Art Taipei Aug 26 - Aug 29, 2011

about

de Sarthe Gallery will exhibit for the first time at ArtTaipei. The family-owned gallery was founded by Pascal and Sylvie de Sarthe in Paris in 1977. In 1981, de Sarthe Gallery moved to America and specialized in 19th and 20th century master paintings and sculptures. Recently, Pascal and Sylvie de Sarthe opened a gallery in Hong Kong last March with a very important Zao Wou-Ki exhibition of paintings from 1950 and 1960's. They have been joined in the business by their son Vincent who is based in New York City. Pascal de Sarthe has been coming to Taiwan since the late 90’s. He worked with many Taiwanese collectors and is also responsible for the Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture who is presently in front of Taipei Financial Center Building and the extraordinary Bernar Venet, Bryan Hunt and Keith Haring monumental sculptures that are permanently installed in the lobby and park of Yuanta Financial Holdings headquarters’ building in Taipei.

At Art Taipei, the gallery will exhibit major paintings and works on paper by Zao Wou-Ki (B. 1921)and Chu Teh Chun (B. 1920), Both artists well known to Taiwanese collectors.

Bernar Venet (B.1941) who is now showing his monumental sculptures at the Chateau de Versailles in France will be represented at de Sarthe Gallery booth with two smaller version of his well known sculptures and one major painting from 2002.(each year the Chateau de Versailles host a different artist, last year Murakami was invited to show his sculptures. Bernar Venet began his career in 1961 when he coated canvas with tar and exhibited a mere pile of coal as a sculpture. After moving to New York in 1966, he discovered minimal art and applied its tenets to his own work, creating blueprints of tubes and reproducing mathematical drawings solely for their scientific meaning. He exhibited alongside the day’s top minimal and conceptual artists – Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, and Dan Flavin. Then he moved on to sculptures comprised of segments of circles – Arcs - of varying lengths, the degrees of which both define and compose them. There is something striking about Bernar Venet’s Cor-ten steel arcs, both in their materiality and in the way in which they provide meaning for their surroundings. The line in all its variants – arcs, leaning arcs, vertical arcs, collapsed arcs and so on – compose Venet’s vocabulary, which he uses to broach the issues that sculptures must address, namely the relationship with the body, with equilibrium, and with the environment.

de Sarthe Gallery represents David LaChapelle (b. 1963) in Asia. LaChapelle’s exhibition at MOCA Taipei was a huge success and broke the ever museum attendance record. Three recent images of Bruce Lee by David LaChapelle will be exhibited at the fair. These images are theatrically staged and then photographed whole. They have been inspired by the film posters of the Chinese American icon Bruce lee. LaChapelle used quotes from the Dao. As an American artist studying philosophy and theology, he looked at this book as a guide for living. Bruce Lee holds a special place in history as a person who navigated the paradoxical worlds of Hong Kong and Hollywood, elevating martial arts through a discipline and strength of mind and body the marriage of the spiritual and the physical. He had one foot in the artifice of action film and the other in a transcendent world, enlightening and inspiring people still today. Being one of the most famous Chinese Americans he was a stereotype destroyer and a creator of the magical, mystical, and heroic.

For the first time in Taiwan, de Sarthe Gallery will exhibit a painting by the American artist John Wesley (B. 1928). Grouped with Pop Art for his use of popular subjects deriving from cartoon characters and advertising photos, and later on linked, due to the essentiality and compositional rigour of his production, to Minimal Art (to such an extent that Donald Judd and Dan Flavin will be counted among his greatest admirers), John Wesley, as a matter of fact, eludes a simple critical definition.

Besides the imaginary of Pop and reductionism, Wesley's works convey an intricate personal world where the artist's most intimate feelings are intertwined: Wesley losing his father prematurely, the memory of some of American historical personalities, the references to animals and to erotic subjects and quotations from Art Nouveau or Japanese iconography. A subtle flair for the amusing and surreal side of life, that contributes to enhance the inneffable and enigmatic elements in John Wesley's art. The painting exhibited at de Sarthe’s booth has been exhibited at the John Wesley major retrospective at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice Italy in 2009 . This exhibition was presented by the Fondazione Prada.

Among other paintings at de Sarthe will be a major painting titled Drugstore from 1959 by the Larry Rivers (1923-2002). A well known American painter whose works frequently combined the vigorous, painterly brushstrokes of Abstract Expressionism with the commercial images of the Pop art movement. Drugstore is the first painting in a small series of works from the late 1950s based on an old photograph of the artist and a young woman in front of a pharmacy window advertising Dr. West's miracle tuft brush. Absorbing the inherent reductiveness of a photograph, Rivers had begun to create works with simplified images and broad brushstrokes of paint, a reflection of Franz Kline's influence in Rivers' work of this period. Drugstore combines Rivers' aesthetic association with the Abstract Expressionist painters' impulse to record his everyday experiences in a commercially-oriented environment and in scaled-down form.

Also a Pierre Soulages Black painting done in 2008 measuring 162 x 130. The French artist Pierre Soulages (b.1919) who is from the same generation and a lifetime friend of Zao Wou-Ki is well know to Taiwanese collectors who remember the 1994 Taipei Fine Arts Museum retrospective of Soulages' work, introducing the "black" beauty of his paintings to the Taiwanese. He recently had a major retrospective at Centre Georges Pompidou Museum in Paris.