It’s always fun to be taken by a foreign friend to a new place in your own city. This is what happened when Svetlana Cemin, a documentary film director, introduced me to Le Salon H, a pretty little gallery on rue de Savoie. The new exhibition there features two Brazilian artists Livia Melzi and Sandra Lapage, a Belgian, Agnès Guillaume and a French Joséphine Topolanski. The common point to these four women is La Croyance (Belief) which is defined in video, sculpture, photography and embroidered textile.
Agnès Guillaume is probably the most established of the group and I remember encountering her work for the first time at Petit Palais in 2015. She is as talented with bronze sculptures as she is with her videos. She shows “Souls” which was presented at ArtBrussels last year. Livia Melzi, who works between Paris and São Paulo, trained as an oceanographer and is finishing a doctorate in arts and literature at at the University of Zürich. She took photographs of feather capes made by the Tupi tribes in Brazil. Thanks to her documentation another artist from Bahia, Gliceria Tupinamba, was able to recreate these costumes and renew a forgotten ritual. Through her photos, the sacred clothes are back and the artist portrays herself wearing these capes.
I particularly liked Sandra Lapage’s Solar sculptures and baroque shields made of used Nespresso capsules. She enhances their shiny colors, destroys the aluminum and creates luminous “shamanic” works. She lives in São Paulo and is a graduate of the Maine College of Arts. She is at present working with a scholarship from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
Do make a little visit to this quiet street between rue Séguier and rue des grands Augustins. Far from the ugly crowds of Saint Michel, you will find true serenity and a charming welcome by Yaël Halberthal who, with her husband Philippe Zagouri, fell in love with Brazil and started a cultural center there years ago.
Le Salon H, 6/8 rue de Savoie, open from 2.30 pm to 7 pm.
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