We interviewed Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres

Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres is a French politician; he was the Minister of Culture and Communication between 2004 and 2007. He was involved in the opening of the Louvre in Abu-Dhabi and especially in the restoration and reopening of the Grand Palais to the public. A contemporary art amateur, he kindly accepted to answer our questions and to tell us which one of the art pieces on sale on Artsper is his favorite. We thank him for this discussion!

Artsper: What is the last show you’ve seen that really impressed you? Anish Kapoor, during the 2011 edition of Monumenta, because he invested the glass atrium of the Grand Palais with his magnificently powerful work, which was as beautiful as the site receiving it and whose energy he transmitted magisterially.

A: What is the artist, of any discipline, with whom you would like to have dinner?

Olafur Eliasson, because his visual imagery and his talent transport us to new, sublime horizons.

A: What is the work of art you’d have liked to make yourself?

One of Clifford Ross’s photographs from the “Hurricane” series, in which the beauty, the strength and the violence of the ocean charm and fascinate us.

A: What is the event of which you keep the best memory from the time you were the Minister of Culture?

There was the Patti Smith concert, in the Salon Jérôme at the Ministry, one evening without any notice. There was also the “Rue au Grand-Palais” event where street culture was received, 500 meters from the Elysée, one year after the violent outbursts in the suburbs… 

A: An artistic event that you never miss?

The choreographies of Angelin Preljocaj, because he knows how to push the dancers to the paroxysm of the expression of their talent.

A: Your favorite artistic or cultural magazine?

AA, Architecture D’Aujourd’hui, that made a magnificent comeback.


A: Did you already have a frustrating experience or felt uneasy when you were confronted to

contemporary art?

My frustration is connected to the fact that the experience only lasts one magic instant, and one would like it to be eternal. The unease appears when violence is not only intellectual, but it becomes almost physical.