What an extraordinary surprise to find at 5 place du Palais Bourbon in the former Vogue Studio space, an exhibition of portraits and interiors of Louise Bourgeois by Jean-François Jaussaud. I was lucky enough to run into the photographer when I visited the show one Monday morning and he gracefully commented his visits to Louise for me.
At 34, he had managed to visit her at her 347 West 20 th street house and she agreed to be photographed, provided she could destroy the pictures she did not like… It never happened.
She used to have a « salon » on Sunday afternoons and anyone could call in. Jaussau first series of pictures, were published in Connaissance des Arts magazine at the time of her 1995 exhibition at the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris. She was still fairly unknown in France at 84! never left her white cap which acted as an armor against foreign intrusions… The result of this long time friendship is intimate, moving and a flagrant proof of how modestly she lived.
Some of the pictures are hung on the wall facing the place, with the façade of Vogue across the street. This is where I used to work some time ago and the juxtaposition of Louise Bourgeois, the very serious artist and Vogue, the temple of eccentricity and fashion, amused me enormously. Elisabeth Royer, who has taken over two stories of the building, (one used to be the former Debevoise Plimpton offices) is an art dealer and her discreet gallery is open to the public from 10 to 6 every day until October 31 st.
Do go and see these extraordinary photographs of the Grande dame which are for sale. Jean-François Jaussaud is also publishing a book of great collectors’ interiors « Vivre aver l’art » (GM Editions) before his next project, a book on Louise Bourgeois.
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