Issue #205  8/16/2014
Taking a Break from Paris: Brussels, Amsterdam, etc. Then Back to Paris and the Galleries and Private Dealers

By Alex Novak

I love Paris, but any city gets a bit much after a while, so I took a break to meet up with my daughter Lohana, who was interning at the Musee Civi in Brussels. After spending a day in Brussels visiting the Magritte Museum, my daughter and I went on to Amsterdam together to meet up with my artist Lisa Holden and her husband Frank, a business and financial consultant. We had a nice time as Lisa showed us her new enlarged studio space in the same building as her apartment. Lisa is doing some great work, which you can see here: http://www.iphotocentral.com/search/result_list.php/256/Lisa+Holden. We had dinner at one of those new hip restaurants that dot the city.

Lisa Holden and my daughter Lohana at the Rjiksmuseum
Lisa Holden and my daughter Lohana at the Rjiksmuseum

The next day we had a great time visiting the newly redone Rijksmuseum, and noticed that Rijks' curators Mattie Boom and Dr. Hans Rooseboom had snuck a few nice photos, including a group of daguerreotype portraits, into the exhibits, even though the major photo exhibits and permanent installation will have to wait until November when the museum reopens that section, which is currently closed for renovation (see article on the November show below).

My daughter returned to Brussels by train that next night, and the next day the rest of us went out to the lovely sand beaches near the town of Haarlem to have a pleasant lunch discussing photography with Lisa and Frank while taking in the warm ocean breeze.

Later that afternoon, I took a train to visit my good friend and fellow photo dealer Xavier Debeerst and his wife Ann back in Belgium, but I got stuck in Antwerp because of some kind of train problem. Never fear though, Belgium is a relatively small place, and my friend Xavier came to rescue me (and have a beer with me in Antwerp, a lovely city with a great photo museum).

After a short and very pleasant visit with Xavier and Ann, Xavier drove me to the station where I took the TGV train from Lille back to Paris, a mere hour, about the same amount of time as it takes the RER from Charles De Gaulle Airport to Paris.

Once I got back it was into the busy schedule that is Paris for me. I went to the paper and book fair in Saint-Sulpice and saw Philippe Jacquier, and Patrice Boudot de la Motte and my friends from Alsace, Alexandre Steger and Estelle Hassenforder. I made a few nice purchases at each stand, including a wonderful early large poster of a dancing frog from Alexandre, after a bit of miscommunications about the price (actually a really good price that I thought was 10x what he actually quoted me). Yes, my French is pretty non-existent, but I'm usually better at understanding the numbers than on this occasion. Sorry, Alexandre.

By the way, Estelle and Alexandre have moved their shop from Mulhouse to Colmar. The new name and address is Le cabinet de curiosités, 14 rue des Tanneurs, 68000 Colmar, France; phone +33-(0) 3 89 41 40 06. It's a must stop if you are traveling in Alsace.

Estelle tells me that they have an exhibition of 19th-century Mediterranean photography up until the end of August, plus more than 400 photos books in the shop.

New Photo Verdeau gallery in Saint Ouen flea market.
New Photo Verdeau gallery in Saint Ouen flea market.

Here are a few notes on some recent changes in dealers and galleries in Paris, etc.

I took in an opening vernissage at Photo Vivienne, which is run by Christophe Lunn and Joseph Delarue. It is in the small space formerly occupied by Serge Plantureux in the Galerie Vivienne. The show was photo collage work by Didier Naert. I like some of the work, but he used cut-up original photos by Alexandre Trauner, Robert Doisneau and Eugene Atget to produce the work. It put a slight chill up my back to see this, despite some of the completed collages being interesting at the end. The address is at 4, Galerie Vivienne 75002 Paris; phone +33 (0) 6 22 50 23 50.

My friend Régis Besse has finally completed the move of his store/gallery from Passage Jouffroy out to the Saint Ouen flea market north of central Paris, but still reachable by Metro. He is now in the Marché Paul Bert, Puces de Saint Ouen 93400. Régis can be reached by phone at +33-(0) 6 22 01 10 56 or by email at verdeau@club-internet.fr.

Besides the Montreuil location (Studios Robespierre, 71 rue Robespierre, 93100 Montreuil), Serge Plantureux has opened new space and a new company, called Rhinocéros et Cie, in the upscale 8th arrondissement area in a former bank building at 156 boulevard Hausmann, Paris. The gallery is literally next store to the noted Musée Jacquemart André.

The new gallery actually has two distinct sections that front directly on the street and are divided by an alleyway between. The sections are connected by an underground labyrinth of stairs and rooms. Each will be devoted to different aspects of photography—one vintage and the other contemporary. The themes for the next seven months will be the deadly sins.

Serge can be reached at +33 (0) 650 85 60 74, or serge@plantureux.fr.