From craftsmanship to art

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Le marteau siamois by Jacques Carelman

It was Palais de Tokyo again and its long waiting lines for the opening of « l’Usage des Formes », an exhibition curated by Gallien Déjean on similar themes as those of “le Prix de l’Intelligence de la Main” (Prize for Intelligence of the Hand) created 15 years ago by the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation.

Young ladies dressed in black with big red lips had obviously seen the new add for Chanel’s lipstick Rouge Coco. The crowd was such that one wondered where Jean de Loisy, the director,  had found so many guests… but the very original exhibition of tools and art, largely sponsored by l’Oréale’s heiress, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, was worth the wait in the cold.


Hammers belonging to Bernard Solon’s workshop

The exhibition starts with the ambiance of a workshop, hammers, steel tongs and forged anvil, all belong to Bernard Solon, a specialist blacksmith who makes tools for other crafstsmen : the knives he produces are self sharpening !

Then I hit a bronze and stainless steel rock by Giuseppe Penone « geometry nelle mani ovale » which shines just next to a beautiful three dimensional green extruded plastic wave, « Iridescence print » made by architects Gramazio & Kohler in Zürich.


Iridescence three dimensional print by Gramazio & Kohler

The music department is represented, among others, by the late Bernard Heidsieck’s, Sound poetry, and Georges Alloro’s wind instrument in hammered brass. My favorite was the 2014 Prize by Nathanäel Le Berre, l’Infini, a sculpture made of a hammered and polished brass sheet with black patina.


l’Infini, hammered and polished brass by Nathanaël Le Berre

Glover’s hand and cobbler’s foot are all beautiful sculptures. But one mystery remains : who designed this intriguing pen which curves like a sexy lady ? if you find out, let me know…(Palais de Tokyo until May 17th)

On my way out, I found the strength to drive to rue des Beaux Arts, where Marie Hélène de la Forest Divonne, was opening her equally crowded new gallery at n°12 and Claude Bernard was showing (at n°5) Jacques Truphemus, a crafted luminous painter, whom Christine Cardin, Eric Edwards and Beatrice Rosenberg all loved.

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