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The art diary of an undercover reporter, from La Borne to New York

 

Tommy Hilfinger’s auction sale, contemporary ceramics in the Berry, Hans Ulrich Obrist... Nicolas Trembley unveils his art diary.

Photo : Jessica Craig-Martin

 

Each year, the magazine Art Review publishes a top 100 of the most influential people in the art world, and each year everyone wonders how the selection is made. The list includes powerful gallerists, directors of art institutions, collectors and a few artists. At number one is the Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, for the second time (since he was already given the top spot in 2009). In 2002, when the top 100 was first launched, he was at number 75. This year’s number 100 is the artist Ragnar Kjartansson, who’s new to the list. The top woman is in seventh place, although some appear as part of a duo, like the gallerists Iwan and Manuela Wirth at number three, or Nicholas Serota and Frances Morris at number five (respectively the former director of the Tate and the future director of Tate Modern). The lady at number seven is an artist and theoretician: Hito Steyerl. Hats off to her, for she’s not that well known and has come in ahead of artists as illustrious as Richter and Koons.

 

At La Borne, in the Berry, no one gives two hoots about the Art Review list because no one knows anything about it. Founded in the 60s by hippies, the Association Céramique de La Borne (located near to Bourges because of a seam of clay that’s been exploited since the 19th century) has evolved in line with the increasing interest in ceramics. The village now boasts a brand-new centre of contemporary ceramics, which this autumn is hosting an exhibition curated by the artist Natsuko Uchino in a duo with Sophie Auger-Grappin. Entitled J’ai rêvé le goût de la brique pilée (“I dreamed the taste of crushed brick”), the show is the fruit of this favourable wind for ceramics in contemporary art, since it mixes work by artists like Richard Serra or Ana Mendieta with pieces by “potters” such as Brigitte Penicaud or Anne Kjærsgaard. Inaugurated during the week of the grands feux (the moment when all the ceramicists fire their work in giant communal kilns), the event shook up a traditional ecosystem that had become a bit set in its ways, but which now welcomes well-known dealers (whose names we won’t quote) and even fashion people (perhaps due to the sell-out lecture given by Johan Creten). At night, everyone watches over the kilns and drinks, living together for ten days in a very agreeable limbo.

 

The Marbriers 4 space in Geneva is poised to become one of the essential places for taking the pulse of a new generation. The tiny gallery is collectively run by former students of HEAD – the Haute école d’art et de design, which has been consistently climbing in the league of Europe’s most prominent schools. The shows feature artists such as Amalia Ulman, Marie Karlberg or Bonny Poon, who decided to remove permanently the gallery’s front door. Good news for Paris, Marbriers 4 is soon going to open a space in the French capital. Another nice surprise is that one of the cult pictures of the 20th century, a Johns Flag by Sturtevant, is being offered for E3.5 million at Sotheby’s after having been bought for just E40,000 in 2000. It’s a shame that Sturtevant, who never commanded such sums while alive, is no longer here to see it.

Interview with Takashi Murakami, a pop icon
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Interview with Takashi Murakami, a pop icon

Art Drawing from Japanese popular culture and the world of manga, his spectacular artworks have brought him global fame and have been shown at such diverse and prestigious locations as New York’s MoMA, London’s Tate Modern and the Château de Versailles. Takashi Murakami was also a pioneer with respect to his iconoclastic fashion collaborations, an approach that he continues to explore today by co-producing exhibitions with the designer Virgil Abloh. Drawing from Japanese popular culture and the world of manga, his spectacular artworks have brought him global fame and have been shown at such diverse and prestigious locations as New York’s MoMA, London’s Tate Modern and the Château de Versailles. Takashi Murakami was also a pioneer with respect to his iconoclastic fashion collaborations, an approach that he continues to explore today by co-producing exhibitions with the designer Virgil Abloh.

Albert Oehlen, the painter of pop culture exhibited at Palazzo Grassi in Venice
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Albert Oehlen, the painter of pop culture exhibited at Palazzo Grassi in Venice

Art Like a free-jazz jam session, his canvases bring together a whirlwind of references, from pop culture to figuration to abstraction, blended in hyper-controlled chaos. François Pinault’s Venice museum is currently celebrating the work of German painter Albert Oehlen. Like a free-jazz jam session, his canvases bring together a whirlwind of references, from pop culture to figuration to abstraction, blended in hyper-controlled chaos. François Pinault’s Venice museum is currently celebrating the work of German painter Albert Oehlen.

Who is Yuko Hasegawa, a japanese art authority ?
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Who is Yuko Hasegawa, a japanese art authority ?

Art 2018 is a great year for japanese art in France, with a whole host of concerts, dance shows, theatrical events and exhibitions being planned. Top of the bill is hang at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, the work of Yuko Hasegawa, the greatly respected chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. 2018 is a great year for japanese art in France, with a whole host of concerts, dance shows, theatrical events and exhibitions being planned. Top of the bill is hang at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, the work of Yuko Hasegawa, the greatly respected chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

How Art Basel moved from must-see fair to global brand
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How Art Basel moved from must-see fair to global brand

Art Basel, Miami, Hong Kong and soon Buenos Aires – Art Basel keeps on expanding its horizons, to the point where its name now rivals big global brands like Coca Cola in fame and recognition. Basel, Miami, Hong Kong and soon Buenos Aires – Art Basel keeps on expanding its horizons, to the point where its name now rivals big global brands like Coca Cola in fame and recognition.

Artists and hackers, they hijack new technologies
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Artists and hackers, they hijack new technologies

Art Algorithms, coding, data, hardware – what use (or misuse) can artists make of all these new technological tools? This is the fascinating question asked by a double exhibition at the centre pompidou, to which Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda has been invited as guest of honour. Algorithms, coding, data, hardware – what use (or misuse) can artists make of all these new technological tools? This is the fascinating question asked by a double exhibition at the centre pompidou, to which Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda has been invited as guest of honour.