Pearls of the North — On n’a pas perdu le Nord
Pearls of the North
On n’a pas perdu le Nord
Past: October 14 → 23, 2011
Our exhibition, Pearls of the North, was decided on the spur of the moment, the result of a happy coincidence of events. First of all there was our discovery of, and fascination for, a magic setting, the concrete architectural structure designed by August Perret, finished in 1946 and never previously used to show contemporary art. We felt it was perfect for us and this inspiration was quickly followed by an active exchange with important figures of the art world in the three countries concerned: artists, gallery owners, and responsible institutions.
Our intention in bringing this show to Paris is not to present an exhaustive panorama of the contemporary art scene in the Benelux countries. On the contrary: the artists presented were all those initially selected, works chosen without regard for what the market might otherwise have imposed. A feeling of freedom results, a liberty that characterized the adventure from the outset. None of the constraints of the market, no economic imperatives. Pearls of the North reunites two generations of artists from the three countries under the guiding aegis of Marcel Broodthaers with a poetic work. The itinerary that follows brings us to works of a few figures already famous in the three countries, and some others, less known to a French public. The exhibition design is simple and in keeping with the exceptional space. Works of radical formalism accord with other pieces that are more political and poetic in their inspiration. At this historical juncture, when the political fractures in the Benelux countries echo similar fragilities in the European Union and worry public opinion, the vitality and originality of the contemporary art produced in this crucible are a real comfort. No crisis here, no rending of fabric, no invective: rather, on the contrary, the expression of a positive and constructive energy that prefigures others yet to come. An artist’s hour is not the same as the sixty minutes ticking on a politician’s watch.