Big Spaces for Big Art at the Edges of Paris

Posted filed underArchitecture, France.

Île Seguin
“On the Île Seguin, construction of the 30,000-square-meter R4 arts complex designed by Jean Nouvel has yet to begin — but the space is already up and running,” IHT Rendezvous reports.

“From Oct. 15 to 21, the site, which is about 3 hectares, or 7 acres, will become the FIAC art fair’s third external site, alongside the Tuileries and the Jardin des Plantes. Fifteen galleries, from major dealers including Sadie Coles HQ and Marian Goodman to edgier ones like Peres Projects of Berlin and Balice Hertling of Paris, will show works by 17 artists, among them Spartacus Chetwynd, Annette Messager and Mai-Thu Perret.

R4 is among several new art sites setting up shop at the edges of Paris. Two major galleries are also opening on Oct. 15: Gagosian and Ropac, each of which have expansive spaces for monumental art.

The first R4 event was held in July, with commissioned works by Oscar Tuazon, Nicolas Party and Reto Pulfer. ‘‘It was a bit provocative in terms of French habits,’’ said Nelly Wenger, who is piloting the project, started by the Swiss arts logistics entrepreneur Yves Bouvier, and has decided to present artistic initiatives first. ‘‘We will work in the field, then on the construction site and, finally, inside the building when it’s ready. If we do it well, the official inauguration of the R4 will then be a nonevent,’’ Ms. Wenger said. The name is a reference to the hugely popular Renault 4L, an acknowledgment of the carmaker’s importance for the Île Seguin, where its factory was a symbol of French industrial productivity and labor-union strength until it closed in 1992. The factory buildings were torn down between 2004 and 2005.

The R4 is slated become an art-world microcosm of sorts, with artists’ studios, gallery spaces, production facilities and exhibition halls.”
Read on here…

- The New York Times: On the Edges of Paris, a Burgeoning Art Scene - “It’s location, location, add another location in Paris, as gallery owners and entrepreneurs seek space and opportunity beyond the French capital’s heavily trafficked ring road, known as the Périphérique.”

Image: © Ateliers Jean Nouvel: A rendering of the R4 grand exhibition hall designed by Jean Nouvel.