“Paris”

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi: an influential collector

“100 Masterpieces of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art”… This is the title of the exhibition currently showing at the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) in Paris, unveiling part of the Sooud Al-Qassemi collection. We meet the young collector behind the Barjeel Art Collection based in the United Arab Emirates. The IMA exhibition presents modern and contemporary Arab works in two parts. The first, “Exhibiting”, is based on the curatorial model of the traditional exhibition; the second, “Curating”, offers a scenography inspired by a museum’s reserve collection. Here, we find figures from the international scene: Adel Abdessemed, Etel Adnan, Walead Beshty and also Hayv Kahraman. But we also discover modern artists less well-known by the French public, such as Ahmed Cherkaoui and Achraf Touloub. Let’s bear in mind that Sooud Al-Qassemi has already organised exhibitions in Singapore, London, Toronto, Teheran… and others opening shortly in Amman, Washington DC and Dubai. As well as launching the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in February 2010, the energetic collector produces and presents a television programme (Art Plus, on AJ Plus Arabi).   How many works make up your collection? The Barjeel Foundation conserves around 600 works – as well as artists’ editions –, mainly modern and contemporary works. Works date from 2015-2016 back to the 19th century. My idea, in setting up this foundation, was to promote and present Arab art everywhere in the world. I find that foundations and museums aren’t active enough. We’re the opposite of that, and we really want to exceed the current limits, even if it’s much more difficult at the moment with the situation in Syria and elsewhere. We want to show another face of the Arab world, not just a negative one. In the Arab world, many works have been destroyed,...

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Lionel Sabatté, long-term cycles

It’s spring all year round for Lionel Sabatté as he bounces from one exhibition to another, one project to another. Art Media Agency visited him in his studio to learn more about his news, his work, his evolutions. A portrait. Lionel Sabatté started 2017 under the sun of Los Angeles where he’s occupied a studio for the last two years. He went on to the refreshing coolness of his second studio in Le Pré-Saint-Gervais, just next to Paris – which still offers a fair share of fine spells. The youthful forty-something originating from Toulouse is currently showing his sculptures in the courtyard of the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris while hundreds of his works have been chosen for the “Golem” show at the MAHJ (Paris) and “Vies d’ordures” at the MUCEM (Marseille). On top of this, Galerie C presented a solo show of his work at Drawing Now in March, and – the icing on the cake – he won the prize awarded by the fair. Yet another honour after already winning the awards distributed by the Institut Français in Mauritius, Yishu 8 (Beijing), and the Prix Patio La Maison Rouge last year. This rhythm confirms the brisk pace at which things are moving ahead for Lionel Sabatté. Already in 2010, Éva Hober included him in the “La belle peinture est derrière nous” exhibition, shown at Sanat Limani (Istanbul) before travelling to Ankara, to the Lieu Unique (Nantes) and to Slovenia. But the critical shift to the next gear occurred in 2011 when the artist was shown by Patricia Dorfmann at the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, as part of the FIAC’s “outside-the-walls” itinerary. Here, he presented La Meute in the Galerie de l’Évolution, a series of five wolves made from clumps of dust gathered from...

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The wheel of fortune

Elegant and persuasive, she embodies the discreet charm of private banking as the head of one bank’s art department. An hour with Mathilde Courteault of Neuflize OBC. Former director of the Asian art department of Ch­ris­tie’s in Paris, Ma­thilde Cour­teault, thirty-nine years old, welcomes us into the muffled rooms of a big private bank. Holder of a master’s in art history on “the European influence on Mughal miniatures”, this lively, enthusiastic woman has been managing, for three years now, the art assets of a clientele subject to France’s ISF (wealth tax). We talk about culture and investment strategy, collections and assets. It’s also a chance to discuss major trends on the art market, the concept of pleasure-investment… All this with the discretion and poise that are characteristic of wealth-management companies.   What exactly does art-wealth expertise involve? What does this profession consist in? The profession has existed in our bank for twenty-five years. We deploy our expertise in an integrated structure, wholly dedicated to consultancy and the management of art wealth. This, incidentally, is a specificity that is written into our company’s DNA. As the owner of a photograph collection and also as a sponsor of the Cinémathèque, a partner of the Palais de Tokyo, moreover holding ties to the Musée Jacquemart-André, Neuflize OBC is firmly anchored in the cultural domain. Let’s say that expertise is developed in three areas. First, the concrete management of collections which encompasses a full range of services for art assets, including storage of artworks in reserved strongboxes, offering museum-like conservation with controlled hygrometry. We of course offer insurance packages. We can also offer advice to clients wishing to make copies of their paintings or to get restoration work done. When we have collection-management mandates, we can also administer the loans of works to...

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Revelations 2017, when excellence springs up

Held in a spirit of harmony embracing the design universe, R3, the third edition of Revelations, an international fair for fine craft and creation, will be on at the Grand Palais from 4 to 8 May. And paying homage to Chile’s artisanal production… 2017 marks the year of a biennial that will go down in history for all lovers of fine craftwork and exceptional savoir-faire. A biennial that will gather a large community of protagonists including designers and craftworkers, all of whom share a love for objects and the materials composing them, whether precious or not, innovative or traditional. Above all, Revelations has represented, since 2013, a veil lifted on a breeding ground of talent gathered under the glass dome of the Grand Palais, drawing a plethora of practices in which handiwork reigns supreme, in a stimulating atmosphere of exchange. This is an event with weighty significance and economic fallout for the whole of the profession, supported by artisan-creators, the “guardians” of French and international excellence. Recognition for artistic professions – finally! Set up in 2013 by Serge Nicole, president from 2006 to 2016 of the Ateliers d’Art de France (French professional union representing the craft professions), the Revelations fair has since taken up its quarters at the Grand Palais, an iconic spot for contemporary art… Whose choice may incidentally be a source of amusement for craftworkers given that the art of today has shown relative indifference to them, if not rejected them outright! Whatever the case, the event sets out to be the finest showcase for artistic professions offered to the world. Since its outset, it has defined itself as providing strong support to the sector’s visibility. Indeed, three years ago, the sector seemed to suffer from a lack of definition in the eyes of public authorities in...

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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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