'for a real collector, a collector as he ought to be - ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them.'
'objet' anything which is the cause or subject of a passion. Figuratively and most typically: the loved object'.
Perhaps the most ardently discussed, most visited, and photographed stand of London's Frieze Masters 2014. An immersive installation and an artwork in its own right, celebrating the passion for collecting.
'The installation resonates with how art ought to be lived with: fully, within reach, and very personally'. 'It shows the intimate relationship we have with everything that we collect and surround ourselves with.'
The installation is designed and created by Robin Brown, and produced by Anna Pank. Commissioned by the Helly Nahmad Gallery and based on Helly Nahmad's concept.
'so intoxicating is Nahmad's stand.. that with one nostalgic, bohemian gust it blows away the precious, pristine, smartly labelled art fair piety of everything else at Regent's Park. The gallery-booth itself as a piece of performance art'
Jackie Wullschlager FT
To some extent we all collect and curate; objects, music, books, magazines and popular culture, photographs and memorabilia, all make up the landscape of passions we surround ourselves with.
At any point in time that landscape describes and defines us more clearly than a portrait or photograph could do.
Here that point in time is Montparnasse, Paris 1968 and the apartment of art collector Corrado N exactly as it was, filled to the brim with the found collected objects and artworks of one mans lifetime, the collection being the mirror of the man.
Miles Davis is heard on an evocative soundtrack as curated film plays on two B+W televisions, with Brigitte Bardot in Godard's 'Masculin Feminin', and news clips featuring the Paris '68 student riots.
'In amongst the piles of books, stacks of Paris Match magazines and pinned up revolutionary posters are mouthwatering art works including Lucio Fontana's slashed canvas, a Picasso self-portrait, and Giacometti's 'Trois hommes qui marchent' casually placed by the bed'.
As in Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' the viewer is looking into and observing someone's most personal and private space, except here that it is not through a zoom lens but up close and on show in one of the most public environments in the art world.
That space is a small modernist top floor apartment of a modest functional style with a compact assembly of spaces divided by a Corbusier like curving central wall, modernist style corner bookcase, plywood kitchen, split level parquet floors and cut away stepped ceilings. It references the architecture of Lubetkin, Perriand, Prouve, and Erno Goldfinger.
His furniture follows this aesthetic and has the distinctive handwriting of Modernism; a Giovanni Garibaldi 30's credenza and 50's armchairs from Milan, a small desk by Dutch designer Willy Van der Meeren, a George Nelson desk with an original Marcel Breuer canvas sling chair, Hans Wegner console, Walter Gropius plywood stool tables, Group& plywood chairs, Peter Nelson FA2 lamp, Jacobsen AJ Royal and Floris Fiedeldij floor lamps, and Louis Kalfe desk lights.
The idea of the collector, this older man, having a lifelong passion for the modern in every sense seemed very appropriate.
The atmosphere is heightened with an audio soundtrack that moves location from room to room, intercut with radio interference and spoken word, with Miles Davies 'L'ascenseur du Scaffold', Nino Rota's theme for Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita', Giovanni Fusco's music for Antonioni's 'L'avventura', George Delarue's haunting theme for Truffaut's 'Jules et Jim', Jeanne Moreau singing 'Le Tourbillon' and Charles Trenet singing Godard's 'A Bout de Souffle', as well as Francoise Hardy and Charles Aznavour. Follow the Spotify link to this soundtrack collector
Two televisions play curated films made from1968 broadcast of the Paris May '68 Student riots, the French winter Olympics, the Tour de France, Avignon festival, the first French Nuclear test, and Godard's 1966 film 'Masculin et Feminin', placing the observer firmly in Paris at this moment in time.
'The installation reflects a tempestuous period in Europe and it can be felt in the collector's works found in the 1950's and 1960's. 'What brings this feeling to life are the revolutionary socialist posters calling for "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" torn from the streets of Paris during the riots of '68' and pinned up alongside exhibition posters and framed paintings reminding us that art used to be at the centre of the political and intellectual life of its times.
'A cheap newspaper on a chair tells us that there is a “scandale enorme au coeur de l'Angleterre”, and every surface is stacked high with magazines including the famous art magazines L'Oiel', Cimaise, and Paris Match celebrating the arrival of a man in space and the beauty of Bardot. Artists monographs and catalogue raisonné are lined up on the shelves. Packets of Gauloises are waiting to be lit and smoked, dirty dishes in the kitchen sink to be rinsed.' The familiarity of it all recalls memories and give the viewer a sense of belonging, 'a brief encounter with themselves both past and possible.' and an uncanny sense of longing.
'With every wall covered with postcards, invoices of art purchases, notes, photographs and political posters you almost struggle to focus on the works of art hanging on the wall,' and yet each object is celebrated for its singularity. The installation turns on it's head 'the usual objective and clinical method of art display that can transform familiar objects into artefacts removed from any real, lived experience'.' It reminds us how people would live with art at a time when such works were not trophies, and when their monetary value was not the first thing a visitor thought of.'
In this context the passionate collection of objects and artworks develop a new set of meanings and come together to create 'an everyday yet extraordinary record', a three dimensional portrait of a real life lived. As one commentator said 'we all rather fell in love with him.'
'When every other gallery was doing the same old same old, they created a buzz and and got people talking and more importantly, Instagramming.'
The installation is the result of 3 months work sourcing, collecting, curating everything from the furniture to authentic art magazines and books, down to 1968 Paris cinema tickets, authentic art gallery letterheads and business cards, and curating and editing the television and audio soundtrack. It was assembled from kit form and installed and dressed at Frieze Masters.
The Joy of this Installation was creating the audio and visual landscape of this three dimensional portrait and witnessing the emotional response that triggered in the audience.
- 'Amacord' - Nino Rota 'Amacord' - Fellini
- 'Catherine et Jim' - George Delarue 'Jules et Jim' - Truffaut
- Cinema Paradiso - Ennio Morricone 'Cinema Paradiso' - Tornatore
- 'On s'aimera' - Catherine Sauvage
- 'Le Tourbillon' - George Delarue 'Jules et Jim' - Truffaut
- 'Que Reste-t-il' Charles Trenet 'A bout de souffle' - Godard.
- 'Valzar'– Giovanni Fusca 'L'Avventura' - Antonioni
- 'Bistro Fada' - Stephane Wrembel 'Midnight in Paris' - Woody Allen
- Cinema Paradiso - Ennio Morricone
- 'The Woman Next Door' George Delarue 'Jules et Jim' - Truffaut
- La Dolce Vita - Nino Rota 'La Dolce Vita' - Fellini
- 'Le Premiere Bonheur Du Jour' - Francoise Hardy
- 'Tu T'Laisses aller'- Charles Aznavour.
- Final Take 3 '- Miles Davies 'L'ascenseur du scaffold' - Louis Malle
- 'Mouvements Perpetuels, Alerte', Hallandsensemblen - Poulanc
link to this playlist on spotify collector
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'The Collector' Edited Press
'Visitors were entranced ..crammed with pitch-perfect period details.' New
'so intoxicating is Nahmad's stand.. that with one nostalgic, bohemian gust it
blows away the precious, pristine, smartly labelled art fair piety of everything
else at Regent's Park. The gallery-booth itself as a piece of performance art,'
'The most atmospheric, instructive and exciting stand at Frieze Masters 2014
like the best fiction, heightened a perception of reality.' Economist
'the buzz at this year's show is around the Helly Nahmad stand. an
immersive, narrative installation created by production designer Robin Brown .
'It's the dream collection.., the buzz at this year's show is well-deserved.'
'impressively detailed and absorbing.' Creative Review
'the most elaborate booth that I have ever seen at an art fair stand.'Vogue.com
'The star of the show. The detail was astonishing.' Elle Decoration
'One visiting dealer called 'The Collector' 'a poem in three dimensions.' Economist
'astonishing attention to detail.' BBC NEWS
'Crowd favorite .. surprisingly insightful.' Die Welt
'My favourite booth , turned on it's head the intangible, unreachable ideal.' Huffington Post
'That installation touched so many nerves in people,' 'You were looking at art
in a living environment.' New York Times
'worth visiting just for this booth..This is probably the best booth you will ever
see at an art fair in your life.' DAZED
'The real must of the show . this humble exciting, and intelligent idea.' Le Quotidien de L'Art
'Cultural references everywhere that reconstruct the environment and breath
in every single detail .. A Hosanna to the Preachers of death of the White
Cube.' Vogue Italia
'by far the busiest stand at the fair.' GQ
'one of the two most ardently discussed booths, can't you imagine just
slipping out of your raincoat, throwing yourself into an armchair and lighting a
Gauloise as you contemplate your Miros? this .. is a piece of high flattery to
the idea of the collector.'
'the hotspot and must-see …hits the nerve of this year's Frieze: the gallerybooth
itself as a piece of performance art.' Artusiast
'It created an installation, an event, and it was the best element of Masters.'
'Showpiece of the season.' 160gramms
'There is not a single adjective to describe how breathtaking this work
is….. the crown jewel of Frieze '14.'
'These guys get the award for the best presentation.' Art Net News
'the real star turn.. Everything had been cleverly thought through' 'the whole
spectacle worked so well and drew all the crowds around it.' Artlyst
'The most talked about and photographed art at the Frieze Art Fair.'
'A statement against art as a soulless asset at Frieze Masters.' Art Market
'Helly Nahmad charms us ..recreating the apartment of an Italian collector..
with his magazines of the era, his black and white TV 's, and hidden between
his books a Dubuffet, a Fontana, and Giacometti bronze. Wonderful.'
Le Figaro Culture
'utterly convincing re-creation . forensically accurate. ' The Art Newspaper
'The standout is Helly Nahmad gallery's stand.' FT Weekend
'One of the most talked about stands at Frieze Masters this year.' Daily
Telegraph'a beautiful example of the latest trend in the world of art.' Le Figaro.fr
'a labor of love.' Art News
'radically challenges this uniform greyness.' Litro.co.uk
'the most poignant piece, the true belle of the ball . as an audience, we all
rather fell in love with him.' Velvet whisper.com
'The finest offering at Masters . wonderfully creative and theatrical.'
'The most atmospheric, instructive and exciting stand at Frieze Masters 2014'
'The white box format with which galleries usually display their wares was
changed perhaps for ever more by the innovative booth.' Designsourcebook
'A big buzz at yesterday's VIP viewing centred on Helly Nahmad Gallery's
precise evocation of a Sixties collector's apartment.' Evening Standard
'the installation almost manages to eclipse the museum quality art on display ,
So clearly staged and yet so incredibly powerful.' Baroncelli
'The prize for most impressive display. Engaging and surreal, this stand has
more detail than most artworks – worth a visit of its own.' Candidonline.com
'it is this blurred line between fiction and reality that makes this installation so
'level of details ..was astounding.' Winsor+newton
'This years Frieze Masters highlight , built with perfectionist eyes.' literaturundkundst.net
'one of the most intriguing and effective displays.. designed and produced by
Robin Brown and Anna Pank for the Helly Nahmad Gallery.' Art Mastered
'Among stacks of gallery receipts, auction catalogues, ashtrays, and dirty
dishes, works by Joan Miró, Jean Dubuffet, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri (I
could go on) line the walls,' Time
'The atmosphere is immersive and captivating. Being able to gain a unique
perspective into the private sphere of one of the most interesting characters of
the art world is a dream that comes true, This is the strength of the project.'
'The white box format with which galleries usually display their wares was
changed perhaps for ever more by the innovative booth.' Designsourcebook
'The most talked about and photographed art at the Frieze Art Fair It's
intriguing and interesting and makes you stop to try to see everything inside .
created a buzz and and got people talking and more importantly,
Instagramming. Habitually Chic
Francesca Gavin, Visual Arts contributor to Dazed Magazine, posted an
image to the magazine's 245,459 followers, achieving 2763 likes in 24 hours.
'The Helly Nahmad booth , in which he created a collector's imaginary Paris
apartment circa 1968 was a big hit on Instagram.' Blouin Art Info
'Mummy, didn't he have time to clean his room? No dear, it's art.' littlelizu
The Collector at Helly Nahmad Gallery won our hearts and minds
the detail moved me to tears. For real. Mil Vukovic
'Dreaming of being in this art collectors apartment tonight' 'jack_elliot_tobin
best booth at both fairs by a mile, and possibly the #bestartfairboothever -
Slideshow photographs :
Slideshow music :
Set decorators :
Set build :
O & A Construction
Blue – i – technology
Henri Latham Koenig
Choi Ho Man
The Clearing House