Ladies Only — The Window


Mixed media

Ladies Only
The Window

Past: February 22 → April 12, 2019

A recurring project proposed by The Drawer, «The Window» envisions the gallery windows of the 33 rue de Seine gallery space as a creative medium in its own right. With each new exhibition, an artist is invited to take control of the window, covering it partially or totally and in the manner which he or she so wishes.

Their intervention functions as an invitation to discover what lies behind: a solo exhibition or a group show designed to echo the exhibition at 36 rue de Seine space, bringing together artists from the gallery and elsewhere, emerging or unpublished in France.

Playing on surprise and revelation, « The Window » is an opportunity for discoveries and rediscoveries of works and artists, a showcase of the gallery in the true sense of the word.

« The Window » will be inaugurated on February 21 with a work by Lauren Coullard specially created for the occasion. Candid, a large curtain of neon, will frame the window and reveal « Ladies Only », an exhibition curated by Sophie Toulouse and Barbara Soyer.

Lauren Coullard practices a painting where the movement dominates. Whether it is expressed directly on the canvas, by an energetic and precise gesture, or indirectly, by the content of the scenes and figures reproduced. From her small figurative series to her larger, more abstract formats, she always uses the same process: the artist is inspired by fragments of images and existing texts that she re-appropriates in order to give life to a new work. From courtly love to the cyborg aesthetic, the references mingle happily in a contrasting palette of colors typical of the artist — such as the curvaceous yellow-green of a curtain, the origin of her intervention on the window of the gallery. Candid or neon led as a paint stroke.

Born in 1981, Lauren Coullard lives and works in Paris. She graduated from the Chelsea College of Art and Design London in 2010. Co-founder of Le Doc, an art space for Residencies and Exhibitions in Paris, she participated in several group shows and at the last Salon de Montrouge.


«Ladies Only» is a reaction exhibition. An amusing response to Jacques Villeglé’s exhibition, « Jeune, Gay et Impudique », and his series of sexy posters from the late 1980s, relating to the prurient Pink Minitel period and its miscellaneous 36 15-prefi x coded gateway points to various directories including sex-related ones. With the provocative and garish aesthetic of the advertisements of the time, with girls’ open mouths and flaunted breasts, « Ladies Only » answers by choosing to put the women really forward, those of the gallery and other guests, and by presenting a selection of works from 1988 to the present that explore the question of desire from a completely different viewpoint. With modesty, humor, restraint if not elegance, without apparent excess — or almost. A set of visions in a range of possible, minus pretentious demonstrations.

Here, the works are not so easy to view. It is necessary to move around the lenticular photographs of Pilar Albarracín, which show the Spanish artist, with her authoritarian and severe air, in a corseted stripping session. It is required to lose oneself in the details of Bianca Argimón’s drawn imaginary scenes, recounting in a singular manner the condition of women and modern men. One must decipher the signs and the hidden meaning of Aurélie Gravas’ colorful compositions, that all speak in their own way of Love and Art. It is important to distinguish the profiles, the faces and the diaphanous forms that characterize the strength of the painting of Vivian Greven. It is essential to fl ush out the intruders in the small, falsely naive canvases of Lauren Coullard, who takes pleasure in having fun with rules, eras and genres.

« Ladies Only » could have been called « Nanas », in tribute to the original one, Niki de Saint Phalle, an historical artist of the gallery included in the exhibition. « Ladies Only » is a misleading title; if women are alone at the controls, the men are no less present, or represented. Drawn here, carved there, their image is embraced. Nothing censored or forbidden on this side of the rue de Seine either.

Neither boudoir nor gynoecium, « Ladies Only » is a space where desire flows in all its forms. A fantasy place where breasts spit milk and oil, where blouses open, where water regenerates, where mouths seek each other in a shades of green and pink and where dice throw themselves towards and ideal and dreamy quotidian. « Ladies Only » — but not only.

Barbara Soyer & Sophie Toulouse, curators of the exhibition and founders of The Drawer
  • Opening Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 6 PM
06 St Germain Zoom in 06 St Germain Zoom out

33/36, rue de Seine

75006 Paris

T. 01 46 34 61 07 — F. 01 43 25 18 80


Opening hours

Every day except Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM

The artists

  • Bianca Argimon
  • Lauren Coullard
  • Pilar Albarracín
  • Niki De Saint Phalle
  • Lucie Picandet
  • Aurélie Gravas
  • Vivian Greven