“Olivier Kaeppelin”

A.R. Penck, a man of openness

A.R. Penck passed away while the Fondation Maeght’s major retrospective on him was underway. A few days after the sad news, Suzanne Tarasiève gallery also opened an exhibition on the artist. Two paths for tracing the complexity of the work of A.R. Penck. A homage. A.R. Penck left this world on 2 May in Zurich at the age of 77 years. Symbolically, the exhibition being held on him at the Fondation Maeght is titled “A.R. Penck. Rites de passage”. This will therefore be the last retrospective to be organised on the artist during his lifetime, and also the first homage to be paid to him. Homage accompanied by the exhibition “À travers A.R. Penck” at Suzanne Tarasiève (Paris), which represents several big figures from German painting: Georg Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz, Jörg Immendorff. Only Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter are absent from the list. A tumultuous life Ralf Winkler – this was the name he was born under – had a tumultuous life. He was born on 5 October 1939 in Dresden, in a Germany that would be designated as part of the “East” in 1949. Between 1956 and 1966, Ralf tried, unsuccessfully four times, to enter fine-arts schools in Dresden and East Berlin, even if he was not particularly troubled by this failure. He preferred contact with the “renegades” rather than the institutional painters – he would also be denied access to the Society of Artists of the German Democratic Republic. Already, in the middle of the 1960s, he adopted the pseudonym A.R. Penck for various reasons. Firstly, to pay homage to Albrecht Penck, a geologist specialising in the Ice Age. But above all, to get his works across the border more easily and to avoid censorship problems. The artist would take on other aliases: Tancred Michel or Théodor...

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ST-ART invites Olivier Kaeppelin

The 21st edition of the Strasbourg fair ST-ART will be held at the city’s Parc des Expositions, from 25 to 28 November this year, with curating input from Olivier Kaeppelin, current director of the Fondation Maeght. The foundation will also be presenting a selection of its collection’s works in a 100 m2 space. This year, writer Michel Nuridsany will also be offering an exhibition dedicated to artist Anne Ferrer. The fair will be welcoming 100 galleries, 40 % of which will be international exhibitors, and 500 artists representing 20 different nationalities, in the 10,000 m2 of exhibition space. 25,000 visitors are...

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Chagall retrospective at the Fort de Bard

From 25 June to 13 November, the Fort de Bard in the Aosta Valley,  is presenting a major summer exhibition on Marc Chagall, thanks to the Fondation Maeght’s loan of the painting La Vie (1964), one of the artist’s masterpieces. 180 works will be gathered around this masterpiece that will be making its first appearance in Italy. Due to its complex and monumental nature, most of the themes dear to the painter are represented in the work; this is why it will be the starting point of the exhibition. Olivier Kaeppelin, director of the Fondation Maeght has commented on this major exhibition: “This painting is crucial to the work of Marc Chagall as it revives all episodes of his life but also all the styles to which he took recourse in his different periods of creation. From cubism to popular imagery, via “free colour” expression, he uses, with both simplicity and mastery, the modes of expression essential for him to reach the greatest intensity and above all the greatest aesthetic...

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The Fondation Maeght points to “thought through viewing”

Until 16 May 2016, the Fondation Maeght (Saint-Paul-de-Vence) is hosting the exhibition “Espace, Espaces!” (Space, Spaces!) — a unique rereading of the foundation’s collections by the institution’s director Olivier Kaeppelin. French writer Georges Perec knew a good deal about space. According to this author of Espèces d’espaces (Species of Spaces) — to which the exhibition’s title pays homage —, “the space of our lives is neither constructed nor infinite nor homogenous nor isotropic. But do we know exactly where it shatters, where it curves, where it disconnects and meets up? Our sense of its fissures, hiatuses, friction points is confused, sometimes we have the vague impression that somewhere, something is stuck or breaking apart or banging.” Space is the starting and end point of all artistic creations. Olivier Kaeppelin considers that “what artists create is first of all a space for themselves. We don’t share this space, we penetrate it.” Artists know how to fill in hiatuses, to sublimate friction points, or sometimes, to bang.” The foundation’s visitors are invited to witness these different ways in which artists handle space: the reconfiguration and fragmentation of pictorial spaces, the construction of utopic and intimate spaces — an idea that is not estranged from “Inhabiting the World”, the theme of the 2014 Busan Biennale of which Olivier Kaeppelin was artistic director —, with interest paid to matter and its properties, the distortion of reality and the decomposition of movement. This itinerary through the Fondation Maeght’s collections is also an opportunity for Olivier Kaeppelin to unveil the works recently acquired by the collection. Namely the enormous Wolfgang Gäfgen donation — 40 drawings, five large graphic works and a triptych — or else La Renaissance (2011), an elegant bronze work by Claudine Drai, donated by the artist to the institution. True, the common...

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Claudine Drai, Letter papers

Encountering Claudine Drai’s work is like encountering a world. At gallery 111’s stand at Art Paris Art Fair, it was possible to sight the first lands, fashioned from paper. Working with this substance as if it were a “material for tearing”, Claudine Drai seems to tirelessly explore the fringes of worlds, “the frontier of consciousness”, where sometimes surprising meetings can be made – like that with Olivier Kaeppelin, president of the Fondation Maeght to which the artist recently gave one of her works. How do you feel about the fair’s energy? I don’t really feel any energy but I feel the emotions of people about the works. There is not the energy that I might have felt at other fairs where favourites stood out immediately and purchases were made straight away. There is a lot of waiting and uncertainty amongst visitors. But we’ve had some magnificent moments of emotion. I feel that my work has touched some visitors, sometimes beyond my expectations. This injected a bit of energy into me, even if people are more careful about going on to buy. My world needs to be tamed. When my world is discovered for the first time, time is needed to interiorise it. What I find very beautiful is these initial approaches, these first looks that open up pathways. The work needs to be experienced with people who come to see it, and to watch how it will continue to live in them. These are extremely long internal processes. Works are not products. A lot is being said about paper this year, with the fairs focusing on drawing and Korean artists working with Hanji paper. You work with silk paper and Tengusho paper. How do you see this material? I’ve always used paper. Paper is a material, it’s a world....

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