Women invade the Grand Palais for Art Paris.

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The 21st edition of Art Paris ended on Sunday, April 7 and featured historical and contemporary works. This year, it highlighted the South American art scene with a strong presence of Latin American galleries and artists. It also offered a very special place to female artists with an incredible career under the curatorial direction of the AWARE association (Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions): twenty-five projects by female artists chosen from the proposals of the participating galleries.

From the square in front of the Grand Palais, we are greeted by a huge installation by Mexican artist Betsabée Moreno. A camouflaged car is immobilized by a carpet that covers it while golden bicycles shine on a carpet of flowers from her native Michoacan. Once we enter the large nave, we are immediately attracted by a huge female genital organ presented by the Eric Mouchet gallery. The artist Isabelle Plat, in her humorous works, plays with prohibitions and integrates the hidden dimension of the body. Her creations are literally amazing since they are made with human hair and horsehair. When we know that a hair remains a living material even after its separation from the human body and retains its DNA, we look at the work with a new eye. The artist explains that the work evokes a double sex since once turned over it takes the form of a male sex. Around this somewhat provocative introduction, sculptures/furniture create confusion. A work such as Une place dans ma doudoune de rêve invites the visitor to “put himself in the shoes of the other”. Beyond the sculptural aspect, it is our relationship to the intimate that is questioned. An invitation to get closer to the other, to more empathy.

In a poetic spirit, the Univer/Colette Colla gallery presents the delicate work of Marinette Cueco, whose works, which have long remained confidential, now deserve to be highlighted. Gathering herbs and stems that she weaves to create vegetable lace, or dead leaves that she assembles to form graphic and abstract paintings, Marinette Cueco creates works whose sensitivity and fragility challenge us. A work that is reminiscent of the wire sculptures of Venezuelan artist Gego. Alice Anderson, presented by La Patinoire Royale – Galerie Valérie Bach, weaves copper wire and offers performative sculptures with geometric and abstract shapes that play with light. This British artist uses copper wire for her conducting skills. It symbolizes the need for communication. With her thread, Anderson seeks to engage in human discussion and exchange, particularly in her performances, in which she invites the public to join her actions, expressing art as a collective ritual.
Collectively, it is another delightful thing of this edition, especially with the collaboration of two African gallery owners, one Cameroonian, the MAM Gallery, the other Senegalese, the Atiss Gallery, two pioneering gallery owners in West Africa who since 1995 have worked to promote an emerging contemporary scene and who, today by joining forces on the same stand, allow six young African artists to access an international market. The installation of metal sheets by Oumar Bali is particularly interesting, as are the paintings by Boris Nzebo.

Another highlight of this edition is the large number of solo shows, no less than 46 monographic exhibitions.
The one-space gallery presents a solo show by Tulio Pinto whose nine sculptures/installations play between strength and fragility. The Brazilian artist creates balances of forces and tensions in games of balance, the most fragile of which, glass, and the most robust, metal or marble, are put on the same footing. Which party holds or supports the other? One without the other, the work collapses, the balance is broken. Nine pieces that replay the yin and yang for a bold and remarkable solo show.
In a totally different style, baroque, shimmering, magical, Gallery C invites us to a shamanic ritual with totems and fetishes by Benoit Huot. Like the postman, he has not travelled, but he creates a dreamlike world influenced by the cultures of the world: there is Mexico, Africa, voodoo and many other references in his sculptures that he dresses with trimmings, fabrics, wool, hat… a stand that alone bewitches the fair.
Another monograph is orchestrated by the A2Z Art Gallery, which gives back a strong visibility to Ma Desheng’s work. With in particular an exhibition to be seen at Domaine de Chamarande (Essonnes) until April 28th and a presence at the formidable contemporary art trail proposed by Domaine de Chaumont sur Loire (Loir et Cher). Ma Desheng is one of the major artists of the Chinese contemporary art scene, who, alongside Ai Weiwei, Zhong Acheng, Wang Keping, was one of the founding members of the group “Les étoiles”, the first avant-garde artistic movement in China. My Desheng paints, draws and sculpts mineral forms. The stones are for him endowed with a soul. That is certainly why he assembles them to give them human forms.

Many other surprises are to be discovered in this must-see event for contemporary art, which combines regional exploration of European art from the post-war period to the present day with a cosmopolitan look at emerging world creation.

Art Fair Art Paris
APRIL 4 – 7, 2019
GRAND PALAIS
AVENUE WINSTON CHURCHILL
75008 PARIS

 

Patrice Huchet

Passionate since his childhood about all forms of artistic expression, he began his career in the world of tourism where he practiced travel photography. He then joined a photo agency where he held...

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