The story: Art Gallery since 1985
When you reach the 3bis, rue des Beaux-Arts, walk into the intimate old Parisian courtyard and as you spot the sculptures, push the red door and go up the spiral staircase, this is where you will find the Loft gallery.
Established over 35 years ago in the heart of Saint Germain-des-Près, this cutting edge gallery bears the mark of its founder, Jean-François Roudillon, an art aficionado of all kinds, horizons and shapes, eclectic in the same the way that he has promoted contemporary art. Far from trying to recreate an ordinary exhibition space, he prefers to compel us into a new view of art, having over the years accompanied his artists in the evolution of their work and the unlimited shapes they have introduced in these walls.
Since the beginning, the gallery has always brought forward some of the most important artists of their generation, such as those of the “Figuration Narrative” (Erró – from 1985, Klasen and even Monory, Rancillac and Fromanger). It is also one of the first to have exhibited street art and graffiti shown on new materials (wooden fences, metal objects) and put forward the works of the then unknown artists such as Blek Le Rat, the artist that inspired Banksy, Daniel Baugeste, Jerôme Mesnager or Kriki.
Loft gallery became in Europe, and for more than 15 years, the reference for contemporary Chinese art. Since 1999, it was the first to organize the solo shows of it’s leading artists such as Liu Xiaodong (2001 / 2005), Liu Wei (2001 / 2002 / 2005), Wang Guangyi (2004), Sui Jianguo (2000), Yang Shaobin (2001), Wang Qingsong (2002) or Zhan Wang (2000).
This is how Jean-François Roudillon, with the collaboration of Myriam and Guy Ullens, Belgian philanthropists and collectors of Asian art, presented in 2002, the first major exhibition in France of Chinese contemporary art. 72 works of most representative creators of this movement are revealed to the public at the Pierre Cardin exhibition space, curated by Jean-Michel Wilmotte. It included the famous “Made in China” dinosaur (edited by the gallery at 1 000 copies), and the “Tatoo” by Qui Zhijie where, in a self-portrait, he is held against the wall by the “bù” (no, you shall not !) symbol, that will later become some of the most iconic pieces of this artistic movement.
Particularly active internationally for its artists Loft gallery has since the years 2000, carried out the promotion of great 20th century sculptors, amongst whom are Philippe Hiquily and Francesco Marino di Teana, having produced the catalogs of their monographs but also participated to limited editions and the circulation of their sculptures. This is how progressively Loft gallery has become one of the French leaders in the making of monumental works, with high end projects that span from the Sculpture Parc of the Al Maaden golf in Marocco (with works by Antonio Segui, Yazid Oulab, Wang Keping, Sunil Gawde, Daniel Hourdé and Claude Gilli), the Universal Exhibition of Shanghai (with the permanent installation, in a Shanghai Square of three 12 meter water vanes by Philippe Hiquily), the presentation of monumental sculptures by Philippe Hiquily in the Parisian squares of Saint Germain-des-Près (a “Marathonienne” and “Epicurienne” of 5 meters high) and Saint-Sulpice (six weather vanes of 3,5 meters high), but also the exhibition of monumental sculptures by Francesco Marino di Teana (amongst others University of 3 meters high) on the Citadel of Sisteron.
As it pursues the making of monumental artworks with young artists such as Quentin Garel or Yazid Oulab, Loft gallery has always wanted to develop all the panels that contemporary art has to offer. This has been the case for important exhibitions with the designers Olivier Moravik or Guillaume Piéchaud whose monograph was published by the gallery this year retracing their 30 years of collaboration.
Recently Loft gallery gave itself a new mission, that of taking down some of art’s boundaries to render it accessible to all. This is how the ART FOR ALL concept was born, it is a real collection of iconic works by contemporary artists of different origins and environments, the great quality editions are as affordable as they are desirable. Theses limited editions are conceived in direct collaboration with the artists or beneficiaries, they are numbered between 300 to 1 000 pieces, bearing the signature of the artist and a certificate of authenticity. Real artworks that are addressed to all art lovers or collectors.
Aesthetics is a universal feeling. This is why Loft gallery, it’s team and it’s artists, want to more than ever, put some poetry, fun and mystery in our day to day lives, and we thank you too for being part of this adventure.