Coinciding with the opening of the 2016 edition of the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC) – the international art fair held annually at the Grand Palais in Paris, and this year including Petit Palais and other venues – two young challengers attracted the international art press to their massive new venue “Carpenters Workshop Gallery / Roissy” not far from Charles De Gaulle Airport
Just as FIAC Director Jennifer Flay says that her aim was to provide FIAC exhibitors with museum-like exhibition conditions for important works, she told Blouinartinfo (1) that current art market conditions are “like taking a step back,” and it is a “time to reassess.” She believes that the market is quite healthy, but the situation is particularly hard for younger galleries, who seem to be more fragile. “It’s always been difficult to be a young gallerist, and that is the part of the market that seems to be hit the most at the moment.” Yet a few miles away two young gallerists were hosting a 10 year celebration that they could truly be proud of, as were the art press who attended.
The 22nd October 2016 was the day that Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery opened its 8000 sqm space dedicated to artistic research and development, where leading artisans and artists are at work creating limited edition functional art with high tech equipment and real handcraft as one would expect to see in any high luxury workshop from watchmaking through to Hermès and Pagani Automobile. Here we witness the creativity, skills, hard work, and a search for perfection that goes beyond most luxury wearables.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery only recently opened a gallery in the Takashimaya Building in New York after having successfully conquered London and Paris. For the two young visionary founders, Julien Lombrail and Loic Le Gaillard, it must be such an overwhelming feeling to have built such a successful gallery business and having attracted the biggest names from Maartin Baas, Sebastian Brajkovic, Andrea Branzi, Humberto & Fernando Campana, Nacho Carbonell, Wendell Castle, Ingrid Donat, Vincent Dubourg, Staurt Haygarth, Frederik Molenschot, Marc Newson, Random International, Rick Owens, Pablo Reinoso, Robert Stadler, studio Drift and Studio Job.
Not only are Hollywood celebrities and art collectors on their client list but even leading Art and Design museums as well as top boutique hotels are now tracking them. How long will it take for them to open in Asia, one wonders. One thing seems clear, the world appreciates design more than ever before. Contemporary Art may have become far too intellectualized for many to appreciate. Design Art or Functional Sculpture, as some pieces may be called, clearly manage to please all who appreciate both art and design, both creativity and craftsmanship, have a sense of humour and a strong belief of where the future lies.
Traditionally, the creations of luxury brands were not quite considered as art due to the fact that the pieces were functional however top jewelers and watchmakers have long aimed and claimed to make art pieces. The fact that the luxury industry is an industry, has often denied these creators the right to be considered as artists. Art is supposed to be for emotion only, however the great Michelangelo church works do indeed function to tell a story. With design art offering another bridge between these worlds, where does it leave the art world? One thing is for sure, The Carpenters Workshop Gallery is well on it way to becoming the Gagosian of the Design Art World.
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