The Pinacothèque of Luxembourg
“Resolutely contemporary, the new exhibition space has almost museum-level ambitions
At 7 rue Michel Rodange, a stone’s throw from the prestigious avenue de la Liberté, a new art gallery has just opened. Born from the immeasurable passion for art of Hervé Lancelin, collector and art consultant, this beautiful space promises to cause quite a sensation. With its gleaming walls, its serene atmosphere and its exceptional lighting, the new gallery has been cleverly designed and refined over nearly a year. The results are dazzling.
It has to be said that Hervé Lancelin (born in 1968), who has been travelling from one gallery and international salon to the next since his youth, is far from a neophyte. His ambitions as a gallery owner have been thoughtfully considered, and his aim is to offer excellence to the public. A public who responded to the invitation in huge numbers on the opening evening. The awestruck faces told their own story, and the gallery won over many an art lover and professional.
Hervé Lancelin can certainly boast of having a sharp eye. As he sees his passion for art from the standpoint of transmission and sharing, it was an obvious choice for him to create an open space dedicated to exchange. This is what he has achieved, and this first exhibition is almost museum-like. We discover the gallery owner’s latest infatuations, including a fascinating interior by the Israeli painter Ra’anan Levy. An apartment room empty of human presence, with an enigmatic, melancholy atmosphere. The door standing ajar and the peeling paint suggest a reflection on time and space.
The work of Chiharu Shiota is equally exceptional. Born in 1972 in Osaka, Japan, the artist now lives and works in Berlin, where she has studied with Marina Abramovic and Rebecca Horn. Her artistic creation combines contemporary inspiration with her Japanese heritage. Her “Robe”, enclosed in a system of spidery threads, speaks of our unconscious, our reminiscences and our memories of others – in short, our roots and our identity. “The threads are woven together. They become tangled. They tear apart. They unravel. They are like a mirror of emotion,” the artist likes to say. This work is highly poetic, moving and introspective.
In the same space, we notice the video by the French-German pairing of Lucie & Simon. The work presented is part of the “Silent World” series, in which we see, among other things, the Place de l’Opéra in Paris totally deserted. The absence of the urban throng transforms the famous square into a ghostly, almost post-apocalyptic landscape. As if by magic, the vehicle traffic and pedestrians have disappeared. These empty urban avenues and squares invite us to question our relationship with the world and the modern city.
We cannot ignore the organic painting by François Nugues, nor the sculptures by Paco Gomez, whose imagination has given birth to “Le Peuple Zu” (“The Zu People”), anthropomorphic wooden pieces covered with lead. The reference to tribal art is clear.
Staying with sculpture, Christian Lapie’s impressive cohort of human silhouettes, like shadow guardians, is hard to miss. Massive, barely trimmed from the tree trunks that imprison them, the rigid, silent figures appear like placid watchers, their thick wooden skin bearing the sheen of linseed oil.
Benjamin Renoux, meanwhile, brings photography and painting into symbiosis in his mysterious work entitled “Mac”, a canvas print retouched with pictorial material. The play of light and dark is striking as we observe the epiphany of a masculine figure lit solely by the light from a computer screen.
We should also mention the crucifix by the controversial, fantastical and erudite Antwerp artist Jan Fabre, who is much appreciated in Luxembourg. Entirely covered with beetle wing-cases in iridescent colours, one of the artist’s favourite materials, the cross bears a stuffed snake instead of the tormented Christ. Jan Fabre’s interest in liturgical and sacred objects is well known, as is his fascination with the vanities expressed in this remarkable piece.
Finally, we should add that the gallery owner has already tested the waters and intends to launch an annual Prize to encourage emerging artists from all over the world. A tantalising, promising plan that has yet to take shape.”
Download the newspaper article (original text in French).