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Artstyle 30 Oct 2013

Happy Birthday, Galerie Perrotin - 25 years!

What is there to see in the “Happy Birthday, Galerie Perrotin / 25 ans” show (Happy Birthday, 25 years of the Perrotin Gallery) at the Tripostal in Lille?


6 000 square meters on 3 floors, 77 artists, 147 art pieces: this autumn, the Tripostal in Lille continues the exploration of today’s contemporary art by celebrating, with great ceremony, one of the most famous French art dealers, Emmanuel Perrotin.

Great interest, surprise, disgust, irritation, and laughter: one should only look at the exhibition visitors to know that nobody can stay indifferent. That is because the eclecticism of the art pieces in the show, their enigmatic, poetic or simply provocative character, take the viewer from one state to another, from contemplation to questioning.

Emmanuel Perrotin was extremely active during these 25 years. Today, he is a businessman (he has galleries in Paris, Hong-Kong and New York), but he started up when he was only 21 years old, opening his first gallery in his apartment. Having a great eye for new talent, he preferred to work with avant-garde artists and took many risks. Emmanuel Perrotin went through some hard times too, he made some questionable choices (there are some pieces in the show at which we bet you won’t be able too look for too long), but no one can put into question his flair; after all, he has discovered and has been supporting Damien Hirst, JR, Jean – Michel Othoniel, Maurizo Cattelan, Takashi Murakami or Xavier Veilhan. Many “superstar” artists for just one dealer…

Artsper has found « Happy Birthday, Galerie Perrotin / 25 ans » to be a great show for satisfying our hunger for art, and we would like to present you our 4 favorite pieces.


A good tip for planning your visit The city of Lille launched this September La C’Art, a museum pass that gives unlimited access to 5 museums for one year: the Palais des Beaux – Arts, La Piscine, the LaM, the Fresnoy, and the MUba. Starting from €30, La C’Art also offers free access to the « Happy Birthday » show. You should keep this idea in mind! For more information, www.lacart.fr.

One cup of cappuccino then I go, Paola Pivi
This piece by Paola Pivi is a great surprise and a nice discovery. Is it reality or photomontage? You’ll have to see the piece to decide for yourselves. And you will be able to discover more works of this artist, one of which shows a couple of zebras frozen in the middle of an installation of a snowy landscape (Paola Pivi, Untitled, 2003).

Architects as volumes, Xavier Veilhan
This work is a tribute to great architects (Xavier Veilhan has a passion for architecture!)  and we loved it because it suggest diversity and singularity by varying the sizes, the colors and the materials of its portraits.

Nasutamanus, Daniel Firman
This work by Daniel Firman is not the only animal piece in the show, but it might be the most surprising one. The artist is a troublemaker playing with monumentality and he likes to play with our nerves too, because he makes us ask ourselves how the thing works. And if you’re thinking this is a taxidermy of an elephant, don’t worry: this beautiful pachyderm is made out of glass fiber and polymer.

La salle jaune (The Yellow Room) : Claude Rutault, Germaine Richier et Eugène Leroy
At first, we don’t understand very well what happens in this room with yellow walls. Why this color? Do the Sculptures reminding Giacometti (they are actually by the artist Germaine Richier) have any relation to the two paintings at the back of the room? And what are these colored panels on the floor? We will go on with the interpretation of the scenography and we can tell you that by placing them randomly on the floor, Claude Rutault wanted to put into question the hanging of artworks: after all, why not place the works on the walls rather than on the ground. Anyway, you can ask these questions to the guides that are present in the exhibition: we’re sure they will give you a very interesting explanation…

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