June 18, 2014 - La Maison Rouge - The Wall: Works from the collection of Antoine de Galbert
June 18, 2014

The Wall: Works from the collection of Antoine de Galbert

© la maison rouge, 2014.

The Wall
Works from the collection of Antoine de Galbert

June 14–September 21, 2014

la maison rouge
10 bd de la Bastille
75012 Paris

info [​at​] lamaisonrouge.org


For its tenth anniversary, la maison rouge presents, from June 14 to September 21, The Wall—works from the collection of Antoine de Galbert, the eleventh in a series of exhibitions showing private collections.

More than 1,200 works by almost 500 artists form a ribbon some three metres high and running some 278 metres along each of the foundation’s walls. Using a random algorithm, works are hung irrespective of shape, size, medium, history, monetary value or the artist’s repute.

After ten exhibitions displaying diverse collectors’ worlds, this anniversary brings a much-awaited opportunity for a broader presentation of the collection assembled by la maison rouge’s founder and chairman, Antoine de Galbert; an important part of his personal life and one rarely seen outside the private sphere until now. Unlike the previous exhibitions of private collections, for which curators made representative choices from a large body of works, Antoine de Galbert has imagined a very particular approach to this hanging:

“The idea for this exhibition came to me during my daily browsing of the books in my library. Volumes are classed alphabetically, which produces some unexpected propinquities. Jean Dubuffet and Marcel Duchamp are neighbours. When I look at this Noah’s Ark, I feel all the artists are navigating the same river, for the same reasons, as Christian Boltanski observed: ‘Whether Aloïse, myself, or a sixteenth-century painter, the same questions are raised: death, the quest for beauty, nature, sex… There are a limited number of subjects in art. Only the words and the vocabularies change (…).’”

The library is an archive of the collection, visual souvenirs of a long journey, and the collector’s imaginary museum. […] Leaving aside an idea certain curators have already explored, namely to hang the works alphabetically, I decided on a hanging that would present the majority of the works in my collection in an order that would be defined by a computer programme with, as sole data, their size when framed and inventory number. The programme was developed by an IT specialist using the ‘Monte-Carlo method,’ a process that will be familiar to mathematicians. It calculates a numerical value using random processes, i.e. probabilistic techniques.

“The wall shows the many souvenirs I have brought back from my travels in art over the last thirty-odd years, taking paths that are sometimes well off the beaten track, often in the shadow of history and oblivious to fashion (…). I feel a genuine friendship for all these works, and this justifies their presence in my collection. Each one reminds me of a story, of a moment, an encounter. It is this subjectivity that should always distinguish a private collection from a public one.”
–Antoine de Galbert

La Maison Rouge
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