I simply love exploring all the short cuts and secret passages in Paris. At times, I have been known to mortify my entire family by pushing the brass button on a security pad at a random building, hoping to enter an unknown courtyard, totally uninvited. It is beyond my will power to resist the large, wide-open porte cochères. Which is how I happened upon a woman piecing together Hiquily sculptures in a courtyard on the rue des Beaux Arts. While I only recognized the work, Mr French already knew the artist’s name and his background and quickly filled me in.
Phillipe Hiquily is a 87 year old French artist, famous for his metal, mobile, semi-erotic sculptures that can be found at museums like the Pompidou, MOMA, Guggenheim and Smithsonian. The LOFT gallery has just published a catalogue raisonné, a comprehensive catalogue of an artist’s work, on Hiquily. It exceeds 700 pages. In celebration, Hiquily statues have been installed on the Places St Sulpice and St Germain, with free exhibits open to the public in the Mairie of the 6th arrondissement, and another at the Hotel Lutetia, all running until April 28.
Back in the courtyard we learned from the art assembler that the gallery was presenting a small show of his works available for sale upstairs. I went bounding up. I was charmed by the small 8 inch models of his sculptures (25,000€), but would have really liked one of the three foot tall miniatures (30,000€) for my balcony. If you have a large garden, his monumental pieces are also available, but I didn’t even think to ask the price on those. Its just not practical to have a 5 metre tall work of art in a Paris flat.
A party at the Mairie on the 5th of April kicks off the festivities at 19h. The man himself will be at LOFT on the 19th of April, from 18h to 21h, signing copies of the catalogue (180€ throughout the exhibit, then rising to 220€). Other signings will be held at the Hotel Lutetia on the 18th.
Back in the courtyard I photographed the art dealer, totally amazed at her casual attitude as she dusted off huge chunks of metal that were collectively worth a small fortune. I shared my wonder with Mr French, who replied, “Its not like you’re going to walk off with the piece, its huge.” Which kind of gave me an idea… how much is truck rental in Paris???