My longing for Grace
Monaco is fighting its way to the heart of contemporary art
When thinking about the global art scene, one tends to think about the sooty streets of Berlin, the bustling roads of New York or steamy nights in Tel Aviv. Monaco, on the other hand, doesn't really play a role in this global game. So, we are in for a surprise. It turns out that recent changes in the small principality are re-defining its status in the international art field.
Artinfo reminds us that the local Musee de Beaux Arts that closed its doors in 1958. Until Price Renier decided to re-open it in 2003, no local institution tried to fill the void. Now, however, the museum has spanned to two more venues: Villa Sauber and Villa Paloma. The museum is lead by Marie-Claude Beaud that formerly led the MUDAM in Luxemburg. It seems that Beaud is going to succeed where many others have failed and that she is the one that will help Monaco claim its place as an important location for contemporary art.
Villa Paloma opened in September, aspiring to become an international player and an exhibition curated by the German photographer, Thomas Demand. This exhibition delineates the concept of "Domesticated Nature" whilst showcasing works made by artists from various periods and affiliations.
And here's another surprise: After 100 years of napping, the Oceanographic Museum welcomed a contemporary artist; the widely infamous and well acclaimed Damien Hirst. In his exhibition (closed on Sep. 30th), one could have wondered around next to preserved cadavers of sharks and other animals.
Also, the somewhat-dusty galleries in the region are picking up. Sem ART, for example, was launched with an exhibition dedicated to Belgian art. It seems that the local scene is trying to attract more and more collectors that regularly prefer to conduct shopping sprees in Basel and London.
Considering the global awakening the art scene is going through, it's not really surprising to learn that Monaco responds. And if we ever needed reasons to venture the area, then we can now mark another check on our daily wish list and fantasies.