Sylvie Patry, from the Musée d'Orsay to the Kamel Mennour gallery

Sylvie Patry, from the Musée d’Orsay to the Kamel Mennour gallery

Until then director of conservation and collections at the Musée d’Orsay, chief curator Sylvie Patry joins the gallery Kamel Mennour as artistic director. According to the statement, dated Wednesday, September 28, announcing the news, “it will contribute to designing new projects that will strengthen and extend the cultural, contemporary and editorial development of the gallery”.

Born in 1968, a former student of the National Heritage Institute, this recognized specialist in Impressionism and Post-Impressionism was curator at Orsay from 2005 to 2015, then deputy director of the Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia, from 2015 to 2017, before returning to Orsay. She has curated many exhibitions devoted to Monet, Renoir, Hodler or the merchant Paul Durand-Ruel and prepares the event which, in 2024, will celebrate the 150e anniversary of the first impressionist exhibition of 1874, at Orsay and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

Sylvie Patry, curator and artistic director: “I wanted to be able to be in even more contact with the artists from now on. Kamel Mennour’s proposal allows me to do so”

In the United States or in other European countries, the information would intrigue less than in France where, until recently, such passages from the public to the private sector seemed almost unthinkable. The example of Suzanne Page, Director of the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris who became director of the Louis Vuitton Foundation in 2006, was for a long time the only exception to such an itinerary. She hasn’t been sinceEmma Lavigneafter having directed the Center Pompidou-Metz from 2014 to 2019, then the Palace of Tokyoleft him in September 2021 for the general management of the Pinault collection.

And so since the decision of Sylvie Patry. “I am aware that it can surpriseconcedes this, but I’m not leaving because I’d be angry, but to embark on a new project. In my practice, I have often worked with living artists – Marlene Dumas Where Sophie Calle in Orsay, Anselm Kiefer Where mohamed bourouissa to the Barnes Foundation – and this for a long time since Orsay, at the time when Serge Lemoine was its president, was the first major Parisian museum to open up to contemporary art. I wanted to be able to be even more in contact with the artists from now on. Kamel Mennour’s proposal allows me to. »

“Two complementary worlds”

This, whose gallery, since its creation in 1999, has become predominant on the French art scene and one of the most present internationally, is first explained in more general terms. “Art, for me, is a block and I refuse to see it compartmentalized into eras, as into so many ghettos. 19th centurye in the 21ste century, there is no break. » Here’s to the doctrine. In fact, he continues: “I had for ten years more and more the feeling of a glass ceiling that I had to break: the one that would separate the present from the past. I convinced myself that I had to deeply update my way of working. We better understand living artists by considering them in the long term and historical resonances. »

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