Since 24 April, Artcurial has been welcoming visitors to enjoy an artistic stroll through the Principality. Some 30 contemporary sculptures are spread throughout the outdoor spaces of Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer. These pieces will be sold at an auction on 19 July, organised by the auction house. François Tajan, Deputy Chairman of Artcurial, tells us more about this partnership.
What pieces are on display as part of the Monaco Sculptures tour?
The pieces to be sold at our 19 July auction are a great representation of sculpture in the 20th and 21st century, from Bourdelle to Kaws, including Dali, Venet and even Keith Haring. The sculptures are spread throughout various locations in Monaco: in the new Artcurial exhibit space in the Principality, as well as in One Monte-Carlo, the gardens of Casino de Monte-Carlo, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, and the Beach Club Monte-Carlo.
Are the exhibit visitors potential buyers?
It is a mixed but complementary crowd. The benefit of this event, both for Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer and for us, is that it provides visitors the opportunity to see works again or to discover new pieces. Each sculpture is also accompanied by a description. We wanted to give art a more prominent place in the Principality, by allowing the public to experience sculpture in this prestigious setting. The tour welcomes all visitors, not just those looking to place a bid on the day of the auction.
Why are Monaco and the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer establishments the preferred spaces for these exhibits?
The Principality’s history and commitment to artistic creation, combined with the distinguished and exclusive facilities of Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, form the ideal backdrop for the sculpture tour we designed.
Does Monaco have a long history with art?
Monaco has historically maintained a strong relationship with artistic creation in all its forms. Historic places like Opéra de Monte-Carlo, or more recent locations like Grimaldi Forum Monaco and Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, are perfect examples of the Principality’s desire to promote the creation and sharing of art, not to mention an institution like Le Pavillon Bosio, a graduate school of plastic arts of Monaco City unanimously recognised for the quality of its artistic education. Art is flourishing in Monaco; it is a tradition in the region. Monaco, like all of these somewhat unique locations, has always enabled artists to work, accept commissions, and have their work exhibited. The creation of various museums in recent years has further amplified this trend. Several great sculptors and painters have also contributed to the creation of all the Monegasque palaces.
Is there any news you would like to share with us?
We were very impressed with the spectacular underground space that Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer has set up in One Monte-Carlo. Thanks to its unparalleled dimensions, this space can host ambitious projects to help further establish the Principality as a patron of the arts. This vast space can accommodate artistic works even outside of the plastics domain. It is a fantastic tool, and I have no doubt that it will be utilised to its full advantage. Maybe one day we could have a ballet...
And what about Artcurial?
We have just settled in to our Boulevard des Moulins gallery. It is a high-traffic spot that promotes customer loyalty, for both sellers and buyers: we can show items, receive customers, offer advice, etc. The Monaco Sculptures sale is a purely Monegasque project, and I hope that, if successful, it could become an annual event.
What is Artcurial’s mission?
As with any auction house, Artcurial’s mission is, first and foremost, to transfer works from those looking to sell to those looking to buy. Emotion is ubiquitous at this stage of an artwork’s life as the piece continues along its journey from one hand to another, before new eyes, and sometimes on the other side of the world. This “conveyor” mission is what makes our job interesting and beautiful.
What makes Monaco so magical?
Its unique ability to merge tradition and modernity, to attract and promote excellence in very different—and complementary—fields, including various forms of artistic creation, cutting-edge medicine, the most prestigious sports competitions, and even a heightened awareness of environmental sustainability, particularly as it relates to the sea, one such example being the wonderful work completed by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation under the leadership of H.S.H Prince Albert II.