Passion Points: Arts/Culture
Art collectors Steve and Chiara Rosenblum (he is the founder of e-commerce website Pixmania) began collecting African masks in the late 1990s. In 2005 their interest turned towards contemporary art and five years later they opened a 15,000 square foot public exhibition space called Rosenblum Collection & Friends (rosenblumcollection.fr) in a former photographic lab in Paris’s 13th arrondissement.
Chiara curates exhibitions for the beautifully renovated space out of the couple’s private collection, which now focuses on works by established and emerging living artists including: Antoine Aguilar, Aaron Curry, Mathew Day Jackson, Barbara Kruger, Sterling Ruby, and Christopher Wool. The next show, Crossing Mirrors, opens on October 18, 2012.
She spoke to Indagare’s Mara Hoberman about her vision for the collection, about favorite spots in Paris and about the upcoming Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC), which will draw art connoisseurs to Paris from October 18 – 21.
You and your husband made one of your first major contemporary acquisitions at FIAC in 2006 and in 2010, the opening of your exhibition space was timed to coincide with FIAC. Are you planning any special events in conjunction with this year’s fair?
Since 2010, the Rosenblum Collection & Friends has presented a new exhibition to coincide with FIAC. This year’s show is entitled “Crossing Mirrors” and will bring together contemporary and primitive artworks. Works by living artists including Sherrie Levine, Christian Boltanski, Thomas Houseago, Amanada Ross-Ho and Teresa Margolles will be juxtaposed with much older works from Africa, the South Pacific, and the Americas. By encouraging a dialogue between diverse cultures and different generations, we hope to highlight the fact that art has always revealed what Bruce Nauman refers to as “mystic truths.” “Crossing Mirrors” will provide an opportunity to look at ‘mirrors’ of the past and the present as a means of discovering who we are today.
What do you most look forward to at FIAC and what advice would you give to fair-goers, especially those coming from out of town?
It’s exciting to have visitors from abroad, many of whom only come to Paris once a year, specifically for the fair. I would encourage anyone who visits our collection to also do a tour of the galleries along rue Louise Weiss, which is just around the corner from Roseblum Collection. In particular, I recommend Air de Paris and Triple V.
At the fair, I would encourage visitors not to miss the emerging galleries’ booths on the mezzanine of the Grand Palais. I would also recommend taking a walk in the Tuileries, where monumental sculptures will be on display for the duration of the FIAC.
And to coincide with the fair, all of the Parisian galleries will be putting on great shows at their permanent locations this fall. I would highly recommend visiting the Marais as well as the galleries in eastern Paris, where you will find an interesting selection of young artists [read about these Est Parisien galleries] I am also excited to discover the new exhibition spaces that Thaddaeus Ropac and Larry Gagosian are opening in the outskirts of Paris this October.
Where do you like to relax after the hubbub of the fair?
Unfortunately, I have very little time to see my three girls (ages 9, 8 and 4) before and during the FIAC. As soon as the fair is over I always leave Paris for a few days for a mini-vacation with my family. It’s a great way to recuperate and relax. This year, we are planning to go to Miami.
What are your favorite places to view art in Paris?
I am lucky to live just two minutes from the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Palais de Tokyo, which, with it’s recent renovation, became one of the largest centers for contemporary art in Europe. I love the energy that this space emanates. I organize most of my professional lunches at the museum’s restaurant, Tokyo Eat. It’s impossible to resist going to see the exhibition after eating!
La Maison Rouge (10 Boulevard de la Bastille) is another one of my favorite places to see art in Paris. I appreciate the quality and the variety of their programming, which includes thematic exhibitions and, often times, works by lesser-known artists.
And, finally, an address outside of Paris, there’s Le Silo (Route de Bréançon; Marines) is an old grain silo that has been transformed into a fabulous showcase for contemporary art. It is worth taking a trip to Marines to experience the great architecture, the enthusiasm of the curators, and the high quality of the works on view.
Do you have a favorite art bookstore in Paris?
I love the bookstore at Yvon Lambert’s gallery (108 Rue Vieille du Temple). It’s especially wonderful if you are lucky enough to visit the shop when Mr. Lambert himself is there, so that you can benefit personally from his insightful advice about the catalogues and monographs for sale.
Which international art event(s) that you’ve attended—biennials, exhibitions and/or fairs—have impressed you the most and why?
What my husband and I love most of all are our visits to artists’ studios and private collections. In both cases, we enjoy the passionate personal exchanges with artists and collectors. I will never forget our first visit to the Rubell Family Collection (95 NW 29th Street; 305-573-6090) in Miami. The experience of visiting their collection is actually what inspired us to create what we have today in Paris at The Roseblum Collection & Friends.
In the near future I’m hoping to go to Documenta in Kassel, where I’ve never been.
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