The NOW! sale in Paris on 28 February brings together the most innovative tastemakers from the worlds of art, design and fashion to bring together a unique selection of objects to suit every collection. We sat down with guest curators WE DO NOT WORK ALONE to talk about their motivations for this year's sale.
In a few words, who are you?
We are three friends who met in La Sorbonne while studying for our professional curator masters degrees. Then, each of us worked for several years in modern and contemporary art galleries, whilst we simultaneously organised a few exhibitions together for young artists. Then in 2015 we founded WE DO NOT WORK ALONE, a publisher of functional objects conceived by artists.
MATTHIEU COSSÉ , WE DO NOT WORK ALONE. © MATTHIEU COSSÉ.
How did you come up with the idea of establishing WE DO NOT WORK ALONE?
We enjoy visiting workshops, working with artists, their very personal knowledge of art history and the way they look at artworks from the creator’s point of view. We wanted to work by their sides in a more engaged and direct way in order to capture our belief that art can change life, paths and perspectives as per the assertion of Robert Filliou: "Art is what makes life more interesting than art", famous words and still relevant to us. Thus the idea is to focus on the production of accessible pieces, easily handled, that introduce art into daily life..
BENOÎT MAIRE, VM1 CLOTHES HANGER, 2016. COURTESY WE DO NOT WORK ALONE. © CLAIRE ISRAEL.
Who do we find in the community WE DO NOT WORK ALONE?
The concept of community is at the center of our approach: our name is not only programmatic but it is also how we operate. In the beginning we mainly worked with artists we were close to, like Matthieu Cossé and Olivier Sévère. In our mind, the people who are part of this community are the artisans we work with, like the lapidary-turner and Master of Arts, Francis Bourjot but also the dealers like Bruno Mayrargue from the Yvon Lambert bookshop, who put their trust in us and have shown our pieces from the start. Tom Bücher and Delhia Dondain (T&D), the designers who have helped us create our visual identity as well as our scenographer Thibault Marca have also been key players since the beginning. Also Matthieu Mercier, the first artist we contacted without knowing personally, who entrusted us with the release of the LOVE & HATE white gloves, which is a hit!
MATHIEU MERCIER, LOVE & HATE GLOVES, 2015. COURTESY WE DO NOT WORK ALONE. © CLAIRE ISRAEL.
From the sale, which are your favourite pieces?
We like the pitcherTêtes by Picasso. This one of a kind model is from a collaboration with the couple Ramié, owners of the pottery Madoura, which has led to the release of hundreds of functional ceramics each greater than the last. The plastic glove from Enrico Baj produced in 1968 for one edition of the portfolios by William Copley. It represents, in its conceptual and joyous disposition, a certain heroism of artistic releases from that time. We also like the photo by Michel François, Savon Mâle, in which an everyday object becomes an object of the mind; a witness of the artist's work and of his presence in the workshop. But there is also the Doll from the Ashanti people of Ghana, the chairs by Piero Fornasetti and the pieces by Karina Bisch, Mathieu Mercier, Olivier Sévère and A&F Lamarche-Ovize; to us they seem like perfect, every day, life companions!
PABLO PICASSO, TÊTES. ESTIMATE: €2,000—3,000. © CLAIRE ISRAEL.
What is the object you are the most proud of?
We are delighted to have reached a new milestone thanks to the release of the Taille-Pipe-Crayon by the artist François Curlet. It is our first time working on an actual industrial production process and on the constraints of a technical object which is more complex than appears at first sight: the metal pencil sharpener… Curlet creates his interpretation that touches with humor the language and references of art.
Another project also close to our hearts is a collection of wool seat cushions that we are having made in Kurashiki in Japan by a weaving and dying school linked to the Mingei movement. Mingei is an important reference for us: our name is also the title of a book written by the potter Kawai Kanjiro, one of the Mingei founders.
FLORENTINE & ALEXANDRE LAMARCHE-OVIZE, SURTOUT CHANDELIER, 2016. COURTESY WE DO NOT WORK ALONE. © CLAIRE ISRAEL.
Which is the object or painting of your dreams?
Any of the 350 clay sculptures in the installation Suddenly This Overview by Fischli and Weiss at the 2013 Venice Biennale, which was a revelation for us. It delineates an elliptic, humorous and piecemeal view of the world, which through everyday situations reflects on the great truths of life and thus gives us a model, which is both formal and intellectual. Otherwise one of the objects made by Calder for his workshop and his house, like a toilet paper dispenser or a sieve, discovered in the book Calder Intime by Daniel Marchesseau, one of the main inspirations for WE DO NOT WORK ALONE.
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