I was invited to the press opening of two simultaneous exhibits at Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery the Friday before last. A David Salle show was at their Marais gallery and the Not Vital was at the other space in Pantin, about 30 minutes from Paris.
The expansive main floor gallery at the Marais space displayed an array of large-scale paintings on paper measuring in the range of 60 X 84 inches, either horizontally or lengthwise. The bold and bright colored paintings represent a pastiche of the optimistic, innocent 1950s America with collages of shiny cars, cups of tomato soup, planes, work boots and watermelon. Salle used blowups of images from Life Magazine in the 1950s as a source of inspiration from his childhood and inserts them in precarious manner. They take on a cartoon like effect with a wink rather than blatant humor.
Upstairs was a collection of smaller, more free form collages. They reference Picasso sculptures mostly of bicycles with splats of paint in the background and some with pieces of news type. The overall effect is more playful and less hard edged than the large canvasses downstairs.
Salle recently wrote a book How to See: Looking, Talking, and Thinking about Art , an insider master class in essay form about how to view art. Artists Jeff Koons, John Baldessari, Roy Lichtenstein, and Alex Katz are brought into the conversation.
David Salle - Till February 27
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
7 rue Debellyme, 75003
Metro: Filles Calvaire
At 11AM we took vans to Pantin. A former ironwork factory, the 54,000 square foot space incorporating several buildings, was transformed into a vast gallery space in 2012 to accommodate large-scale exhibitions.
Swiss born Not Vital is an artist and sculptor. I’ve had the privilege to meet Not twice in his scenic Swiss village in the mountains of the Engadine region. I visited his home, atelier, art foundation and his private sculpture park. I am a big fan of his oversized sculptures and the dramatic impact they make in gardens, parks and outdoor spaces.(Please read my blog about my visit http://www.ipreferparis.net/2014/09/10/ )
The entry space features three enormous ceramic HEAD sculptures produced in Jingdezhen, a capitol city in China known, for its ceramics. The white sculptures have a slightly rough texture to them, which contrast the smooth finish in many of the other works.
After a few moments, all of the journalists gathered for a tour of the show given by Not. As we weaved through the various rooms, Not explained and expanded on the philosophy and creative process of his work. He was quite funny at times and had a relaxed manner that put us at ease. There’s a strong architectural element to Not’s work and when he called his work SCAR- a combination of sculpture and architecture- it made total sense.
Although Not seeks inspiration from his many travels and homes around the world, he never forgets his Swiss mountain village of Sent, hence the title of the show, Poles, a room of shiny stainless steel beams which reference signs marking the roads during the snow. The tops of the sculptures are miniature models of masks, houses and other representations of various signals.
A series of geometric shaped chiseled marble frames have a zigzag texture inside, again reference the Swiss mountains.
The standout of the exhibition was Let 100 Flowers Bloom from 2008, comprised of 100 lotus flowers made of stainless steel, each measuring 3 meters. Each flower is unique, hammered and finished by hand, rather than cast in a mold. The effect is mesmerizing.
One other highlight was a highly polished stainless steel staircase/bleacher going up a high wall.
Not Vital Poles- Till March 18
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac-Pantin
69 Avenue du General Leclerc 93500 Pantin
Eye Prefer Paris Photos
I am happy to announce a new series of Eye Prefer Paris photos for sale just in time for the holidays. Give the gift of Paris to for your Francophile friends, relatives, colleagues and co-workers.
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Click here to see full selection of images.
Below are some sample images.
Eye Prefer Paris Postcards
I am thrilled to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Postcards, a 3, 6 or 12-month subscription service where the subscriber receives three physical postcards of my iconic Paris photos every month. Each month will have a specific theme, from architectural street scenes to romantic outdoor cafes to beautiful gardens to unique shots of iconic monuments. Each mailing will include two postcards in color and one in black & white or sepia, beautifully packaged in a special French Blue postcard holder with a custom designed seal.
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Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour