Sunday, April 29, 2007

Grand Marché d'Art Contemporain

Originally uploaded by nicole_gt.
B and I went to the Place de la Bastille last night to have a wander through the GMAC show before dinner. We've gone a few times before and I really like it. Granted, there are some stands that are look an awful lot like something from a high school craft fair but for each of those there is an artist that I adore.

This year we found two things to buy- a painting for the living room by an artist named Jean Cosentino and a painting for Ella's room by a woman named Sara Notebaert Bassigny.

The piece from Cosentino is a collage/photo numerique. The photos are printed and then he works on them by dissolving the colors, working over them with india ink and sometimes overlaying with other pieces. Everything is then cut out into identically sized squares and arranged into one cohesive piece. The work that we bought is based on photos that he took of electric pylons and is done in a yellow that matches the acid yellow in our kitchen, which is what originally caught my eye. I really like the lines in this and the monochromatic color scheme. B really loved the rectangular format, which he tends to be drawn to quite often. Cosentino has a series of works in different colors using these same photos and a similar series with more of an elliptical line, based on rollercoasters. I preferred these to the other pieces he had, which were more colorful and had different themes.

The second artist, Sarah Notebaert Bassigny, I noticed as we were leaving the show. The stand was full of fairly large format paintings of blooming branches. The canvas of natural linen was left un-sized so that you could see the color in the places that she hadn't painted. The paintings were then sketched on with soft lead and painted with acrylics and inks. The flowers done in ink have a gorgeous intense color that is quite smudgy at the edges. I loved them straight away although it is completely different from most of the work we buy. B tends to be attracted only to sharp architectural images, and this is really soft and girly. He doesn't like it at all, but I pointed out that it wasn't really for him and the things he liked were not exactly the thing for a little girl's room. I had been looking at the more naive style of paintings to try and find something for Ella's room. This is actually quite sophisticated but I think that it is perfect for her room. Very pretty and calming despite the intense color.

We also found an artist right at the beginning that we very nearly bought (must dig his card out of my purse) who worked with wood and bone that he found in the forest. He had these gorgeous black wooden panels inset with designs made out of the sliced up bone. They were incredibly striking and we both loved them, but decided we didn't really have anywhere for something like that. I definitely think that we might contact him though if we were to buy a new apartment and start renovatiing it. I would love to commission a piece for a specific place in the house- maybe a series of panels in a hall, or a chimney brest (sp?).

The show is open through the 1st of May. There is lots to see and something for everyone so it is definitely worth the admission fee of 7 euro. Also, they have some really great catering booths so you can sit and have a snack or a meal as well. Its the perfect outing for a nice sunny day, strolling along the quais of the bassin de la Arsenal while meeting artists and enjoying a glass of rosé. Highly recommended

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