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Monday, 15 October 2012 18:35

Gagosian Opens Another Gallery in France

Two years after opening a Paris branch, Larry Gagosian will open a large gallery space in Le Bourget on the grounds of an airport. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning French architect, Jean Nouvel, the space is located in a former 1950s hangar boasting 17,760 square feet. The inaugural exhibition at the two-level gallery will be by German painter and sculptor, Anselm Kiefer.

Gagosian, proprietor of the world’s largest commercial gallery network, planned for the Le Bourget opening to coincide with the annual Foir Internationale d’Art Contemporair (FIAC) in Paris, a contemporary art fair that brings in a hefty crowd of international art collectors.

Kiefer’s exhibition will feature five paintings and a huge field of handmade wheat stalks surrounded by a rust-colored steel cage. Titled Morgenthau Plan, the work refers to a plan devised in 1944 by U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, to disarm Germany by shutting down its industry and converting it to a strictly agricultural state. The hugely expansive space allows for such monumental installations. Nouvel, who designed the gallery in four months, put up four partition-like walls inside to create a central interior space and then used the area outside the walls and beneath the high ceilings to create display rooms and mezzanines.

France is home to some of the world’s top art collectors including chief executive officer of PPR, Francois-Henri Pinault, and French business magnate, Bernard Arnault, making it a prime destination for art dealerships. The new Gagosian Gallery will open on October 18 and Kiefer’s exhibition will run through January 2013.

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Concurrent Rockwell Kent (1882–1971) exhibitions will open at St. Lawrence’s University’s Richard F. Brush Art Gallery and Owen D. Young Library on October 15. An American painter, printmaker, illustrator, and writer, Kent spent most of his adult life living and working at Asgaard Farm in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. A prominent artist, author, activist, and adventurer, Kent was one of the most noted figures of his time.

The two St. Lawrence exhibitions will present key areas of Kent’s multi-faceted career as a painter and printmaker. A student of William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri, Kent’s early paintings exhibit an impressionistic style and simple three-plane composition that anticipated his later, more modern inclinations to simplify his paintings’ compositions. A select group of books highlight Kent’s preeminence as one of the finest illustrators of his time. The prints and drawings on view show Kent’s mastery of chiaroscuro and his knack for reworking original imagery into everything from commercial greeting cards and advertisements to seals and pottery.

Rockwell Kent: The Once Most Popular Artist includes nearly 75 works spanning Kent’s entire artistic career as well as his varied endeavors into different mediums. Kent specialist, Scott R. Ferris, who will also give a lecture at the exhibitions opening on October 15, curated the show. The Once Most Popular Artist will be on view through December 14, 2012.

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