After its inaugural exhibition, last September, at its second address, avenue Matignon, “Perrotin second market” explores the relationship between contemporary art and design with pieces by historical designers, compared to avant-garde works and Pop art.
On the three floors of the building, in a very elegant scenography, with multiple points of view, by Cécile Degos, renowned for her stagings in museums, “Perrotin Second Marché” creates “elective affinities” between “Totems” by Ettore Sottsass, animal sculptures by François-Xavier Lalanne, two pieces of furniture by Jean Royère and paintings, gouaches, drawings by Matisse, Dali, Magritte, Giacometti, the Douanier Rousseau but also by Andy Warhol, Alain Jacquet, as well as a mobile from Calder. On the ground floor, those of Sottsass and Pop artists evoke their common love of everyday life and dazzling colours.
In a niche in tangy tones, the refined and rounded shapes of the “5A” totem paradoxically dialogue with “Usuyuki”, a canvas by Jaspers John with geometric lines, while the glass and brass piece “Maia Bowl” by the leader of the group Memphis and Tom Wesselmann’s “study for still life with blue jar and cigarette” nurture the same love of blue and everyday objects. Sottsass explained it this way: “What fascinated me was that artists[Pop] took as themes the subjects of everyday life, everyday life. Banality was their universe. Instead of Madonnas, Christs, they were interested in a bowl of fruit, a can of soup, a car. Their writing was the language of the street. »
Animals, nature and people
The second floor, which looks like a very chic barnyard, speaks of friendship, enmity and animals. There two geese, a pike, a “transhumant sheep” and a peaceful ram in bronze converse in silence, closely watched, on the walls, by the studio image of the surrealist Dali, very close friend in life with the Lalanne couple, but also by the delicate dove seeming to escape from a drawing by Magritte. As a counterpoint to this ideal barnyard from another world, the gouaches and pencil with harsh, scratchy lines by Alberto Giacometti, a major figure in sculpture, whom the Lalannes did not appreciate at all, contrast with the roundness of their carp in resin and gold leaf.
Finally, on the third floor, in a peaceful atmosphere where the refined naturalism of Royère’s “Cosy corner” in straw marquetry refers to the luxuriant forest of Douanier Rousseau’s “Nu au bain”, we learn that the great French decorator also produced his furniture according to their shadows cast on the floor or the walls, as Alexander Calder did with his mobiles. Art & design, a matter of mutual influences? Through pieces with prestigious signatures, on “consignment”, that is to say lent to the gallery, but also purchased by Emmanuel Perrotin and his associates Tom-David Bastok and Dylan Lessel, the exhibition “All is qu’influence” questions the fine line between these two disciplines, through their common views on subjects, materials, colors and light effects. And somewhat calls into question their sacrosanct hierarchy.