Archive for “Centre Pompidou”

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Major work by Bart Van Der Leck joins the collections of the Centre Pompidou

Paris, 20 February 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Compositie n°3 (1916) by Dutch artist Bart Van der Leck (1876-1958) has been acquired by the Centre Pompidou on occasion of the Impressionist & Modern Day sale held at Christie’s London on 7 February 2013.

The work of Bart Van der Leck is still confidential in French collections and his works are but rarely put to auction. Until now, he was not represented in the collections of the Musée d’Art Moderne, where the group De Stijl is mostly illustrated by the works of Mondrian, Huszár, Van Doesburg and Vantongerloo.

Bart Van der Leck (1876-1958) is a Dutch painter whose work shows the evolution of abstraction. His use of primary colours, yellow, red and blue, associated with black and white, influenced Piet Mondrian, whom he met in 1916. In 1917, he was involved in the founding of De Stijl magazine.

Eileen Gray retrospective at the Centre Pompidou

Paris, 31 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 20 February to 20 May 2013, the Centre Pompidou will be presenting a retrospective of the work of Irish designer Eileen Gray. Over 120 works will be displayed – furniture, photographs, models and documents of all kinds – showing the complexity and richness of this nonstandard designer’s work. Her career spans over 70 years of creation, her influence passed through the Art Deco and Modern movement, and reached generations of designers.

Indeed, just like Le Corbusier and Mies Van Der Rohe, Eileen Gray appears among architects and designers who deeply influenced the 20th century, and helped define Modernity. Her masterpiece, a true manifesto of Modernity, is definitely the Villa E1027, designed in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in 1926, with the collaboration of Romanian architect Jean Badovici.

In an artistic world still largely dominated by men, Eileen Gray also embodies avant-gardist femininity. A total creator, she still inspires contemporary artists, from photography to textile, from painting to lacquer, to architecture.

The Centre Pompidou celebrates the fourth edition of the Nouveau Festival

Paris, 23 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Starting on 20 February the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris will host the “Nouveau Festival” (“New Festival”) on the theme of “imaginary and invented languages”.

Emphasis will be laid on the diversity of visual arts. A number of speakers will be leading discussions about a hundred of meetings, and numerous works of art will be presented. Visitors will be able to enjoy installations, exhibitions, conferences, live shows of performing arts and cinema. By working on the subject of imaginary and invented languages, participants can discover various voices and writings as well as graphics and typography.

This Festival intends to present and confirm the Centre Pompidou as a dynamic, multidisciplinary place, always in motion, refusing all boundaries in art and thus welcoming artists from all around the world.

4th edition of “Le Nouveau Festival” at the Centre Pompidou

Paris, 16 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 20 February to 11 March 2013, free events opened to everyone will be held in the Centre Pompidou. “Le Nouveau Festival” gathers artists from all around the world in order to create a dialogue of diciplines, languages and imaginary worlds.

The activities held in the Forum, Galerie Sud, L’Espace 315, la Petite salle and Cinemas 1 and 2 were invented by Alain Seban, Head of the Centre Pompidou, and brought to life by Bernard Blistène, Head of Cultural Development Department and Art Director of the Festival. All forms of expression were explored by numerous artists participating in the events. Exhibitions, lectures, screenings, shows, installations will convey the “understanding of contemporary visual culture and will broaden the territories of contemporary creation.

A double theme underlines imaginary and innovatory languages as well as the role of graphic design and typography in contemporary culture to inspire everyday interactive exploration of the visitors’ own experiences, just as in the project by Christian Boutin, Mélanie Scarciglia and Patrick Javault arranged in the set by Mika Tajima; Book Machine nourished by public interventions will reveal the mechanism of an artist’s book production.

It will be a multidisciplinary Festival underlining accessibility, showcasing the conception of replenishment and collective participation.

Handover of a Munch self-portrait to the Centre Pompidou sparks off controversy

Oslo, 4 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Last November, the Oslo government offered the Parliament the handover of an original photographic self-portrait of Edvard Munch to the Centre Pompidou, Paris, arousing severe criticism. The piece, one of a five original prints series, is part of the artist’s donation to Oslo, on display at the Munch Museet.

According to parliamentarian Ivar Johansen, this sale would be against the artist’s clear will that his collection should remain intact. The Art Newspaper reports he added “a long-term loan would be much more appropriate in order to enhance access to Munch’s works”, and feared this first sale might augur the scattering of the collection.

The photographic self-portrait, representing Edvard Munch’s profile, was produced around 1930, in his Ekely garden. The Centre Pompidou – chosen by the Oslo government for its international standing, that should guarantee the artist’s recognition – is ready to pay out €30,000 for the photograph. Norway might invest the product of the sale in the celebration of the artist’s 150th anniversary in 2013.

2012 visits record at the Centre Pompidou

Paris, 2 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Centre Pompidou is to establish a new visits’ record for 2012. On 17 September 2012 the result of 3,611,693 visitors established in 2011 was already reached. The museum’s direction estimates that “the number of visitors will reach 3.8M, which represents a 6% increase regarding the previous year” (L’Express).

2011 has already established visits’ record. In six years, considering constant increase, number of visitors raised by 49%. In particular, the big temporary exhibitions policy stands behind the public’s taste for the Centre Pompidou. The exhibition Matisse, Paires et séries attracted 495,000 guests while the one devoted to Gerhard Richter registered 425,000 visitors.

The last exhibition dedicated to Dali welcomes on average 6,700 visitors every day. This explosion of interest has equally a positive impact on the museum’s permanent collection which was visited by 1.6M people in 2012.



The Centre Pompidou presents “Hors Pistes”

Paris, 18 December 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 18 January to 3 February 2013, the Centre Pompidou will present one more time “Hors Pistes”. It is an event which allows to discover new forms of images, film and projected image, exhibited image, performed image, everything in order to explore the theme of miniature. Indeed, miniature is “intimately connected to image” because of its implications: close-up, wide shot, back zoom, etc. With the image, the small becomes big, gaining importance.

The exhibition “Hors Pistes” will put on display around ten installations playing with “transformation of reality by the image showing the process of this transformation”. Thus, we can mention Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, who revivsit the theme of cinema special effects with Eternal Return and Traffic Series, in which we can see over ten cameras pointed at three big models depicting desert, ball and traffic jam. As for L’Utopie d’Auguste Sander by Mohammed Bourouissa, he analyses humans, particularly the unemployed and reduces them to small resin statues.

Conferences will be accompannying this event as well, including one of Jennifer and Kevin McCoy during which they will present the assembly of their works. Amongst the performances we might mention Eve Meyer Keller with Death is Certain, where we see her killing cherries in thirty different ways. Finally, the Centre Pompidou will offer “focus artist” during which it lets the artists speak for themselves: Lucien Castaign-Taylor and Véréna Paravel will present their film Leviathan, Alex Pou La première phrase and Ben Rivers The Creation as we saw it.

Works from the Centre Pompidou travel to Shanghai

Shanghai, 18 December 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

One month after the China Art Palace (formerly the China Pavillion and New Museum of Art in Shanghai) debuted with its exhibition of French masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, the Power Station of Art, museum of contemporary art in Shanghai, hosts works from the Centre Pompidou in an exhibition titled “Electric Fields: Surrealism and Beyond – Centre Pompidou Collection”, held until 15 March 2013.

It is the first time the Centre Pompidou, important museum devoted to contemporary art, collaborates with public museum of art in China. 102 works arrived in Shanghai, including videos, paintings, sculptures and manuscripts. The exhibition is divided into six sections, starting with masterpieces of Surrealism. Thus, the Chinese public has an opportunity to admire works by Marcel Duchamp, amongst others. The event is named after the Surrealist book, Les champs magnétiques (1919) by André Breton and Marcel Soupault.

The Power Station of Art was formerly a factory which polluted Shanghai, then, since 1997 worked on gas and finally was left disused in 2005. In 2010 it reopened as the Pavillion of Future during World Expo. With its innovative concept and being the only building exisiting before the event it attracted a large public. This success resulted in the idea of transforming the factory’s space into a contemporary art museum. Likewise formerly the China Pavillion, it was rearranged and opened on 1st October 2012.





The Centre Pompidou Foundation appoints Sylvia Chivaratanond Adjunct Curator of American Art

NewYork, 12 December 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Centre Pompidou Foundation has recently announced the appointment of Sylvia Chivaratanond as first Adjunct Curator of the American Art department. In this new role, she will work with the members of the Centre Pompidou Foundation as well as the Centre Pompidou in Paris in order to develop the American art department and support programmes seeking donations of American art.

Graduated from Leicester University and UCLA, Sylvia Chivaratanond is an art historian, independent curator and critic. Her curatorial work includes exhibitions at the Walker Art Centre, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Tate Gallery in London as well as the 2003 Venice Biennale. She collaborated with numerous contemporary artists, notably Dan Graham, Cady Noland, Christian Marclay, Isaac Julien, Robert Gober, Matthew Barney, etc. while organising exhibitions or preparing publications.

This choice is not insignificant for the Centre Pompidou wishes its Parisian curators to stay well informed about the development of the contemporary art scene. Sylvia Chivaratanond will allow the museum to diversify its programming. The Centre Pompidou Foundation was created in 1977 by Dominique de Menil and its main aim was to “support the Centre Pompidou in Paris by encouraging donations and acquisitions of works of art”. The Foundation fosters dynamic exchange of ideas through events, exhibitions, unprecedented access to artists, private collections and contemporary architectural achievements.

Paris and Madrid pay tribute to Salvador Dali

Paris/Madrid, 19 November 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid and the Centre Georges Pompidou are co-organising an exhibition dedicated to Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), to be held from 21 November 2012 to 25 March 2013 in Paris, and from 24 April 2013 in Madrid.

The exhibition will be by no doubt one of the greatest ever dedicated to this artist, thanks to the gathering of 200 works from private collections, from the MoMA (notably the famous The Persistence of Memory, with the melting watches), the Tate Modern, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts in Belgium; as well as three institutions entrusted with Dalí’s legacy: the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Salvador Dalí Museum in Saint Petersburg and the Figueres Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation. It is the first time in thirty years the Centre Pompidou dedicates an exhibition to this artist, for the last Dalí retrospective took place in 1979-1980.

Is it even necessary to present this iconic 20th century artist? It would seem the best is to visit the exhibition, to recall this “Surrealism impregnated with physics” so emblematic of this artist, perpetually questioning the figure of the artist “facing the world”, his various masks and his exposure to the world, making him vulnerable. All in all, this artist is ever surprising, in spite of the media over abundance of his work and the obsessive appearances of this man with a moustache, who used to say his ambition was to “make a masterpiece of himself, to create his own face”.

Adel Abdessemed, hated and adored

Paris, 16 October 2012. Art Media Agency (AMA).

Adel Abdessemed, star artist of the Pinault team, is an Algerian contemporary visual artist. He lives and works in Paris and New York. Born in 1971 in Constantine, Algeria, he began his artistic production in Batna (1986-1990) and then entered the Algier’s Academy of Fine Arts in 1990: he left in 1994 when director Ahmed Asselah and his son were killed. He then displayed his production in many capital cities, notably Paris (the Cité Internationale des Arts), New York and Berlin.

His works, rough and clinical, deal directly with materials and concepts, emphasising the balance of power and the set-up process of paradoxical elements. Lemon, milk, burnt soil, marble, neon lights, metal plane shells and barbed wire are being used for their rough materiality, but also their ability to reverse the symbolic order of law and discourse. The artist’s major themes are being exclusion, sexuality, exile, infinity, politician and religious ignominy. Unlike illustrative political works, Adel Abdessemed’s works are more like zones of energy where desire is being asserted, as well as critical vigilance and poetic contraction. From The Torino Horse and Also Sprach Allah, two works expressing a reference to Nietzsche, to Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?, including Lise, Abdemessed remains a complex artist, hated by one half of the critic who claims he is a fraud and makes only “punch” art, and adored by the other half who praise his great erudition.

From 3 October 2012 to 7 January 2013, the public will be able to decide on its own by visiting the Centre Pompidou, where the artist’s first major exhibition titled “I Am Innocent”, is being held. As soon as it appeared on the artistic scene in 2000, the work of Abdemessed has been considered an answer to the convulsive movements that shake the contemporary world, through its use of the artistic language to express all the energy and violence that mark them.

Interview with Colette Barbier, director of the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard

Paris, 13 September 2012. Art Media Agency (AMA).

Colette Barbier is the director of the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard for contemporary art, which has been representing over the last fifteen years Ricard’s patronage of the young, contemporary artistic scene. The fourteenth Fondation d’entreprise Ricard Prize will be awarded on 19 October 2012. Art Media Agency met with Colette Barbier in order to know more about the Foundation.

Art Media Agency (AMA):  Could you introduce yourself? How did you come to run the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard?

Colette Barbier: After working for some time in the Communication Department, I was offered to take the charge of a cultural space, in a moment when Ricard wished to reconsider its patronage activities.

AMA: Could you briefly recall the history of the Foundation?

CB: Since he created the Company, Paul Ricard, a former student of the Academy of Fine Arts, supported the artists and was a great patron all his life long. The Foundation, chaired by Philippe Savinel, is a continuity of Paul Ricard’s work. For fifteen years now, it has been supporting the French artistic scene, especially emerging artists. We present eight exhibitions each year, and give carte blanche to curators to organise collective exhibitions. We present the young international artistic scene. We are proud to say we were among the first to create a Prize (the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard Prize), in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, rewarding since 1999 a rising artist, emblematic of the young artistic scene. It is notable some of the artists we discovered have been afterwards rewarded by others prizes: for instance, Tatiana Trouvé, awarded in 2001, won the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2007, or Mircea Cantor.

AMA: What is the Foundation’s budget? Is it constant, or progressing?

CB: Our budget allows to finance our programming, and is decided for several years, which allows a greater flexibility. It is slightly progressing, but it is a consequence of inflation, we must take into account the evolution of life cost, salaries, rents, etc.

AMA: You will soon present the nominees for the next Prize. What is the selection process?

CB: Our Prize follows a democratic process: we name the curator in charge of the exhibition, who will select between 6 and 10 artists. We then invite about 150 collectors to vote for one of them. This is what makes it a very open prize. Nobody can directly influence the result. When the winner has been named, we purchase one of his works (apart from those exhibited) and donate it to the Centre Pompidou; works by very young artists can therefore enter this prestigious museum. This year we chose a foreign curator, an American working in Belgium. She has a wide knowledge of French artists, but her point of view is exterior and that is a real asset. Most of the artists she selected are represented by young galleries in the Belleville district (Paris), very energetic artistically.

AMA: The Fondation d’entreprise Ricard has an intense programming (lectures, prize, editions, YCI program, exhibitions, gallery promotion, etc). Could you tell us about your work with the curators?

CB: Since the origins of the Foundation, we have considered normal to involve professionals of the art world in our programming, and that is how we began working with young curators (it was quite new then). Our mission is the support of the French artistic scene, and we know it is insufficiently represented abroad. To invite foreign curators allows these professionals to see what is happening in France, and they might afterwards wish to invite these artists. This is why we created the YCI (Young Curators Invitational) program, in collaboration with the FIAC. Then again, the aim is to develop the visibility of the French artistic scene abroad.

AMA: Since you have been running the Foundation, what is your greatest achievement?

CB: It is hard to tell, but what I like most is the dialogue with the artists. To allow them to show their works in the best conditions, with as few constraints as possible. However I must admit we were very proud when the Centre Pompidou gathered all the Prize-winner works in one exhibition, in 2009.

AMA: “Your” artists are doing very well on the art market by now. What is the next step?

CB: We do not seek novelty for itself! We are willing to continue our programming, and allow a wider public to attend freely our exhibitions and lectures program. In 2013, Marseilles will be the European Capital of Culture, and we will organise an exhibition of the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard Prize in the wonderful Vieille Charité Centre.

AMA: More precisely, what is your action for the galleries?

CB: Our website is hosting the programming of the “Galeries mode d’emploi” artists group, since 1996 (the first website). 23 galleries in the beginning, they are now fifty! Our website must be clear, efficient, practical, and above all up-to-date. It is a place of information, to keep informed on exhibitions, lectures, to find a book, etc. It will soon be updated with a new category for art critics.

AMA: Are there any others projects for the public?

CB: We created Facebook and Twitter accounts, and an iPhone app. These are wonderful tools.

AMA: Are you a collector yourself?

CB: A very humble collector! I often choose artists I know well.

AMA: What do you think of the French art market?

CB: It is still insufficient abroad. There are excellent French artists, and they should be “exported”. Things are changing though, Adel Abdessemed, Loris Gréaud, Tatiana Trouvé and Cyprien Gaillard, for instance, are represented by great international galleries.

AMA: How can you explain great French galleries are not supporting French artists?

CB: It is not that bad. Great French galleries (Chantal Crousel, Emmanuel Perrotin, etc.) do not exhibit only foreign artists; their programming is very rich, and we cannot complain about France’s being a very open and welcoming country!

Parcours des mondes and tribal arts

Paris, 10 September 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Due to the Mayan prophecy, 2012 is unquestionably the year of tribal arts. Between the “Tribal Perspectives of London” (from 18 to 22 September 2012), the “Tribal Art Fair of Amsterdam” (from 25 to 28 October 2012), and the next auctions of African and Oceanic art at Christie’s and Sotheby’s (December 2012), visitors and collectors are getting lost!

However, it is the “Parcours des mondes”’ tenth edition, international salon for tribal arts, in pride of place in Paris, which attracts attention. Considered as both a discovery and journey, the “Parcours des mondes” has been bringing together each year around sixty gallery owners specialised in African, Asian, Oceanic, and American arts in the streets and galleries of Saint-Germain-des-Près since 2002. German, American, British, Australian, Belgian, Canadian, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Swiss, and provincial French galleries mix and join Parisian galleries. Designed as an open and free access salon in which visitors can walk, the Parcours of St Germain has become the setting of tribal arts. Such a concentration of works and experts is exceptional: each gallery displays its masterpieces from all over the world, from the more affordable ethnographic works to the rarest works sought by collectors.

It is necessary to admit that the once so-called “primitive” art is no longer the poor relation, the outcast banned, from the traditional and contemporary markets. The craze for this art is real.

A sacred art

Tribal art works’ extraordinary presence comes from the sacred domain, whose topic is the place of mankind in the mystery of the living. The role of a cult (no matter what it is) is to enable the existence of a force fuelled by faith and whose substance acts on the being like a medicine for the soul. In the book Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky wrote that art is a power which has a purpose and must serve the evolution and refinement of the human soul. He added that art is the language talking to the soul, in a form unique to it and that the soul can only receive art under this form. He also stated that every serious work internally resounds as the words: “I am there” and that, when pronounced with calm and dignity, these words have an eternal echo. Therefore, tribal arts reveal that art, from prehistory to the modern era, appears as the expression of a mystery whose strength manifests itself at the very core of life.

The influence of tribal arts in the 20th century art

The influence of tribal arts in the 20th century’s artistic creation is fundamental. This market appeared during the early 20th century when parties sent to explore Africa and Oceania returned and with the development of the modern painting school. The work of William Rubin Primitivism in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern sheds light on this topic: it enables to see photographs of tribal art works set next to masterpieces of modern painting. The two types of works are so similar that it is striking. This was a lesson of humility for the modern artist who reinvented his or her work under the influence of these ancient forms. Therefore, numerous artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck, Braque, and Modigliani started acquiring statues and masks to use as a source of inspiration for their works.

Change of vocabulary and Boom of the tribal arts

Modest until the end of the 1950s, this sector rapidly took off when auction houses included tribal art to their catalogues.

Then came 1990, the year of the mini revolution in France. A manifesto, launched by Jacques Kerchache, a French collector specialised in tribal arts, appears in the press stating that “The masterpieces of the entire world are born free and equal”. Three hundred signers gathered around the important art enthusiast to have the Louvre dedicate one department to African, Oceanic, American, and Asian arts. From the Louvre to the quai Branly, the plunge was taken. The works on display at the Louvre could have been transferred there but a symbol would have been destroyed. The largest museum in the French capital had to feature a room dedicated to tribal arts to be worthy of this name. The exceptional works selected by Jacques Kerchache mix with the most important masterpieces of Western art: a beautiful image it would have been regrettable to change.

Therefore, in 2000, the Musée du Louvre, unquestionably the largest and most famous museum in the world, opened the Pavillon des Sessions, located within the Palais du Louvre. A key date for art in France: one of the largest classical fine art museums in the world opened itself to creations from non-Western cultures following a century of debates and polemics. This a confrontation underlies a larger debate on the place to give to “the Other” as when anthropologist Jacques Kerchache claimed that “The masterpieces of the entire world are born free and equal” (title of the petition released in 1990 by Jacques Kerchache in the Libération newspaper), it means he assumes that the men and women who produced them are also born free and equal…

This took place on 13 April 2000: tribal arts, once qualified as “primitive”, “exotic”, and “distant” appeared at the Louvre and through the Lions’ Gate. The meliorative term “tribal arts”, referring to the arts of the early civilizations, gradually replaced the term “primitive arts”, indirectly linked to the dark times of colonialism. Now, some even prefer to speak of “primordial arts”, showing that mentalities have evolved. A very beautiful 1,200 m2 space, designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, considered to be the eighth department of the Louvre, started to host objects from the African, Asian, American, and Oceanic continents; they come from every era (there is a gap of nearly 5,000 years between the small predynastic Egyptian sculpture of Amarna style from the 5th millennia BC and the Zulu spoon sculpture from the early 20th century, the two works located in the Louvre). Today, twelve years since the Pavillon des Arts premiers opened at the Louvre and six years since the Musée du quai Branly opened, an expression of both the Musée de l’Homme and the musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, the debate seems to be closed.

Debate about tribal arts

The first debate is about the topic of belonging: today, native North Americans and Oceanics demand the return of the objects which started to be considered as artworks by the rest of the world more than a century after they had been taken. The original owners wish to restore them to their original ritual vocation even if it sometimes means reinventing a long forgotten ceremony from nothing. For the record, it is useful to mention the Nok statues scandal which occurred precisely when the Pavillon des Sessions was opened. Illegally taken out of Nigeria and featuring on the ICOM (International Council of Museums) red list (listing cultural goods strictly banned from export), these three works feature among Jacques Kerchache’s selection. Curators from all over the world were touched by this situation which was settled a posteriori by a renewable convention between France and Nigeria (works are loaned for a 25 years duration). The dispute about legitimacy is already open regarding these American, African, Oceanic, and Asian ethnographic objects and artworks: should they show a universal propensity of mankind towards creation or should they serve to highlight a specific identity?

The second debate highlights a paradox: true, the sector seems to be fine but do the contemporary artists of these same regions in the world (mainly the Americas, Oceania, and Africa) also benefit from this success? For example, African art has spent three years attracting millionaire collectors. A Fang mask from Gabon was auctioned for €931,000 in December 2011, at Sotheby’s. A world record was established for a prestigious Benin Fon lion which earned more than €1m at Christie’s. On RFI – l’actualité international, Marguerite de Sabran, manager for the African and Oceanic art department at Sotheby’s in Paris has stated: “There is a very important craze for a new generation of collectors seeking African artworks. They want the exception and aesthetic and artistic quality of works which were important in their initial context such as those, very rare, which belonged to African princes and kings. It is formidable to see African works mix with works by Picasso when it comes to records on the French market. This is a formidable recognition of the skills of the most important African artists.” However, contrary to the success of tribal art, contemporary African art, to keep the same example, does not explode. Despite high level artists at the peak of their artistic creation such as for example Chéri Samba, Romuald Hazoumé, and star William Kentridge, art in Africa, usually marked by the social and economic African situation, is like under perfusion. In twenty years, only two large collections exhibitions have been dedicated to their work: “Les magiciens de la terre” and “Africa remix” at the Centre Pompidou.

This fact is all the more surprising that one of the attractive things about this art should be the fact he has been marginalised for a long time which enabled it to escape standardisation according to Simon Njami, director of the Bamako Photography meetings (Mali).

Finally, a lot of progress has been made: after having been ranked at the bottom of evolutionary scale, extra-Western productions are now seen as cultural and artistic productions in their own right. However, to highlight something does not ensure egalitarian treatment and a lot of efforts remain to be carried out to give a real visibility to contemporary artists in these regions.

Clean-up artist stumbles upon unexpected fortune

New York, 15 August 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Following the unnoticed death of recluse and hoarder, Harry Shunk, clean-up specialist Darryl Kelly stumbled upon a gold mine of artworks, when cleaning out the New York apartment in 2006, which he plans to auction this fall.

Born in Germany, Harry Shunk migrated to Paris in the 50s where he and his partner János Kender worked as the court photographers for avant-garde artists such as Mr. Klein, Christo, Claes Oldenburg, and Niki de Saint Phalle after which various photographs ended up in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. However, in the 70s, after Kender left him, Shunk began to cut ties with the outside world and moved into Westbeth, the apartment building for artists, where he died alone, in poverty and was found rotting away amidst all of his accumulated junk, ten days after his death.

Dying without a will or known relatives, a Manhattan public administrator “took control of his estate, removing whatever it deemed valuable”, as reported by the New York Times. “Two years later, at auction, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation acquired the bulk of Mr. Shunk’s archive, about 200,000 photographs and other items, valued at $2 million”.

During the week-long clean-up which filled seven dumpsters, Kelly managed to walk away with an impressive collection featuring sketches and signed Christo models worth roughly $50,000 apiece; large-format photographs of Yves Klein depicting naked women covered in paint; lithographs by Andy Warhol and Paul Jenkins; a menu handwritten by Larry Rivers; museum posters; gallery fliers; magazine clippings; a packet of gold leaf belonging to Mr Klein.

Jack Cowart, executive director of the Lichtenstein Foundation, plans to transfer the Shunk and Shunk-Kender archives to a museum in the next few years so that the two photographers can receive their overdue recognition. He said the foundation might be interested in buying some of the works in Mr Kelly’s possession.

Storing his treasure for the past six years in a storage locker in Soho, Kelly is now ready to cash in by putting the works up for auction.

Jane Borthwick, an art adviser hired by Mr Kelly’s lawyer, said “What’s fascinating is that it all could have been lost, but for this accidental collector. He was basically the caretaker of this collection for years.”

“Extra Large” exhibition in Monaco

Monaco, 19 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 13 July to 9 September 2012, the Grimaldi Forum Monaco is displaying the “Extra Large” exhibition, made of works from the Centre Pompidou’s collection.

A selection of large-scale works from the Parisian museum’s modern and contemporary collection was made for this event. As stated by the Grimaldi Forum website, the exhibition consists of fifty monumental works, including some recent acquisitions which were never displayed before. Big names from the 20th and 21th century including Joan Miró, Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Soulages, Frank Stella, Sam Francis, Yan Pei-Ming, Anish Kapoor, Daniel Buren, and Joseph Beuys are brought together in this “extra-large” exhibition.

This large-scale exhibition of great variety presents sculptures, paintings, installations, and environments by the most important contemporary artists located on a 4,000m2 exhibition area. Prince Albert II of Monaco and Alain Seba, head of Centre Pompidou, inaugurated the exhibition on 12 July.

Anri Sala at Centre Pompidou

Paris, 18 July 2012, Art Media Ageny (AMA).

Anri Sala, artist representing France at the next Venice Biennial in June 2013, is currently on display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Currently, Anri Sala seems to be everywhere. Participating in the Documenta 13 in Kassel, he is also on display in two exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, in the “Static Movement” exhibition at the Museum Folkwang in Essen and soon at the Gwangju Biennial in Korea.

For the Centre Pompidou, the French-Albanian video director, living in Berlin, designed a five-screen installation in the museum’s Galerie Sud. Anri Sala is displaying four of his films from the last four years, shot in Mexico, Bordeaux, Berlin, and Sarajevo. As stated by the German magazine Monopol on 18 July, he often takes political topics and conveys them through images located between reality and fiction: the Siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1995, the daily life in Tirana after Civil War, and the slaughter at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Mexico. Consisting of twelve sequences, the images go from one screen to the other, inviting the spectator to move, as stated by the artist during an interview on the Centre Pompidou’s website.

Anri Sala was born in Tirana, Albania. He studied at the Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing, France, at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and at the National Academy of Arts in Tirana. The French-Albanian artist has featured in numerous solo exhibitions in the entire world, including the Contemporary Art Museum in Montreal, Quebec, the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan, the Art Institute in Chicago, the Kunsthalle Wien, and the Kurimanzutto in Mexico. Moreover, he has featured in numerous collective exhibitions and was awarded several important prizes such the Absolut Art Award in Stockholm, Sweden.

His exhibition at Centre Pompidou will end on 6 August 2012.

Centre Pompidou Foundation equiping itself!

Paris, 12 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Centre Pompidou Foundation, an American firm whose aim since 1977 has been to promote donations and to recommend the purchase of certain works, has appointed a new committee team. It consists of three members of the Foundation: this committee’s chairmanship went to Steven Guttman, president of Storage Deluxe in New York; the committee’s vice-chairmanship will be given to Estrellita Brodsky. Ann Colgin will act as the committee’s secretary while Scott Stover will keep his job as executive director.

This appointment occurred after former chairman Robert Rubin resigned. Since February, he had been in the heart of a conflict with Alain Seban, chairman of the Centre Pompidou. The conflict seems to have ended and measures have already been taken to relaunch the cooperation. Consequently, the foundation and the museum have agreed upon a certain number of points and share the will to fill in the museum’s gaps regarding oriental arts. A position of assistant curator has been set up to serve as a go-between between Latin American networks and the museum so as to acquire, through patronage and donations, works by contemporary artists from this part of the world. This programme will certainly be closely monitored by Estrellita Brodsky, art historian and exhibition curator specialised in Latin American art. Since 2006, the Foundation has already helped Centre Pompidou by donating €20m, and the new team hopes to do better. The first acquisition budget will be allocated next autumn during the FIAC week so that the Centre Pompidou can acquire a few works. The budget should reach a total of €200,000.

Ricard Foundation Prize at Centre Pompidou

Paris, 15 June 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA)

Adrien Missika, winner of the Ricard Foundation Prize 2011, is on display at Centre Pompidou.

Since 1999, the Centre Pompidou has been welcoming each year the Ricard Foundation Prize which awards an emerging French artist.

In October 2011, a jury of professionals awarded the 13th Prize to Adrien Missika for his film Dôme. That way, the work follows the path of its predecessors, Didier Marcel, Natacha Lesueur, Tatiana Trouvé, Boris Achour, Matthieu Laurette, Mircea Cantor, Loris Gréaud, Vincent Lamouroux, Christophe Berdaguer, Marie Péjus, Raphaël Zarka, Ida Tursic et Wilfried Mille, Isabelle Cornaro and Benoît Maire and is now part of the Centre Pompidou Collection.

Missika films and photographs forgotten places and monuments. This way, he invents poetic stories staging images from natural phenomena and the mark they left in architecture. In Dôme, a young man explores one of the masterpieces of architect Oscar Niemeyer on the Tripoli International Fair area in Liban, whose construction started in 1963 but stopped because of the war in 1974.

The work has been on display in the room 18 of the Musée national d’art moderne since 23 May.

Gerhard Richter at 80

Paris, 5 June 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

A touring retrospective has been organised to celebrate the 80th birthday of famous visual artist, Gerhard Richter. After its stay at the Tate Modern in London, then at the Neue Galerie Nationale in Berlin, the exhibition, whose 150 works enable visitors to see the artist’s work from the 1960s until now, is now stopping in Paris. This retrospective, which is taking place from 6 June to 24 September 2012,  aims to be as thorough as possible, and has loaned works from various sources: several museums, private collectors and even the artist himself.

From his first lino cuts of 1957, to his abstract work, to the drawings from the Halifax series (1970s), without forgetting his watercolour paintings and recent oil papers (displayed at the Marian Goodman Gallery in Paris), the Louvre is part of the important retrospective by displaying more than a hundred paper works by Gerhard Richter. This initiative occurred as part of the development of contemporary art at the institution.

Centre Pompidou seeks new exhibition curator

Paris, 25 May 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Centre Pompidou in Paris is seeking a new exhibition curator for its design department. The post will become vacant in September.

The post is open to candidates with experience in organising exhibitions and managing design collections. The new curator for the Parisian museum will be tasked with managing the design department, along with the museum’s architecture and industrial future.

The Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou was set up in 1977. President Georges Pompidou launched the project of setting up a cultural institution in the capital solely dedicated to contemporary and visual arts existing in parallel to living arts. According to the museum’s own figures, almost 6 million visitors visit the Centre Pompidou each year.