La Galerie

June 2nd - July 16th, 2016

Un autre monde dans notre monde – Collectif

Learn more

La Collection

From September 24th until January 22nd 2022

Graffiti in the agnès b.’s collection

Learn more

Hors les murs

La Librairie

Thursday, November 4th 2021

On the road : launching of the FUTURA fanzine by Hugo Vitrani, SKKI© et Thibault Choay

Learn more



La Collection

Contemporay Figurative Painting * agnès b. Collection

All over town, we can it murmured that…“Painting is back”. Draping across gallery and museum walls with renewed confidence, we regale it. This has not always been the case, and such a return to favor can feel like a small renaissance. Though of course, figurative painting has always been very much alive, and such is reflected in agnès b.’s collection, which never ceased to give it pride of place.  

From the walls of Brooklyn to the streets of Paris, agnès has always embraced “what caught her eye” without taboo or aesthetic hierarchy. Her taste moves effortlessly from the punk, underground notes of Harmony Korine’s ghostly palette, to Cuban artist Armando Marino’s solitary and symbolist figures, through to the more societal and engaged compositions from the Congolese Chéri Samba and Malian Amadou Sanogo, then lingering attentively on representations of the body and nature in works by Claire Tabouret or Lola Montes Schnabel (Julian’s daughter), all while staying true to the candor and authenticity of the pictorial gesture, as evidenced by the childhood motifs in Loulou Picasso‘s work. 

Whether pulling from music, publishing, graffiti, or comic books, agnès b.’s collection has been growing since the 1980s, chasing an unwavering freedom of expression, which breaks free from formal dictates, takes unexpected and unconventional detours, and always transgresses the traditional boundaries of contemporary art. From this, has emerged a gallery of expressive, joyful, and sensitive paintings that promoted the work of contemporary African artists well before they became market favorites — Robert Combas‘s kinetic free figuration, Pierre Bodo’s enchantments populated by hybrid creatures, Hugues Reip’s fantastic artifices, Pascal Doury’s abundant graphics, and the graffiti impulses of A-One and the Ripoulin Brothers. Fond of loaded poetic imagery, pop culture, and the spirit of dandyism, she has shed light on the British artist Simon English as well as Americans Jim Shaw and Mike Lash.

Traveling through this collection, whose works pay tribute to a certain perspective on painting and figurative drawing from the past few decades, allows one to weave a chronological thread driven by a thirst for aesthetic freedoms and countercultures which, already in the 1980s and 1990s, didn’t hesitate to combine visual arts, literature, and fashion. Today’s addition, is a return to a more restrained figuration, characteristic of the past five years, which has seen a young generation of painters rediscovering in meticulous and introspective strokes a unique attraction to nature and genre. In Mathilde Lestiboudois‘s work, silent objects create solitary landscapes as if escaped from an overly aggressive reality, perhaps seeking to revive a certain colorful primitivism echoing the frescoes and tempera of the Italian Renaissance. the works of Jean Claracq and Bruno Gadenne, urbanism and naturalism hesitate between hope and anguish, describing a quest for identity in a society where absurdity collides with the imposed overdose of digital imagery, that the act of painting seeks to overcome with courage and panache. This panoramic fragment of a wider collection, opens a historical window to what painting has been over the past forty years, sometimes on the margins of tradition, revealing significant evolutions in how artists perceive society and its cultural symbols.   

Julie Chaizemartin 

Julie Chaizemartin is a journalist and art critic based in Paris. A regular contributor to the monthly magazines Transfuge , Artpress and Quotidien de l’Art , she also writes for exhibition catalogues and artists’ monographs.  S he graduated from the Ecole du Louvre and Paris I Sorbonne in Art History and Law a nd she is the founder of Art District Radio, a web radio station devoted to art and jazz. Julie Chaizemartin is the author of the art book Ferrara: Jewel of the Italian Renaissance (ed. Berg International, 2012).

La Fab.

Place Jean-Michel Basquiat, 75013 Paris