Pavillon Comtesse de Caen is this little gallery within the Institut de France (Académie Française) on the right side of the building. It often has charming exhibitions of laureates or memorable ers of teh Academy, which are free and at the moment (until March 21), eleven alumni from the prestigious French Academy in Madrid (Casa de Velazquez), show their work in “Itinérance”. Video, drawing, painting, printing, cinema and architecture are all represented here. It’s a nice way to discover new young artists who often already have a gallery.
Often graduated from Art schools, these students apply to the program like they would to the Rome (Villa Medicis) or Kyoto (Villa Kujoyama) Academy. Pointilliste artist Thomas Andrea Barbey uses travels for his inspiration. He has decorated a lycée in Hanoï, and admits being inspired by Sorolla for his sunny illuminated drawings. Pierre Bellot, works with construction and set design, Marine de Contes is a movie director and she studied at ECAM, the film school in Madrid. At the Institute she developed “Laurisilba”, in the Canaries archipelago, on the island of Gomera. It is a study of how the silbo, a special language made of whistling, is used on the island to communicate from very far.
Justin Weiler was inspired by the Palacio de Cristal built in 1887 in the Retiro gardens of Madrid. He painted there the leaves of an aloe vera which symbolize eternal life and are considered as god in some societies. They are oversized and yet confined in a closed space. This drawing is a study of inside-outside, shade and light reflections and transparencies. Teh work, 395 cm by 295 cm is particularly impressive in the dark space of the gallery. Katarzyna Wiesiolek was born in Nowograd, Poland and graduated from the Paris Beaux Arts. Like many of the laureates, she was exhibited in teh Salon de Montrouge and is now represented by galerie Richard Dupont. Her very impressive mountain drawings could be taken for photographs. They are done with charcoal and from memory.
Benjamin Mouly shows a video “For the birds” and is represented by Filles du Calvaire, Guillaume Valenti, a graduate in art history from the Sorbonne, apprenticed with painter Philippe Cognée for five years before joining Ecole des Beaux Arts. He uses paint as a thematic object and worked on a “portrait” of the Casa de Velzaquez itself
You see, it’s really interesting to look at these young people’s works. They might not be perfectly achieved yet but they make you dream and think… “Itinérance” at Pavillon Comtesse de Caen, 27 quai de Conti, from Tuesday to Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.
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