2018 heralded a new series of the Artists’ Residencies programme that began in 2010. The mentors of this three-year series are seasoned artists and also long-term partners of the Foundation: Michel Blazy, Isabelle Cornaro and Françoise Pétrovich.
For this first year of the new series, Françoise Pétrovich chose to mentor Sébastien Gouju (b. 1978, France) whose work – including collage, drawing and sculpture – she has followed for a number of years. Sébastien Gouju’s works reveal his sense of humour and his approach to questions of good and bad taste. He is the first artist to take up residency at the Ganterie-Maroquinerie de Saint-Junien, in Limousin, discovering the leatherwork expertise of Hermès craftspeople and using the residency to incorporate this as-yet untapped material into his artistic vocabulary.
The Cristallerie Saint-Louis in Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche welcomes Emmanuel Régent (b. 1973, France), the seventh artist to take up residency at the prestigious site in Moselle. With Michel Blazy as his mentor, Emmanuel Régent explores the unique material of crystal and the exceptional skills of the workshop’s craftspeople. The residency opens up new territories for artistic experimentation in the artist’s pictorial and sculptural practice, which he has developed around notions of absence, transparency and fragility.
At the Maroquinerie de Normandie in Val-de-Reuil, Vassilis Salpistis (b. 1975, Greece) applies his habitual practice to a hitherto unexplored pictorial surface. Mentored by Isabelle Cornaro, the artist extends the formal and technical diversity of his painting by producing a double-sided work on a single piece of leather. Playing upon the different textures of the surfaces, the variations in painted and natural tones and the interplay between brushstrokes and the veining of the leather, he reveals the physical properties of this unique material. Suspended and shaped by its own weight, Vassilis Salpistis’ sculpture brings to mind the antiforms of Robert Morris.