“France”

Galerie Particulière represents Lise Sarfati

The Galerie Particulière, a photography gallery in the Marais district in Paris, now represents Lise Sarfati. Born in 1958 in Oran, Algeria, this self-taught artist, twice winner of the Prix Niépce and a member of Magnum Photos, started her career as official photographer for the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Fascinated with Russia from an early age, Lise Sarfati completed a master’s in Russian studies, and in 1989, moved to this country which would wield a major influence on her work. The young men she met there became the basis of her work as a documentary photographer while her artistic search focuses on the body’s relationship to space and emptiness. Today, the artist lives in the United States which she prefers to France whose architecture she perceives as overwhelming its people.  She is represented in New York by Yossi Milo, and in Santa Monica by Rose Gallery. Lise Sarfati’s work can be seen in exhibitions throughout the world and is represented in many collections. Several monographs have been published on...

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Data: Ferdinand Hodler, a Swiss symbol

He is one of the best-known Swiss painters, along with Félix Vallotton, Cuno Amiet and Paul Klee… Spotlight on Ferdinand Hodler, the defender of “parallelism”, a timeless Swiss artist. Ferdinand Hodler was born on 14 March 1853 in Berne (Switzerland). His father, Johann Hodler, a joiner, struggled to make ends meet for the family with six children, of whom Ferdinand was the eldest. His mother Margareta worked as a cook. At the age of just eight years, he lost his father and two of his brothers to tuberculosis. His mother, after remarrying the painter-decorator Gottlieb Schüpbach, also died of tuberculosis in 1867. Ferdinand, twelve years at the time, took over the painter’s studio in order to make a living for the family. He sketched series of “views of Switzerland” for tourists to Thun. Tuberculosis continued to strike, tirelessly, bringing the painter in close contact with death. All his brothers and sisters fell to the illness. In 1872, Ferdinand Hodler moved to Geneva, where he would stay until his death. His first works were realistic, typical of the Swiss school, and he venerated Gustave Courbet. A trip to Spain in 1878 would open him up to new horizons. He then adopted lighter colours, namely a dominant light grey which constrasted with the ochres in his early works. Gradually, his rapprochement with Symbolism would crown him with success. In 1890, Ferdinand Hodler painted an ambitious composition, Night (today at the Kunstmuseum in Bern), his first large-format painting in which he depicted himself being dragged from sleep by the phantom of death, and surrounded by lascivious entwined naked bodies. The work, shown at the Salon du Champ-de-Mars in 1891, made an impression on Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, the painter’s reference from whom Hodler learned a lesson: the use of all shapes and...

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Art [ ] Collector, going part of the way with artists

Since 2011, the Deret husband and wife duo have been conducting a philanthropic project aimed at supporting young artistic creation: Art [ ] Collector. This year, they’re celebrating the initiative’s birthday with a retrospective exhibition, on until 3 December in Paris. When it comes to collecting, the Derets go it alone. Évelyne is fond of powerful or narrative works, some of which represent femininity, often expressionist in style, sometimes with a tendency towards art brut. Jacques prefers more architectural pieces as well as colourful abstract works. But overlooking their differences in taste, together they launched, in 2011, Art [ ] Collector, a private philanthropic project. “From the outset, the idea was to support young French artists and to circulate their work without specifically showing our collection,” explains Jacques Deret. “We anchored the project in the notion of sharing to pool networks,” adds Évelyne. Art [ ] Collector is structured around a prize. Rather than offering a grant, it offers the winner a solo exhibition and the publication of a small monograph. The prize is awarded according to the decision made by a selection committee made up of collectors and professionals from the art world. To date, ten winners have emerged: Iris Levasseur, Jérémy Liron and Christine Barbe in 2012; Clément Bagot and Karine Rougier in 2013; Claire Chesnier and Eva Nielsen in 2014; Abdelkader Benchamma and Olivier Masmonteil in 2015; and Massinissa Selmani in 2016. The next winner on the list has already been announced: photographer Charles Fréger. Already five years… It is in their fetish space, the Patio Opéra’s “Studio”, in Paris, that the Deret s are showing, until 3 December, the “5 X 2” retrospective, featuring some thirty works by the ten prize-winning artists. The exhibition is curated by Philippe Piguet, who has often chaired the selection...

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Data: Cy Twombly, a new auction myth

Cy Twombly, arguably one of the most fashionable painters at the moment, is soon to be displayed the Centre Pompidou. At the same time, his market is doing particularly well. Especially since his death … Edwin Parker Twombly Jr. was born on 25 April 1928 in Lexington (Virginia). He started drawing and painting at an early age, soon under the tutelage of Pierre Daura from Spain. Between 1947 and 1949, he continued his learning by enrolling at the Boston Museum School, before moving on to study in the art department of the Washington and Lee University, in Lexington. At the Art Students League of New York (1950-1951), he met Knox Martin and Robert Rauschenberg, with whom he became close friends. The latter encouraged him to take on a stint at the Black Mountain College (North Carolina), where he made the acquaintance of Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, poet Charles Olson, John Cage and Merce Cunningham. This was the era of abstract expressionism; Cy Twombly visited the Kootz gallery (New York) where Pollock, Rothko, Newman, Still, and Motherwell were exhibited. He held his first solo exhibition at the Seven Stairs gallery (Chicago) in 1951, followed by a show at Kootz in the same year, displaying monotypes and black-pencil drawings evoking totemic or even phallic forms. In 1952, Cy Twombly crossed the Atlantic for the first time, travelling through Italy, Spain and North Africa accompanied by Robert Rauschenberg. The next year, he did his military service at Camp Gordon (Georgia), before being posted to Washington, D.C. as a cryptologist.  In 1957, he returned to Rome and began a period of intense activity, namely painting Olympia, Sunset, Blue Room and Arcadia, some of his best-known works. In his drawings, graffiti and scratches are visible, alongside letters, words and figures. Already at that time,...

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The Fondation Fernet-Branca: Space and spirit…

The scene is Alsace… The backdrop for a story on how a digestive based on bitter plants has led to pure aesthetic euphoria. From the bistro to the museum, via the Fondation Fernet-Branca. Here’s to the foundation’s health! “1,500 m² for contemporary art!” There’s no beating about the bush. Barely two minutes after welcoming you onto Alsace soil, Pierre-Jean Sugier, director of the Fondation Fernet-Branca since November 2013, indicates how things stand. Or rather, the surface area on which they stand… Here, at number 2, Rue du Ballon, in this former distillery set up in 1909 in the Alsatian town of Saint-Louis, a centre dedicated to the creation of our times now thrives. A place offering space, and also spirit… A spot that suffers from no lack in charm. As is often the case, art began here when industry dried up. Indeed, the art centre opened its doors in June 2004, following the stopping of production of the well-known Fernet-Branca bitter herbal liqueur, four years previously. Ricard had already carried off the bistro-to-museum transition when it set up, on Rue Boissy d’Anglas in Paris, a business foundation for the visual arts from the fruits of its aniseed-based liqueur. So if a cocktail beverage from Marseille dared to do it, why not an Alsatian digestif? This is no doubt what the Municipal Council of Saint-Louis said to itself at the time: a strong brand identity, a building listed as a French Historic Monument embedded in the local industrial memory… In the context of a new urban project carried out for the city, two men stepped forward: Jean Ueberschlag, deputy-mayor, and architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. The project was to take advantage of the cross-border environment to inscribe the town in the trinational cultural network around Basel. Switzerland already had its Fondation Beyeler,...

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