Entre eux et moi — 13 créations en hommage à Catherine Putman à l’occasion des 10 ans de l’ouverture de la galerie
Entre eux et moi
13 créations en hommage à Catherine Putman à l’occasion des 10 ans de l’ouverture de la galerie
Past: November 14, 2015 → January 30, 2016Entre eux et moi — Galerie Catherine Putman A l'occasion du dixième anniversaire de sa création, la galerie Catherine Putman propose une exposition sensible et riche qui revie... Critique
For many years, contemporary print enthusiasts who wished to acquire works published by Catherine Putman were obliged to go to the art fairs in which she enthusiastically participated, or even arrange to meet her in person in her large apartment in Rue de Talleyrand. In September 2005, she decided to go a step further by opening a gallery devoted exclusively to ‘works on paper’ at 40 Rue Quincampoix, thereby extending her activity to include contemporary drawings and photographic works. To celebrate the gallery’s tenth anniversary, it is presenting a contemporary and retrospective exhibition, which will reveal thirteen unique works specially created for this anniversary celebration by artists who all worked with Catherine Putman and continue to do so today with Éléonore Chatin, her former collaborator.
‘Entre eux et moi’ (‘Our Special Rapport’); it was in these terms that Catherine described her unique relationship with the artists. She had a different relationship with each artist, requiring a ‘variable level of intervention’, as she modestly acknowledged, with a constant desire to involve them in the world of prints—a world of possibilities—, and encourage them to create works in their own right. Catherine, who set high standards and was convinced that engraving is an art in itself and not simply a reproduction technique, preferred small print runs, in which the choice of support and taste for ‘variation’ often blurred the line between multiple and single works.
Vincent Huguet and Martin Kiefer, the exhibition’s curators, wanted to evoke this charismatic gallery owner by asking the artists who worked with her to create or select a work in memory of her or one that reflects their special relationship—the way in which they worked together. Presented with works from the gallery’s collection, which they perfectly complement, these works are more than just heartfelt, witty, or modest tributes—they highlight the permanence of a passion that has remained well and truly alive at 40 Rue Quincampoix.
By opening a new exhibition area in 2005 in the shadow of the Centre Pompidou, after working and organising exhibitions in cosy apartments for decades on the left bank of the Seine, Catherine Putman took a major step in her career as an art publisher, which materialised when Éléonore Chatin came to work with and assist her in this new phase. After walking up the small wooden staircase with a church-like smell that leads to the first floor, the visitors not only discover the ‘historic’ artists who were promoted by Jacques Putman at the end of the 1960s—Bram van Velde, Pierre Alechinsky, Max Ernst, Jean Messagier, Jean Tinguely, and so on—, but also artists’ works that Catherine began publishing in the years 1980–90: works by Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Pierre Buraglio, Alain Clément, and so on. And works she published after Jacques passed away in 1994: works by Georg Baselitz, Geneviève Asse, Claude Viallat, Sophie Ristelhueber, Balthasar Burkhard, Georges Rousse, Sovann Kim, Bertrand Lavier, Gérard Traquandi, and others. Introducing a new approach, the gallery also enabled Catherine to considerably extend the almost family-like circle of the artists who worked with her and further explore techniques that interested her—to open the doors of what she termed ‘printing cuisine’.
Pride of place was given to paper as the common denominator of the works, coinciding with the first edition of the Salon du Dessin Contemporain, which was being held in Paris; it marked the beginning of an increasing interest in this support, which has gone from strength to strength and has almost become a genre in its own right. Fifteen exhibitions were held, the most noteworthy of which displayed the works of Tony Cragg, Urs Lüthi, Agathe May, Champion Métadier, Bernard Moninot, and Georges Noël, and attracted new audiences, while Catherine and Éléonore continued to foster their many collaborations with the museums and institutions that displayed the works of their artists.
In January 2009, the most ‘Arlésienne of Parisiennes’ and the most ‘Parisienne of Arlésiennes’—only Christian Lacroix, who studied with Catherine, could contend for this title—passed away so suddenly; this terrible news was greeted with great stupefaction and immense sadness by her family, her many friends, and an art world that profoundly respected the publisher turned gallery owner and had a certain affection for this woman whose personality was so unique. This might have signalled the end of an exceptional story and of more than three decades of a unique collaboration with artists, if publishing were not a family affair with the Putmans and—just as Catherine had continued after Jacques’s death—Nicolas, their son, asked her faithful collaborator to continue the family tradition.
Over the last six years, Éléonore Chatin has been managing the collection that she knows so well—comprising works by artists such as Max Ernst, Henri Michaux, Jean Tinguely, Tony Cragg, and Antonio Saura—and has enriched it with new works, particularly with those by artists who still make up the gallery’s DNA. Hence, Éléonore has managed to continue Catherine’s forays into the world of contemporary drawing and make her own mark by launching new collaborations and establishing, in turn, relations with artists such as Carmen Perrin, Alvaro Oyarzun, Bénédicte Henderick, Imi Knoebel, Frédéric Poincelet, and Éloïse van der Heyden. Times have changed and we are no longer in the utopia of the 1960s—when Jacques Putman launched the ‘Suites Prisunic’, selling original lithographs at 100 francs in supermarkets (1967–71); perhaps, in the context of today’s dynamic art market, prints have now found a special place. Not only are they economically more accessible, but they also stand out in their singularity, as the short story did in relation to the novel or chamber music to the symphony. And, the development of digital techniques is extending the scope of traditional techniques. Éléonore Chatin is promoting her own convictions about the particularity of contemporary prints and the popularity of works executed on paper.
Opening Friday, November 13, 2015 5 PM → 8 PM
40, rue Quincampoix
T. 01 45 55 23 06 — F. 01 47 05 61 43
Tuesday – Saturday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment