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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.

Artist of the month: T.J. Wilcox
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Artist of the month: T.J. Wilcox

Art In his videos, American artist T.J. Wilcox mixes historical fact and invented narratives, as well as archival footage and original shots. Numéro talked to him about his new show, a love letter to France and Paris entitled Carte de visite. In his videos, American artist T.J. Wilcox mixes historical fact and invented narratives, as well as archival footage and original shots. Numéro talked to him about his new show, a love letter to France and Paris entitled Carte de visite.

Exclusive : interview between Virgil Abloh and Takashi Murakami
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Exclusive : interview between Virgil Abloh and Takashi Murakami

Art During London Fashion Week, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and American designer and creative director Virgil Abloh put on an exhibition at Gagosian, Davies Street, London. Numéro asked them about the origins of the project, and the process of working through social media such as WhatsApp and Instagram. During London Fashion Week, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and American designer and creative director Virgil Abloh put on an exhibition at Gagosian, Davies Street, London. Numéro asked them about the origins of the project, and the process of working through social media such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

When Lady Dior becomes an object of art at Art Basel Hong Kong
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When Lady Dior becomes an object of art at Art Basel Hong Kong

Art The exhibition “Lady Dior As Seen By” bringing together artists’ interpretations of the iconic house bag, is making a stopover at Art Basel in Hong Kong from 29th to 31st March. The exhibition “Lady Dior As Seen By” bringing together artists’ interpretations of the iconic house bag, is making a stopover at Art Basel in Hong Kong from 29th to 31st March.

Rick Owens: “We all struggle with who we are. We have shame, we have pride, we have self delusion.”
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Rick Owens: “We all struggle with who we are. We have shame, we have pride, we have self delusion.”

Art Since founding his brand in 1994, the fearless and eminently non-conformist designer Rick Owens has been mixing sophisticated aestheticism and punk rage, minimalism and flamboyance, in all the creative fields from fashion to furniture. His cult of chaos is now taking over the Triennale in Milan, which is paying him homage with the very first major retrospective of his career. Numéro asked him about this rite of passage.  Since founding his brand in 1994, the fearless and eminently non-conformist designer Rick Owens has been mixing sophisticated aestheticism and punk rage, minimalism and flamboyance, in all the creative fields from fashion to furniture. His cult of chaos is now taking over the Triennale in Milan, which is paying him homage with the very first major retrospective of his career. Numéro asked him about this rite of passage. 

Who are Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, portraitists of the Obamas?
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Who are Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, portraitists of the Obamas?

Art Barack Obama surrounded by luxuriant greenery and his wife Michelle swathed in a long evening gown… The ex-presidential couple have unveiled their respective portraits by the Afro-American artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald. Two canvases with a pop art aesthetic that break away from the traditionally austere portraits of former presidents and their first ladies. Barack Obama surrounded by luxuriant greenery and his wife Michelle swathed in a long evening gown… The ex-presidential couple have unveiled their respective portraits by the Afro-American artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald. Two canvases with a pop art aesthetic that break away from the traditionally austere portraits of former presidents and their first ladies.

Striptease, activism and contemporary art, interview with Cecilia Bengolea
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Striptease, activism and contemporary art, interview with Cecilia Bengolea

Art Born in Argentina, but living in Paris since 2001, this highly original visual artist has shaped her practice around dance. As well as being recognized for her collaborations with other artists, such as Jeremy Deller, François Chaignaud or Dominique Gonzalez- Foerster, she has made a name for herself with her “living sculptures.” For Numéro, she explains what gets her moving and grooving. Born in Argentina, but living in Paris since 2001, this highly original visual artist has shaped her practice around dance. As well as being recognized for her collaborations with other artists, such as Jeremy Deller, François Chaignaud or Dominique Gonzalez- Foerster, she has made a name for herself with her “living sculptures.” For Numéro, she explains what gets her moving and grooving.