Eduardo Arroyo, images and stories

After featuring Germany’s A. R. Penck, the Fondation Maeght is hosting, until 19 November, a retrospective on Spain’s Eduardo Arroyo, full of political and historical insights. Presenting the elegantly titled “Dans le respect des traditions” (Respecting Traditions). At the age of eighty years, Eduardo Arroyo has lost none of his wit and elegance. He continues to scatter lively, incisive words while waving his hands about in the air. While the artist, today, gets out of breath more quickly and speaks more softly, he has conserved his powerful creative energy. This year, the gallery Alvaro Alcazar presented, at Art Paris Art Fair, a solo show with the Spaniard’s latest paintings (medium formats), while the retrospective currently on at the Fondation Maeght offers many recent creations – this time, in the large formats favoured by the painter. Above all, this former member of La Ruche – who describes his memories of Giacometti with enthusiasm – retains something of the demiurgical power specific to image-makers. His paintings, like his words, preserve a distinct bizarreness and refrain from being mere communication tools; dense in narrative quality, they shy of baring all at first sight or at first hearing. Eduardo Arroyo is a painter who doubles up as a writer. A painter of stories In the work of Eduardo Arroyo, stories are never far from the surface, whether they are anecdotes, or else draw from History or art. During his years of exile while Franco was in power, it was above all History that interested him. Eduardo Arroyo left Spain for Paris in 1958. At first he turned towards political journalism before settling on painting, using images rather than words to strike other people’s consciences. It was thus that the young self-taught figurative painter started showing work at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in...

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Christo & Jeanne-Claude, mastabas and freedom

For almost 50 years, Christo & Jeanne-Claude have used confrontation or dissimulation as a tool to charge places with new meanings. Until 27 November 2016, they exhibit a mastaba of nearly 1,000 barrels in the courtyard Giacometti of the Maeght foundation (France). From June 18 to July 3 2016, the Floating Piers (2014-2016) were visible on the lake Iséo (Italy). The artist has talked with Art Media Agency about these projects. What is the history of the mastaba that you are currently displaying in the courtyard of the Maeght foundation? Everything started in 1967. Jeanne-Claude and myself were already in New York. The director of the Kunsthalle de Berne, Harald Szeemann, organized an exhibition ‘‘Living Art. 1965-1968’’ in the Maeght foundation, which had just been inaugurated in 1964. He invited me to create a temporary work — at the time I was preparing the wrapping for the Kunsthalle Bern, our first public wrapping that we finally created in 1968. For the Maeght foundation, I proposed to Harald Szeemann to wrap the trees and create a mastaba in the courtyard I created the wrapping of the trees but not the mastaba. In 2014, during the 50th anniversary of the Maeght foundation, Olivier Kaeppelin exhibited the artists who had made the history of the foundation and he found several early drawings of the mastaba project of 1967. He then invited me to realize the project, and I accepted with great pleasure. The exhibition is interesting because it echoes the mastaba with the work that we had conducted on barrels which started at the end of the 1950s, and continued when we blocked the rue Visconti  (Wall of Oil Barrels, 1962), then later with projects of mastabas in Texas, Holland, and ultimately in Abu Dhabi. There is a genealogy of the barrel...

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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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Gérard Garouste at the Fondation Maeght

From 27 June until 29 November 2015, the Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence, France, is displaying the works of Gérard Garouste in an exhibition entitled “En chemin”. The exhibition is to bring together nearly 80 paintings, sculptures, and drawings that explore the myths and classic and modern tales that are important to the artist, including sketchbooks and several previously unseen works realised specifically for the exhibition. The thread of this exhibition is a set of associations and free correspondences between literature, art history, sacred texts, and family portraits, spanning Garouste’s career in a retrospective fashion whilst simultaneously featuring his new creations. Born in 1946 in Bourg la Reine, France, Gérard Garouste is a multidisciplinary artist, who is at once a painter, sculptor, installation creator, theatre set designer, actor, playwright, and author of an autobiography, L’Intranquille: Autoportrait d’un fils, d’un peintre, d’un fou, which was published in 2009. He studied at the Beaux-Arts de Paris before having his works exhibited in several galleries in France, Germany, and Italy, and had a solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1988. He currently lives and works in Normandy and in Paris. Situated in Saint Paul de Vence, near Nice, the Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght is a private contemporary art foundation of public use, which was inaugurated in 1964. It boasts one of the richest collections of 20th-century paintings, sculptures, and graphic works in Europe, and attracts some 200,000 visitors every...

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50th anniversary of the Fondation Maeght

Saint-Paul de Vence (Nice), 16 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Fondation Maeght is marking its 50th anniversary with a special upcoming exhibition, entitled “De Giacometti à Tàpies, 50 ans de collection”, to run from 22 June to 2 November. Featuring works by artists such as Pierre Soulages, Simon Hantaï and Alfredo Giacometti, the exhibition is to celebrate both the Fondation as a space dedicated to modern art, and the legacy of its founders, Aimé and Marguerite Maeght. It is hoped that this show will highlight the foundation’s importance as an art space both within the region of Nice and internationally. Established in 1964, the Fondation Maeght houses a vast collection of modern paintings, sculptures, ceramics and collages. Its exhibition spaces include a unique building designed by Lluís Sert, a courtyard filled with Giacometti sculptures and gardens showing work by Braque and...

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