, flexible, cuboid shapes, thus producing unexpected shapes. Disclosure (2015) is a shape that folds onto itself, without beginning or end. For over a decade, Pimentão has been creating a radical piece; In (visible) #1 and #2 (2015), using the studio floor as part of his drawing, to collect the movements and materials of the drawings. The artist has carefully removed the plastic floor protection and transferred the bits of graphite, dust and footprints onto paper. Thus the floor and the paper together produce the...

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A drawing story with Abdelkader Benchamma

Abdelkader Benchamma is a French contemporary artist (born in Mazamet, France 1975). His preferred medium is drawing. Having graduated in Fine Art from Montpellier and the Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris in 2003, he started out at the gallery of its day, agnès.b with the exhibition “Draw!” in 2002. In 2015, his work has already been recognized with two awards, (Drawing Now award and the first laureate of the Art [ ] Collector prize) and Abelkader Benchamma is among six artists nominated for the Meurice Prize for contemporary art. He has also exhibited at FRAC Auvergne and the Drawing Center New York.  As part of Art [ ] Collector, he is exhibiting work at the Patio Opéra in Paris until 3 October 2015. Art Media Agency went to meet with and unearth the man and the artist. The year 2015 has been one of prizes and awards for you—Drawing Now, Art [ ] Collector, and now shortlisted for the Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art. Have you resented the impact that has ensued from this success? I’ve taken it more as a sort of recognition of my work over these last years. The work of the artist can sometimes be tedious, with quite a slow production process. For example, I’ve always wanted my drawings to jump off the page, as if they were not afraid of taking up the space and moving towards installation, towards sculpture. So, these awards were a real encouragement for me—they gave me a real boost. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they threw everything into a frenzy; everything was already kicking off at the same time: for instance, the project at the Drawing Centre in New York and other exhibitions were already underway when I received these prizes. Do these awards...

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“Spaceliner” at Arter – Istanbul space for art

From 15 May to 2 August 2015, the art centre Arter, in Istanbul, is holding “Spaceliner”, a group exhibition bringing together some of the most important figures in contemporary drawing. Their works, which lie somewhere between drawing and installation, reflect on the relationship between drawing and space, through a variety of media and techniques. Directed by Barbara Heinrich, the exhibition emphasises both the ever-changing aspect of contemporary graphic creation, and the use of movement as a source of inspiration for the body of work presented. Furthermore, all of the work share an interdisciplinary desire, directed outwards as much as inwards: to capture the constructed spaces in which we live, as well as those which define our interior visions. Lastly, with the majority realised specifically for the exhibition, “Spaceliner” demonstrates the potential that drawing has as a means of contemporary expression, capable of expanding our field of vision, through the use of extraordinary techniques and...

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