Jean Michel Othoniel and Villa Dufraine produce marvels

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Maxime Bagni, “Tout Public”, an installation with soap and fossils which smells wonderful

Usually when you are invited to see the works of students in residence you find one out of 10 which is interesting and have to force yourself … This time the divine surprise at the exhibition “Bonsoir Mémoire” is that most of the 10 young artists were fascinating and the whole exhibition at la Monnaie de Paris is intriguing, dynamic and colorful. What a boost to see the young generation, well coached for 9 months, produce such interesting works. This is the result of a strong cooperation between the curator Lou Justin Tailhades, the Academician and artist Jean Michel Othoniel and Françoise Docquiert, who used to teach at la Sorbonne and is now a correspondent of the Academy of Arts.The young artists were asked to work together and to live in the Villa Dufraine, in Chars near Cergy Pontoise. They now all have projects elsewhere and shows starting in galleries.

Halveig Villand, “Plaies Ure”, 2023 a fascinating video of hair cutting and of brick laying

All the students had to work together on the theme of “Bonsoir Mémoire” stated by the curator, which allowed great freedom with the past and the present. The Kurd Turkish artist Hatice Pinarbasi is a graduate of the Beaux Arts de Paris and works with carpets and paintings on Memory. The public is invited to sit on her installation and become part of it. Pierre Alexandre Savriacouty, also a graduate of the Beaux Arts, was in residence at Villa Albertine last year. He showed a desert symphony with paint and different metallic pieces.

Jordan Roger, “Hell Soon”, tapestry, 2023

Jordan Roger signs his last name crossed out with a line to represent his “excommunication” from the sect where his family had enrolled him at a young age. A graduate of Bourges’ University of Arts, he exhibits his past in this eschatological tapestry where sexual attitudes are explicit. He is an artist defined as LGBT and acts in  drag queen shows.

Agathe Bourrée, “Informal Pictures G7 Porthcurnick 2021, is made with Artificial intelligence at the Midjourney Lab.

Agathe Bourrée is a graphic designer and creates photographs with AI and a special software developed by the Midjourney Lab. All the food images shown here result from the lunches and dinners which took place at G7 meetings in the last five years of which we have no real documentation except magazine articles and the menu. One in Hiroshima in 2023 shows beautiful urchins, the other one in Biarritz shows cheese from the Pyrénées, in Taormina, it is an Italian dessert and in la Malbaie, Québec, in 2018,  it’s a fabulous egg in its shell. Agathe has also designed the catalog for the show.

Curator Lou Justin Tailhades in the installation “Baal” by Christophe Tabet.

It is worth visiting this show at La Monnaie de Paris (until December 3) to understand the diversity of today’s artists. Diversity in origins and in style event though their residence was a collective effort. Villa Dufraine in Chars invites ten artists for 8 months every year from April to December. The residency leads to an exhibition and a catalog which will allow all of them to find further exhibitions. All expenses are paid for by Académie des Beaux Arts who, with numerous new and younger members, moves very fast under the influence of its Secrétaire perpétuel Laurent Petitgirard.

Last week the urban artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest was installed in the Academie des Beaux Arts with a remarkable speech by Adrien Goetz.

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