“gallery”

In Rotterdam, Haute Photographie revamps the fair concept

Putting on a museum-quality collective show, Haute Photographie, held in Rotterdam from 8 to 12 February, is renewing the concept of image-related commercial events. A lowdown on the first edition… Haute Photographie is a new fair concept tested out by Dutch gallerist Roy Kahmann during Art Rotterdam Week, from 8 to 12 February. After a pilot initiative last year, Haute Photographie has just welcomed crowds of visitors to its first edition, held over five days. Organisers filled a 1,250 m2 space adjacent to Rotterdam’s FotoMuseum. Some 250 works by around fifty artists were presented by five galleries. This new type of fair was designed to offer a more intimate and convivial version of the big yearly events that punctuate the photography market, of which Paris Photo has become emblematic. “I hate the current system of fairs organised by stands that are limited in size and in which the visitor’s attention gets lost,” explains the Haute Photographie founder. “I wanted image presentation to be closer to that in a museum while offering the possibility of buying works. Here, visitors can discover pieces in a relaxed atmosphere before going off for a meal in the starred restaurant or looking around the bookshop.” Instead of the customary stands, organisers have taken the collective-hanging approach, with each artist being accorded wide picture rails. These were presented in a highly organised space that facilitated circulation and offered armchairs and benches. Particular attention was paid to lighting. Young and vintage talent At the fair’s entrance, visitors were ushered in by a selection of three large prints by Antoine d’Agata, hanging opposite three images of Rotterdam’s parks by Jeroen Hofman.  Polaroid nude shots by Carla van de Puttelaar were on offer at €1,450 while black-and-white portraits of young sailors by Belgian Stephan Vanfleteren were priced at €2,950....

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Made in India: the new Indian contemporary-art scene

A meeting with “India” lover, art dealer and collector Hervé Perdriolle. With discussion turning around ethnocentrism, vernacular culture, the art market and the Warli tribe… Hervé Perdriolle is a collector as well as an art critic and exhibition curator. A promoter of Figuration Libre, he participated in the first exhibitions of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Ravinder Reddy in France. Since 1996, he has worked towards raising awareness of the “Other masters of India”, these contemporary artists stemming from tribal and popular art. In September 2009, he opened his collection to the public in his apartment-gallery near the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, where he welcomes art lovers by appointment…   What exactly is “Indian contemporary art”? India is a country composed of singular histories. A place we find contemporary art stemming from the local cultures, and also contemporary art inscribed in the global culture, the type where we come across artists supported by major international galleries today, with close ties to the art market, this nebula which for me is an artistic and economic haze. I myself believe that culture is about complementarity, about differences that dialogue with one another; this is the richness which has always fascinated me ever since André Breton’s cabinet of curiosities or André Malraux’s imaginary museum. This is also why the global response doesn’t satisfy me. Stuart Davis once said something when he painted the neons in American cities as a prelude to Pop Art: “The universal is offered in local terms. Great art looks to the commonplace to find a meaning pertaining to life as a whole.” Finding the universal in the local: this is something that has always pleased me enormously. Could you elaborate on this? I imagine that Jackson Pollock, for example, also turned away from his European influences by...

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Thaddaeus Ropac: “I’m more curious to see what is happening far from us”

It’s no small event… Thaddaeus Ropac is opening a fifth gallery, this time in London. The gallerist here explains his enthusiasm for the British capital, considers the Brexit, and expands on his exhibition policy… A full agenda ahead. The new branch of the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, in London – following the trail of Kamel Mennour who also settled in the city last October –, will be opening to the public on 28 April. The gallery will be located in an 18th century former residence at the heart of the historic Mayfair district. The ground-floor and first-floor spaces of the new venue will be inaugurated with an exhibition of historic photographs and video sculptures by Gilbert & George, a selection of American minimal-art works from the Marzona collection, as well as drawings from the 1950s and 1960s. A sculpture by Joseph Beuys will also be presented, along with a new performance and recent sculptures by Oliver Beer. Explanations follow. You’re opening a new gallery in London next spring. What is the main reason for this choice? Opening in London is in line with the way the gallery is moving forward. We represent many artists, and I think that we’re capable of running several galleries at the same time. It’s very exciting. We can put on more exhibitions and show more art. We’re trying to reach out to an even greater public with the exhibitions that we hold. This follows our gallery’s logic. I’m a staunch European, as I always say. So my principle has been to set up within the European context and of course, England was so much part of this. I didn’t want to go to the United States or China or anywhere else. There aren’t many cities in Europe that have quite as great an impact on the visibility of art...

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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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Bertrand Scholler or the Bellechasse spirit

More than an address, 55Bellechasse is a unique place: Parisian but not excessively so, a place where talents from afar cross paths. A contemporary-art gallery whose founder, Bertrand Scholler, seeks to “rehumanise the art market”. In the 7th arronidssement in Paris, a district favoured by embassies, not far from the former Dames de Bellechasse convent, a gallery with a very contemporary slant is tucked away. Here, the master of the premises, Bertrand Scholler, has devoted himself, since February 2013, to “combining certain traditions from the art-dealing profession with an international and entrepreneurial vision of the issues shaking up this profession in the last decade or so”. The aim is ambitious, and demands a few explanations. An encounter with a man of art, a defender of new talents, and an artisan who weaves together exclusive stories. 55Bellechasse is a pretty address, but what else makes this gallery special? We must be the only gallery crazy enough to present artists who are unknown to the fair world. Generally, gallerists present works that come from the secondary market, confirmed names or else very commercial objects. This isn’t our case, and I think that this is where our singularity lies. This is a strategy which is also associated with long-term commitment, in favour of emerging artists whose signatures are still relatively unknown. I get these artists together twice a year, I re-explain to them the aim which is to work as a team. Niloufar Banisadr, Pascal Vochelet, Christiann Conradie, Vladimir Sulyagin… They’re all very different and in my mind, very complementary. The common denominator is that they’ve decided to dedicate their lives to art, wholly committing themselves, to such a point that they no doubt would be unable to do anything else. So is commitment the basis of the “Bellechasse” spirit? It’s true...

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