John Bacon, Petra Bernstein, Cira Bhang, Bernadette Blümel, Thérèse Boisclair, Moufida Bouamari, Fred Couprie, Benny De Grove, Alexandra Farber, Ian Kingsford-Smith, Carla Kleekamp, Regina Noakes, Lieve Ophalvens, Christiane Palpant, Peter Sherman, Nina Stopar, Chan Suk On
Never Give Up !
November 17 to 26, 2021
75011 – PARIS, 15 rue Saint Bernard
Depuis mars 2020 avec le début de la pandémie, l’Art est en souffrance. Monteoliveto Gallery a toujours voulu exprimer l’importance de l’art contemporain en tant qu’outil de lecture et d’interprétation des différents points de vue de notre “monde en mutation”. Et dans ce monde en mutation dû à la précarité de la situation sanitaire, la galerie a mené avec enthousiasme des initiatives en ligne virtuelles et en Live pour soutenir les artistes et proposer leurs œuvres et projets sur les plateformes multimédias et sur le site internet de la galerie. Désormais la situation sanitaire permet enfin de rouvrir en présence et les horizons sont finalement positifs. Pour célébrer la réouverture des événements en présence et souligner la résilience et la capacité des artistes à affronter et surmonter les difficultés, Monteoliveto Gallery a concentré une série d’événements artistiques à Paris, un nouvel espace d’art dans le 11ème arrondissement près de Bastille pour accueillir, à partir d’octobre à décembre 2021 la reprise des évènements d’art et des expositions avec public, en présentiel.
Dans ce cadre, l’exposition de Novembre a l’objectif , dès le titre, « Never Give Up ! » de souligner la force dont le monde de l’art en général, artistes, galeristes et métiers d’art ont su faire preuve pour résister à cette période difficile et décidé de ne jamais « baisser les bras ».
Les artistes ont été invités à présenter à l’exposition l’oeuvre la plus pertinente, témoin artistique de leurs émotions et de la volonté de remettre l’art au centre de la vie.
L’exposition se propose ainsi de réaliser la promotion d’une charnière entre tradition et contemporanéité, un manifeste en faveur de la Culture et un hommage aux artistes qui ont vécu cette période particulièrement complexe pour célébrer la grande importance du redémarrage de l’Art.
Les artistes invités, John Bacon, Petra Bernstein, Cira Bhang, Bernadette Blumel, Thérèse Boisclair, Moufida Bouamari, Fred Couprie, Benny De Grove, Alexandra Farber, Ian Kingsford – Smith, Carla Kleekamp, Regina Noakes, Lieve Ophalvens, Christiane Palpant, Peter Sherman, Nina Stopar, Chan Suk On proviennent des pays les plus disparates: France, USA, Allemagne, Indonésie, Autriche, Canada, Algérie, Pays Bas, Belgique, Australie, Singapore, Suède, Slovénie.
De l’Europe à l’Australie en passant par l’Amérique et l’Afrique, les paroles qui suivent (texte en langue originale) constituent leurs émotions, leurs sensations, les peurs et les espoirs face à une situation sanitaire à laquelle aujourd’hui encore, indépendamment de notre lieu d’origine, nous sommes obligés de faire face.
Les paroles des artistes:
Lost and Forgotten represents the disparity, anxiety and sense of hopelessness brought on by the pandemic. There is an uncertainty about the future and survival.
Seeking The Way Forward The beginning of hope appears. What is the path forward as signs emerge that life may be improving.
Unfortunately, I had a bad case of COVID in January 2021 and ended up in the hospital. My recovery was slow at first and it took several months to gain my strength back. During that time, I was physically not able to work at my easel and focus on my painting efforts, as I suffered from brain fog and fatigue. My art making process during that time was reduced to small watercolour drawings that were easier and more manageable to accomplish. I felt productive and was happy that I could still make art. Those compositions deal with physical and emotional strength and weakness and intend to convey a sense of togetherness. My initial “piles of hardship” have evolved nicely throughout this year. They have become looser and painted more freely. Blessed that I have fully recovered from my illness and I am curious where my art will take me.
Never Give Up, Just do not stop to keep going even though it’s hard and running slowly
When life gives me lemons just dance. I will hear my footsteps within the silence.
Move, move, move until I can dance even only with the rhythm in my heartbeat.
I think the picture Covid-19 is very clear in the meaning. Nobody can look away during this time, everyone has to do what the government demands of us. In the end, it is a good thing that we put on the mask together to protect ourselves – this is the only way we can stop the pandemic.
Isolated from the other, is a sad but also very true picture. All over the world, people, friends, even families have become isolated from one another. We sat in our apartment and weren’t allowed to go to meet the others. The single empty circle is supposed to symbolize the people which did from Covid-19.
I was fascinated by the UNESCO World Heritage site Mount Vesuvius. My paintings Sunset on Mount Vesuvius I-IV capture the horrific moment of its Eruption and, at the same time, remind us all that life continues with its exquisite daily sunsets.
“Un monde sans art serait aveugle à lui-même. “Explorer la rue dans ses lumières et ses pénombres, ses joies et ses douleurs. Des personnages, des lieux comme des pièces d’un Kaléidoscope. Raconter comme un conteur les situations, les artistes rencontrés sur la trajectoire de mon objectif, comme un témoin du moment. Paris capitale et reflet du monde, Peintres, poètes,sculpteurs et musiciens mêlés de tous pays, de toutes cultures surdes trottoirs comme une force paisible et rayonnante qui dans ceclimat de doute sont comme une respiration. Des artistes qui redonnent un souffle; si ce souffle vient à manquer, l’homme s’asphyxie.”
Un homme étant étendu sur terre. La terre est vivante et animée, et le porte et soutient.
La force de la nature soutient l’homme vers un avenir plus clair: “never give up”
La peinture a été exposée au Musée Hilversum en juillet 2018
Benny DE GROVE
In search for an exhibition around a theatre play starting from a book of the French writer Gabrielle Witkop, and due to Covid, I started working on metal plates and let them rust to show the transience in life. Only some parts did not corrode and are the parts we remember about a loved ones…
These two works, a diptych of a much larger series called ‘MUNDANE WORDS/GILDED WINGS ’titled ‘Second class action’ and ‘You command action’ underline the resistance of humans to press on during hardships; Using everyday words, people create the stories and thus the wings they hope will bring them to a freedom that represents their ultimate desires.
Ian KINGSFORD – SMITH
Come lockdown and you feel trapped. What another lockdown? Weeks and months pass. Annoyingly, you have to wear a mask everywhere you go. You can’t breathe properly. Sign yourself into shops and business’s so you can be traced. Very boring and repetitious. You’ve had the two vaccinations but still you can’t live your life out in the world. The real comfort is your art. Every day you make progress. Your life is fulfilled.
Never give up; to change our way of living.
Big problems; climate change, Plastic soup , disappearing Biodiversity and more.
There is a big void stepping back into the unknown after the pandemic and not knowing what lies ahead is very much experienced. The painting is a reminder that life always fluctuates and the space between mortality and a spiritual state is always changing. So uncertainty is to be expected.
Gone with the wind and fly away… the strong feelings haunting the artist during the lockdown: hopeless, fear, loneliness and resignation. The nature is often present in the background or more impressive in the paintings, but the women universe, through eyes and faces is always there to recall the priorities.
This painting encapsulates another chapter of the actual pages from the artist’s daily methodical journals of physical healing which started before and continued throughout the pandemic. The texts reveal the journey is not linear and the pages tear to unfold the discovery of light and hope.
(2020) Pandamin !!! No! it’s only like a mild flu. Soon over!
(My comment: But we (I) turned to stone, no movement, no fun, no culture, no friends — Nothing!)
(2021): Pandamin over!!! Back to normal!!
(My comment: Is it over? but it’s not back to normal. Can’t get rid of this stoney feeling.)
Both are from a couple of my dance performances which I filmed and digitally processed a number of frames.
The 4 works on show are representing a half of the cycle of 8 abstract collages made with acrylic colours and torn pieces of decorative paper. Vivid, fluorescent and quite chaotic shapes of colours on each painting are an expression of joy and lust for living. The passion for living is strongly present on every painting of the cycle as well as captured in the titles. Paintings are titled by the everyday moments that make life worth living again. Paintings were made by the intuition of a body, my main painting approach, and the place of my abstraction.
The paintings were made at the beginning of summer, a month after life came out of the second largest almost half a yearlong lockdown. With some manageable restrictions it was able to travel abroad. I went to the south of Italy for a dancing workshop to socialize, to heal, to recover, to be with people in the surrounding of a beautiful landscape of the Puglia region. Dance and people, nature and food flushed away all the bitterness of the past months and again it was worth living. Not just that, I felt the passion to belong, to live life in its fullness.
Chan SUK ON
Chan Suk On uses the packages and boxes of surgical face masks which come from the United States, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom. She doesn’t know the Japanese and Korean languages. So, she uses the translator apps to understand what they say. In Hong Kong, she can buy some alcohol swabs which come from Indonesia. 75% of alcohol swabs are essential to her life to kill the virus. These are her experiences in these strange times. She tries to develop the sculpture which is mixed with these packages to give her peace of mind.
In these difficult times, people must “never give up” to keep clean and wear masks to fight the virus in the world. We must overcome the problems. Hope we can connect with all the people of the world in the near future. We can enjoy the gathering without masks. We can travel all over the world. No boundaries we can fly.
about the artists statements:
John BACON Born in Cœur d’alene, Idaho in 1951. After receiving a medical degree, he practivced orthopedic surgery for 30 years. Six years ago at the urging of his wife Claire, he began to paint abstract paintings. Through practice and expérimentation, he developed his own style. Now an international painter, John’s paintings are characterized by the use of color and movement to create energy and interest in his paintings. His goal is to draw the viewer into the painting by the painting’s overall impact and on further observation to see the detail.
Petra BERNSTEIN Born and raised in the German countryside, Petra Bernstein learned to appreciate nature at an early age. Her artwork reflects how she feels and think about her surroundings. Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Regensburg, Germany in 1991 and BFA from Salisbury University with a concentration in Painting, Summa Cum Laude, 2007 Living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife she gets inspired by the rhythmic reflections and the fluid movements of the water surface. The shapes and the density of the water plants offer endless possibilities for artistic interpretations and she focuses her attention to the ever changing light and weather conditions and their impact on the elements. Her artwork ranges from close-up photographs and paintings of flora and fauna to abstract interpretations of the mystery of nature.
From 2018 she is represented by Monteoliveto Gallery in Milan, Paris and London and will be in our next Photography Show in Milan in 2022.
Cira BHANG My artwork is something about what I see, what I listen, what I feel and what I think, regardless of things I like or not. The passion that I express through the composition of abstract shapes or symbols blends with other art elements. – Every person, every moment, every single thing have its own story behind it. – It’s like a journal.
Bernadette BLUMEL Born in 1982 in Rum, after studies at the HTL für Grafik und Design, she has followed in 2002 – 2003 the Studium Chemie becoming Specialist in the field of plant transport. Young artist passionate about graphic design and constantly on the lookout for ways to challenge herself within this medium, she produces most of her works with an ink pen (black and red) on paper. Her works are greatly influenced by humans and nature. One of her favorite inspirational subjects is the human heart, as it awakens a wide variety of deep thoughts and feelings in the viewer. Her sources of inspiration are her feelings which gives her the strength to share her most intimate emotions and to find inner peace.
Bernadette Blümel is represented by Monteoliveto Gallery from 2017 in Paris events and in international art fairs in Europe.
Thérèse BOISCLAIR Native of Trois Rivières (Québec), Thérèse Boisclair studied photography for many years. She spent a long time searching for the “right medium” to explore her artistic talents. She painted in watercolour for over 18 years specializing in painting the French Riviera. The local architecture, the small narrow streets and the scenes of every day life fascinated her. Over the last few years, she experimented with acrylics on tissue paper and other exotic papers. She chose the fragility of the tissue paper and the boldness of the acrylics.
Thérèse Boisclair has been represented with Monteoliveto Gallery in Naples, Milan, Paris and London and is one of the participant artists in the 2nd edition of Monteoliveto Gallery MadforNaples Project.
Moufida BOUAMARI Born in Algiers, she lived a childhood and adolescence flooded with light and images in this city of sun and arts that was Algiers of the 1970s and 1980s. Daughter of artists, a filmmaker daddy and an actress mum, who never failed to take her with them to dark rooms and film sets. In Marseille, then in Paris where she currently resides, Moufida, shows a real passion for artistic creation, by haunting cinemas, art galleries, and by participating in artistic events. and other festivals. From the projection rooms to the film sets where she grew up, with a keen sense of observation and curiosity to better understand the mysteries of cinema, quickly working as an assistant director, in production and post-production even collaborating in script writing. The power of expression of the image, the emotion it provides, the multiple messages it conveys, the transformation it operates on the world, gives her fascination and she naturally responds to the call of photography which is imposed on her, to recreate the world through her lens and her sensitivity.
Since 2018 Moufida Bouamari is represented by Monteoliveto Gallery and follows the events of the gallery as the official photographer of the gallery art events in Paris. The artist will once again be represented by Monteoliveto Gallery at the Monochrome exhibition in Paris and “Through Your Lens” Milan edition in Italy in 2022.
Fred COUPRIE Dutch painter born in The Hague (dead 2017), studied at the KABK (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) in the same city. After completing his studies he started as an art teacher in High School. In the years 1972-1987 he was involved in several etching projects as a member of a group called the Haagse Etsclub (The Hague Etching Club). The group produced a number of portfolios of etchings, with nature as the leading theme. In 1977-1978 he lived in Italy, in a small town near Rome. In this creative period many drawings were made. It was a very creative period and many of his works left his atelier. Though he continued working as an artist (mostly mixed techniques on paper), teaching young students remained the most important part of his working life. In 2011 he started painting in oil, which became a daily search for strong images of men (and sometimes women) in unusual situations. Figurative but not realistic. The paintings of this last period are the result of a research in a broad sense to a social and historic theme of art.
In 2020, as a homage to the Dutch painter, Monteoliveto Gallery exhibited some of his etchings and aquatint focused on the human figure in the GraPHica 2 Paris exhibition.
Benny DE GROVE Born in Ghent, Belgium in 1957 where he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. Professional photographer since 1986, lover of the old Greek Area and painters as Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Caravaggio, whose influence impacted his work for the drama and light in their works. A second big influence are the Surrealist Magritte and the symbolist expressionist Ensor. His works are printed on different materials; his preferred material is Hahnemule paper, and recently print on wood.
Represented by Monteoliveto Gallery from 2018 in art fairs in Paris, Cannes, Luxembourg and Ghent and in photo/print exhibitions in Milan, Paris and London, he will be part of the “Through Your Lens” Milan edition in Italy in 2022.
Alexandra FARBER Visual art has always a way I enjoyed expressing myself, and I took this a step further by becoming the visual art as well; I began classical ballet training at only three years old. Dance is my nature, and it is through that intuition that my visual art narrative originates. I seek to tell the stories around and inside of the human heart, big and small, using evocative composition and colors. While every small detail in a piece may have a unique meaning to me, it is the interpretation of my audience that fascinates me the most. I hope to bring an interesting approach to daily life that makes people question their worldviews and approaches, hopefully in a way that can touch someone in a meaningful way.
Ian KINGSFORD – SMITH sees himself as a visual storyteller: history, personal history, memory, family records, ambitions, fantasy, dreams, mythology and spirituality, all combine to create enigmatic narratives, working in a variety of media, from etchings, to acrylics and oils on wood, to linocuts and wood engravings. Ian Kingsford-Smith is a fulltime artist working in Sydney. He has studied painting with a number of leading New Zealand painters including Colin McCahon, Michael Smither and Toss Woollaston. Ian has had many solo exhibitions in Sydney, Auckland, Milan, Italy, New York, Melbourne, Auckland and Cairns and his works are in private and corporate collections in USA, Italy, Sweden, France, Germany, Wales, England, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.
From 2017 he is represented by Monteoliveto Gallery, in an art European Tour of fairs and exhibitions including France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, UK and Italy. In Milan he had a solo exhibition curated by Monteoliveto Gallery at Home Museum Spazio Tadini and his work was accepted into the permanent collection of the Spazio Tadini Museum, Milan, Italy in August 2018 (Lineage man and three babies 2016). Today, his AfterLife(2017) installation combining pictorial narratives with a kind of repository of life narratives, historic myths, the cycle of life, ancestor worship, archetypal experiences (love, despair, faith, etc) and more personal levels of experience is exhibited by Monteoliveto Gallery in many art fairs in Europe.
Carla KLEEKAMP Most of her work consists of engravings, collages, watercolors and drawings. In general the themes of her work relate to the ceaseless subjugation of nature and its exploitation by man. Both in her engravings and in her drawings, the pure line remains the most important means of expression. One-to-one lessons from a Chinese teacher and a scholarship for a visit to Japan have really stimulated her work. The original finesse, such as it has manifested throughout history in oriental art, and which for various reasons is far removed from what is shown in our reproductive society, has obtained new chances in the graphic work by artist Carla Kleekamp. In a way her way of working can be compared to that of Chinese and Japanese engravers, who for centuries have worked in a great tradition. Her graphic work is placed between East and West and is linked by many lines to modern life. (Frans Duister in Kunstbeeld 4/95). Her stylistic means belong to realism, but her subjects regularly escape it. (Ad van der Blom in Hedendaagse prentkunst in Nederland – Elsevier).
Carla Kleekamp is represented by Monteoliveto Gallery from 2017 participating to 3 important Project Art Events within the Project of the Gallery Cities of Europe in Paris.
Lieve OPHALVENS Belgian painter she lives and works in the province from Flemish Brabant to Heverlee, city of Leuven. Resident artist of the gallery for 10 years, she is represented in all artistic events of the gallery. She received her training in various workshops under the expert guidance of several academy teachers, including Nico Deboeck, who quickly urged her to develop her own style. Then she started with painting after following several art schools and quickly gave exhibitions at home and abroad, solo and in group. She also founded an art school in Belgium, near Brussels, where she is still in charge. The artist experimented with different types of techniques: oil, acrylic, marble and collage, as well as the use of different materials, paper, mirror, chalk, sand, in order to better express her feelings. In all aspects of her art her dreamlike creations destruct and restructure the female anatomy in her own way. What at first glance may seem like a complicated and sometimes somber universe, gradually reveals a colorful world with round and happy shapes. Her paintings hesitate between the abstract and the figurative and give us this impression of traveling in a dream world. The body is captured in close-up and arranged in such a way that it eventually decomposes towards the abstraction.
Resident artist of Monteoliveto Gallery from 10 years, she is fully represented from 2019 in all art events of the gallery.
Regina NOAKES significant Australian artist born in Singapour, she has won many art awards and participated in international biennales; her paintings are represented in numerous private, corporate and public collections around the world (full list in the biography), including The British Government Art Collection, Ministry of Water Resources, Sultanate of Oman, Fulham Palace, London, The Singapore Economic Board, Singapore, the University of Cambridge and also Sting MBE; Eric Clapton, London and Bahamas and European private art collectors. Initially formed to piano and music, she discovers, in Capri, Italy working as assistant of Professor Antonio Napoli, her passion for painting. This gives birth to an important collection of artworks inspired by her different trips but also, especially in her first works, by the Moghul and Roman art. Her works are often large-scale, brightly coloured with primal and primitive compositions with their motifs and content invariably overshadowing discussion of their formal properties. The paintings manifest a distillation of collected experiences into a visual unity, time and feeling.
From 2015 to 2019 she has been represented by Monteoliveto Gallery in European Art Fairs and Events in Paris and Nice (France), Luxembourg, San Sebastian (Spain), London (UK) and she has been one of the participating artists in 2016 to the 1st edition of the MadforNaples Project. Following her interest for the female perspective she was recently invited to participate to the first 2020 PARIS exhibition of Monteoliveto Gallery curated by MG Paris and dedicated to Expression Femme.
Christiane PALPANT Senior vice president and service director for a financial services technology giant, daughter of Gail Palpant, an award-winning portrait artist, Christiane grew up believing that it was “normal” to have artist palettes of oil paints in the freezer next to popsicles. Constantly surrounded by art, her family took vacations to art museums and frequently played a board game titled “Masterpiece” that mimics a Sotheby’s art auction. Over the past two decades, Christiane generally used art as a catharsis from her “left-brained” job. Everything changed when a recent health crisis left her bed ridden for nearly a year. Christiane was an active athlete and training for a cross-country ski marathon, when she developed Pericarditis, a rare disease of the sac around the heart. She nearly lost her life and ultimately had open heart surgery. It is Christiane’s belief that we must remain positive no matter what life hands us, and as a result, she picked up the paint brush and found renewed focus and intention with her art. Many of Christiane’s abstract landscape pieces feature skies and light, depicting the passage of time and the hope of tomorrow. After living through ten months of 2021, she bought a Sprinter Van to drive around the country while painting: Millicent the Van, currently in customization “surgery” in Cincinnati, Ohio to become her future 100 square feet adventure living quarters for the next year.
Peter SHERMAN Born in London and currently living and working in Sweden, Peter Sherman is a painter, photographer, choreographer and collector of movement. His art centres entirely around dance and performance and as such he has worked with professional and amateur dancers as well as people without any dance education, all in his search for movements. Sherman’s forms and compositional configurations are rendered more dramatic by his skilful use of light and shadow, which effectively highlights the strength and serenity of the dancers’ bodies but also underscores the emotion that lies within. His paintings show glimpses of modern day life that are beautiful when captured by dance choreography. Fascinated by the play of light, contemporary dance has given him a whole new vocabulary of movements that express human emotions conveyed by “frame by frame” body movements where limbs, muscles, shadow and light represent a balanced whole, is key to his work.
After his solo exhibitions in Nice in 2012 and in Paris in 2013, both curated by Monteoliveto Gallery, Peter Sherman is represented by MG throughout Europe art fairs and participates to the Cities of Europe Project in Milan, Paris, London, Imperia and on the island of Capri where he was awarded of the Public Prize in 2017. A new series of giclée works has been realized through “Meshulash”, a new dance project, paintings and photographs capturing the beautiful movements created by 3 dancers. Recently he showed in London and Paris a special exhibition celebrating Smirja’s triumph over Idiopathic Scoliosis, an astonishing performance with a complete sense of control of the space around her, body flow and an acute awareness of the music playing, that has become her fight against idiopathic scoliosis.
Nina STOPAR Born in 1982 in Slovenia, where she currently lives. She completed a MA of painting at the Academy of fine art and design in Ljubljana (2021). Before she studied Slovenian language and Philosophy and passed a master degree of Aesthetic from contemporary art. As a passionate dancer she believes that the creation is a dance. A dance of body intelligence, an intuition of a body. Being an artist for Nina means to create and to invent, what is the road to something new, to new image, new self, new beginning, new dance. Art is a creative force that lives in the moment.
Chan SUK ON Born and living in Hong Kong, she graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a Bachelor of Photographic Design. She gained her Masters of Arts in Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is an editor, photographer and artist. She is inspired by everyday life experiences. Her journey is going from documentary photography to conceptual art. She has participated in expos in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, China, United Kingdom, Italy, Austria and the United States.