Join Our Bi-Monthly Mailer
My Account
Support Us
Market

Art Paris & 1-54 / Review

TDE's highlights from the two April fairs.

By Anna Sansom / 19th April 2022
Edmund de Wal, 'die erste Elegie', 2022 COURTESY: Edmund de Waal & Galerie Max Hetzler

Edmund de Waal, ‘die erste Elegie’, 2022
COURTESY: Edmund de Waal & Galerie Max Hetzler

APRIL WAS A BUSY fair month in the French capital. Inside the temporary Grand Palais Éphémère near the Eiffel Tower, Art Paris ran its 24th edition assembling 130 modern and contemporary art galleries between 7th-10th April. Meanwhile, at Christie’s on Avenue Matignon, the second Parisian edition of the African Contemporary Art Fair 1-54 took place, with 23 galleries represented.

The Design Edit’s top picks:

Art Paris
Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger (Paris/Lisbon) presented Susumu Shingu’s entrancing ‘Astral Forest’ (2013), priced €40,000. It is a landscape-sculpture featuring five “trees” made from tiny white kites atop swaying, spindly rods that are “rooted” in an aluminium table. Shingu is known for his Wind Museum in Japan, which is full of outdoor, animated sculptures that move in the breeze. The Japanese artist’s poetic pieces have also graced a basin of the Jardin des Tuileries and the lake of a French château.

Susumu Shingu, 'Astral Forest', 2013 COURTESY: Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger / PHOTOGRAPH: © Yoshiyuki Ikuhara

Susumu Shingu, ‘Astral Forest’, 2013
COURTESY: Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger / PHOTOGRAPH: © Yoshiyuki Ikuhara

What was striking at MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique (Paris) was Luigi Ontani’s ‘Tavolozza dei colori nominali’ (1969 – 2015) – a small table, shaped like an artist’s palette, standing on three paintbrush legs, priced €90,000. Realised in the studio of Giorgio Morandi, it is embellished with 20 portraits of the late Italian painter and a ceramic vase of flowers. It was first shown in Ontani’s exhibition inside Morandi’s house and studio in Bologna, Ortani’s and typifies his blend of craft and performance, surrealism and kitsch.

Luigi Ontani, ‘Tavolozza dei colori nominali’, 1969-2015 COURTESY: Luigi Ontani & Massimo De Carlo Pièce Unique / PHOTOGRAPH: Alessandro Zambianchi

Luigi Ontani, ‘Tavolozza dei colori nominali’, 1969-2015
COURTESY: Luigi Ontani & MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique / PHOTOGRAPH: Alessandro Zambianchi

Nature was a significant theme at Art Paris. On view at Galerie Les filles du calvaire (Paris) were Kate MccGwire’s sculptures, priced €4,700-€7,200, meticulously made from thousands of feathers. The display coincided with the British artist’s solo show at the gallery. The undulating forms in two framed pieces are evocative of a landscape, while the twisted form in a vitrine is loosely reminiscent of a sleeping black swan.

Installation view of Les Filles du Calvaire, featuring Kate MccGwire’s sculptures made from feathers COURTESY: Kate MccGwire & Les Filles du Calvaire

Installation view of Les Filles du Calvaire, featuring Kate MccGwire’s sculptures made from feathers
COURTESY: Kate MccGwire & Les Filles du Calvaire

On display at Galerie Max Hetzler (Berlin/Paris) was Edmund de Waal’s elegiac work ‘die erste Elegie’ (2022), priced $110,000. A gold leaf-edged vitrine encasing alabaster blocks and delicate porcelain vases, suggestive of books and vessels lining a bookcase, it exemplifies how de Waal grapples with the passing of time, loss and memory.

Pride of place at Gowen Contemporary (Geneva) was Joana Vasconcelos’s ‘Psychedelic Furs’ (2015), priced at €60,000, an amorphous mural sculpture made from hand-painted tiles and loops of beaded crochet. A joyful riot of colour, it beautifully pays tribute to Portuguese traditional crafts.

Joana Vasconcelos, ‘Psychedelic Furs’, 2015 COURTESY: Joana Vasconcelos & Gowen Contemporary / PHOTOGRAPH: © Luís Vasconcelos / Unidade Infinita Projects

Joana Vasconcelos, ‘Psychedelic Furs’, 2015
COURTESY: Joana Vasconcelos & Gowen Contemporary / PHOTOGRAPH: © Luís Vasconcelos / Unidade Infinita Projects

1-54
Textile-based pieces, as well as paintings and photography, prevailed at 1-54. Among these was Abdoulaye Konaté’s ‘Petit personnage sur fond gris bleu’ (2020), priced €75,000, at La Galerie 38 (Casablanca). Composed of layered, embroidered ribbons, the mesmerising, large-scale installation depicts a small central figure against a rhythmic grey, blue and black abstract background, typifying how the Malian artist draws on West Africa’s textile traditions.

Abdoulaye Konaté, 'Petit personnage sur fond gris bleu', 2020 COURTESY: La Galerie 38 / PHOTOGRAPH: © Fouad Maazouz

Abdoulaye Konaté, ‘Petit personnage sur fond gris bleu’, 2020
COURTESY: La Galerie 38 / PHOTOGRAPH: © Fouad Maazouz

Another standout was Joël Andrianomearisoa’s sublime ‘Les Herbes Folles du Vieux Logis’ (2022) at Primo Marella Gallery (Milan), priced €14,800. Bringing to mind a nocturnal landscape, Andrianomearisoa, a Malagasy artist based in France, made this textile-painting by painstakingly sewing together hundreds of pieces of fabric. It is in the continuum of his immersive installation of thin black veils, ‘I Have Forgotten the Night’, in Madagascar’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019, marking the country’s first national participation.

Joël Andrianomearisoa, ‘Les Herbes Folles du Vieux Logis’, 2022 COURTESY: Joël Andrianomearisoa & Primo Marella Gallery

Joël Andrianomearisoa, ‘Les Herbes Folles du Vieux Logis’, 2022
COURTESY: Joël Andrianomearisoa & Primo Marella Gallery

Art Paris

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Jeanne Bucher Jaeger

MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique

Galerie Les filles du calvaire

Galerie Max Hetzler

Gowen Contemporary

La Galerie 38

Primo Marella Gallery

 

Article by Anna Sansom
Article by Anna Sansom
Anna Sansom is a British journalist, based in Paris, who writes about contemporary art, design and architecture. View all articles by Anna Sansom