Galerie Templon makes a move

Matthieu and Daniel Templon in front of Valerio Adami’s painting

It was a very festive and family like evening, for the opening of Daniel Templon’s new gallery near Beaubourg. Now partners with his son Matthieu, he has given up his first name and redesigned a logo for the fabulous three floor 660 square meter building conceived by his old friend Jean Michel Wilmotte on rue du Grenier Saint Lazare. Jan Fabre was the guest artist and developed “Sexual Belgian Folklore” with statues and drawings all around the space. Crucifixes and virgins are mixed with explicit sexual images. But the atmosphere was relaxed and dinner at l’Ambassade d’Auvergne next door, very traditionally French.

Jan Fabre and Gérard Garouste, two of the leading artists of Galerie Templon

Champagne Ruinart was flowing and the very handsome numerous associates of the gallery were all smiling in different languages. The building, formerly a fashion workshop which Daniel Templon had already seen seventeen years ago, is quite smashing and one could feel the pride of the many artists who loved this new house dedicated to their works. Happiness was on all faces!                                   

Jan Fabre, “Belgian shell au garde à vous” , black, yellow, red

Offices are on the first floor and each have specific paintings as well as very slick furniture. In Templon’s very large space, I noticed a beautiful little “cage” by Chiharu Shiota and a large Garouste.

There is an inside courtyard covered with a glass roof and a balcony, from which one could spy on the guests. Valerio Adami, supremely elegant with his wife Camilla and his dog Ego held on leash, told me about his nomadic life all around the world.

I remember the inauguration of his decors for the Châtelet when Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris. He lives mostly now on Lago Maggiore in Italy and in Paris. He was happy to see his beautiful painting  facing Philippe Cognée‘s, who was running around saying hello to everyone.

Valerio Adami with Matthieu Templon

Catherine Millet, Daniel Templon’s first girlfriend and founder of Art Press, became famous for writing her “Sexual life of Catherine M.”. She was there with her husband as well as Lise and Jacques Toubon, former minister of culture and  now “Défenseur des droits” : they are all early supporters of Daniel Templon from the 1970’s.

Pierre et Gilles, Le Bal des coccinelles, in one of the slick offices

Stéphane Layani, president of the Rungis wholesale market was chatting to everyone and seemed very close friends with Christophe Leribault, the maverick director of Petit Palais. He his a fantastic enthusiast.

Stéphane Layani and Christophe Leribault in front of The sexy Belgian virgin playing with evil” by Jan Fabre

Annie Cohen Solal, author of a great biography of Leo Castelli,  was in full form, with her husband Marc Mézard, a physicist who runs Ecole Normale supérieure. They were both enjoying the “aligot” and duck served with Château Haut Marbuzet (one of my favorite wines) by the chef at l’Ambassade d’Auvergne, a trendy restaurant in the 80’s, which might become hot again since it is next door to the gallery. Annie is preparing an exhibition on “Picasso as a foreign artist” for Musée de l’Immigration in 2021!

Marie Laure Bernadac, Alfred Pacquement and Jean Hubert Martin were there, congratulating the artists and reminding everyone of the proximity of Centre Pompidou where they bought many of Templon’s protégés.

A view of Jan Fabre “tree of life of the Belgian carnival” seen from the first floor

But the great news of the evening was the full partnership established by Daniel Templon with his son Matthieu who already runs the Brussels gallery. He resisted for many years working with his father but his charm and relaxed attitude have already seduced everyone.

Jan Fabre,  a Nun in the Beguinage, 2017,  avery irreverent drawing of a nun watering her plants in the series, “Mer du Nord sexuelle belge” 

I was mesmerized to meet Jan Fabre who looks like the most conventional Belgian and shows such sexual sculptures. Gérard Garouste had to convince him it was ok for me to photograph them together.

Jan Fabre, “Licking Belgian shell”

There was a strong feeling all evening that friendship was at the core of Daniel Templon’s success and with this new temple of contemporary art, this part of Paris was suddenly back in the 70’s when Centre Pompidou was inaugurated.

With the new gardens of les Halles and the Pinault foundation opening soon nearby, the Marais is getting fresh blood again.

Galerie Templon, Jan Fabre, until July 21, 28 rue du Grenier Saint Lazare and Robert Motherwell at 30 rue Beaubourg.

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