March 28, 2015

It's Drawing Week in Paris

Every March the Parisian art scene turns its attention to the humble drawing with a week of special exhibitions and fairs celebrating the medium.  Old and new, pencil and pastel, large and small, all sorts are on view at various museums and institutions or offered for sale at galleries and the two major fairs: the "Salon du Dessin" at the elegant Palais Brongniart and "Drawing Now" held in the newly renovated Carreau du Temple in the Marais district.

The ninth edition of Drawing Now is dedicated to Contemporary drawings and features 73 international galleries exhibiting on two levels.  While I am not an aficionado of Contemporary art, I was tremendously impressed by the quality of the drawings on view.  Many of the galleries had the artists on the stand to meet collectors and discuss their work.  I was very happy to meet Daniel Zeller, a young New York artist whose intricate and colorful pieces filled the booth of Michael Soskine, Inc., based in Madrid.  Mr Zeller's ink and colored pencil drawings look like a cross between marbled paper and a topographical map and are exquisite in their detail.

Another interesting stop was the stand of Galerie Sator, Paris.  Vincent Sator is a gregarious young gallery owner with a passion for drawings.  One of the artists he represents is Sylvain Ciavaldini who takes antique prints and embellishes them with ink and watercolor to create a thoroughly modern scene.

Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, presented the work of a young American artist Rob Matthews whose beautifully rendered graphite drawings were very fine indeed.
While I am still not prepared to give up on the Belle Epoque, I was very pleasantly surprised by what these emerging artists are creating right now and was very tempted by some of the works for sale.

A short bus ride away, in the former site of the Paris Stock Exchange or "Bourse", is the Salon du Dessin.  This fair is now in its 24th year and features 39 exhibitors from Europe and the United States offering works from Old Masters through Contemporary, with an emphasis on the former.  As many of the drawings are quite small in format, this is a very intimate fair and it takes time to really examine the beautifully framed and displayed works on the walls.

The works ranged from religious subjects to landscapes to abstract designs by artists from Titian to Picasso and were executed in everything from red chalk to pen and ink.  Some of my favorites included "La jolie modiste", a portrait of Coco Chanel done in 1912 by Paul César Helleu.

I loved the details of this interior by Marie-Désirée Bourgoin (1839-1912).  This undated watercolor depicts the painter Alphonse de Neuville in his atelier surrounded by works both finished and unfinished and all the props used in his paintings. 

For a 21st century version, here is Erik Desmazières' "Wunderbibliothek III", 2105.  This detailed drawing done in a variety of mediums including black ink, charcoal, watercolor and gouache is typical of the artist's style and a wonderful piece.

There were many other events surrounding Drawing Week here in Paris including a wonderful special loan exhibition of Italian Old Master drawings from the Städel Museum of Frankfurt now on view at the Fondation Custodia, the Netherlandish Institute, on the rue de Lille.  It's been a thoroughly wonderful week of discovery as the art of drawing takes center stage here in beautiful Paris!

1 comment:

Rob Matthews said...

Thanks for the kind words, Georgina!
Sorry if this double-posts. I'm confused as to whether my comment posted.