Art Paris has been a growing success, blending modern, contemporary, and emerging art into a most appreciable balance. After a beautiful 23rd edition that inaugurated the Grand Palais Ephémère last September, the fair returned from April 7 to 10 with 130 regional and international galleries of high quality, offering, in particular to young galleries and emerging creation, a sector, “Promises,” which we have surveyed with happiness to deliver you some nuggets.
HUGO DEVERCHÈRE at Dumonteil Contemporary (Paris)
Dumonteil Contemporary is a brand new gallery located in the booming rue du Louvre district, the third of the Dumonteil brand (after the opening of a gallery in Shanghai in 2008 that focused on the Chinese art scene). It is committed to promoting young artists on the international scene and supporting their most ambitious projects, not only in its own exhibition spaces, but outside the gallery walls in collaboration with public or private institutions and during fairs (West Bund Art & Design, Art 021, Asia Now…).
At Art Paris, Dumonteil Contemporary presented the fascinating work of Hugo Deverchère (born in 1988, graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris and Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains). Mixing art and science, aesthetic research and exploration of the living, fiction and reality, his proliferating sculptures, work in progress, and other protean works emerge from a speculation on the metamorphoses of the organic matter, but also of the image (micro and macrocosmic), and constitute “an experiment of perception.”
Thus, his series of images, elaborated from photogravure plates coated with oxides, revealing the almost imperceptible drawing of the micro-reliefs of Mars, taken from NASA databases, confronts us with the vertigo of digital photographic extrapolation… A real “alchemical device,” a living work, his installation, Artefact,showing a rock in the process of crystallization, re-enacts, in accelerated form during the exhibition, a long geologic process. Fascinating…
8, rue d’Aboukir, Paris 2e
MIHO KAJIOKA and CASPER FAASSEN at Ibasho (Antwerp)
“A place where you can be yourself”: this is the meaning of the Japanese word ibasho,chosen as the name by Anne-Marie Zethof and Martijn van Pieterson for their Antwerp gallery dedicated to young Japanese photography and Western photographers inspired by Japan – the only one in the world! A name that says a lot about the way these two aesthetes consider the gallery space as a place of revelation through contemplation…
A beautiful promise kept on their stand where we discovered the works of mystery and poetry of two artists: Miho Kajioka, a Japanese (born in 1973), recently settled in Paris, and Casper Faassen, born in 1975 in the Netherlands.
Trained as a painter, Miho Kajioka creates a very graphic and pictorial photographic work, through a slow process of revelation of shadows and lights carried out in the darkroom, tea colorations carried out during the prints, and above all, reframing, conferring to her cropped pictures an almost surrealist strangeness… “Snapshots” of eternity similar to haikus, images stolen from time, of which they seem to spin, from one work to the next, a long metaphor.
Casper Faassen, for his part, creates a work – also on the border between painting and photography – on transparency and opacity by interposing tracing paper between his lens and his models (women in kimonos or Japanese vases), then applying a double layer of cracked varnish to his prints. In his Kasumi, a large seascape drowned in fog, he uses not tracing paper but a double decoy to create this disturbance of the image floating between appearance and disappearance: the photograph printed on a Plexiglas plate is covered with the same opacifying varnish, while a mirror hidden under the image reflects the surrounding light…
tolstraat 67, Antwerp (Belgium)
COSTANZA GASTALDI and MARTINE SCHILDGE at Sit Down (Paris)
Black ink, gouache, and stenciling on photo prints (Martine Schildge), superimposed images making the photograph a visual palimpsest, an ode to the transitory landscape (Florian Ruiz), pigment prints enhanced with white pencil and porcelain powder (Catherine Noury)… the Sit Down gallery, established in 2005 in the Marais, celebrates the diversity of the medium, exploiting the capacities of contemporary photography to create an effect more expressive and suggestive than mimetic…
Among its virtuoso practitioners, we have set our sights on an artist from Turin, born in 1993 and living for ten years in Paris: Costanza Gastaldi. Using the ancient technique of heliogravure (“drawing by the sun” at the origin of the invention of photography) for its plastic qualities and, in particular, the subtlety of the rendering of the shades of gray or the depth, almost tactile, of the blacks, she multiplies tenfold the graphic possibilities by imperceptibly metamorphosing (by digital retouching) the image. Cultivating the formal ambiguity between photography and drawing, her landscapes instill a feeling of strangeness, even unreality.
Retouching, shading, with a stylus, on a screen, each piece of the engraved image, she recreates another one, dreamlike, fantasized. Thus, her magical mountains, the mythical Huang Mountains piercing the sky in eastern China (climbed by the photographer with 18 kg of equipment on her back during the sacred hours before dawn in 2018), or her miniature landscapes in tondo, as if seen through a door peephole or a keyhole, from her irresistible series entitled Landscape Voyeurism.
Sit Down Gallery
4, rue Sainte-Anastase, Paris 3e
THIBAULT BRUNET, LISA SARTORIO and DOUGLAS MANDRY at the Binome Gallery (Paris)
Another gallery dedicated to contemporary photography and its hybridizations, opened in 2010 in the Marais, the Binome Gallery, is interested in new practices, conceptual or plastic, exploring the boundaries of a medium that has become central to much visual and fictional research at the borders of all genres (graphic, performative, or multimedia). She is particularly interested in emerging artists who reappropriate old processes or materials.
In a disturbing mise en abyme of the landscape, Douglas Mandry (born in 1989 in Geneva) prints, by the process of lithography, old images of mountains on used glacier covers…
In his Territoires circonscrits, Thibault Brunet questions our relationship to virtuality through the digitization, via a 3D scanner, of a real world on borrowed time… In his Black Box series, the 3D modeling of the ruins of Damascus and Aleppo de-realized by the gaps in the floating image is striking.
Lisa Sartorio’s tattered images (which we have already discussed in Acumen) emerge from innovative sculptural work in the thickness of paper, deteriorated by gumming, folding, peeling off, crumbling… These disfigured photographic archives of cities ravaged by the bombardments seem to explode under our eyes. Poignant.
19, rue Charlemagne, Paris 4e
DARIA DMYTRENKO at Eduardo Secci
We were also caught by the powerful paintings of Daria Dmytrenko presented by a young Florentine gallery. A Ukrainian artist living in Venice, where we will meet her soon…