Galerie Lelong & Co.
+33 1 45 63 13 19
13, rue de Tehran
Presentation of the gallery
Galerie Lelong & Co. is a contemporary art gallery established in Paris since 1981 and in New York since 1985. The creation of the gallery at 13 rue de Téhéran in 1945, by Aimé Maeght, was marked, during the first thirty years, by the presentation of great artists such as Francis Bacon, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Eduardo Chillida, Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies. When Aimé Maeght died in 1981, the gallery took its current name.
Today, it exhibits the work of internationally renowned artists such as Pierre Alechinsky, Günther Förg, David Hockney, Jannis Kounellis, David Nash, Jaume Plensa, Christine Safa, Kiki Smith, Barthélémy Toguo and Fabienne Verdier. Galerie Lelong & Co. also works with the estates of several great figures of twentieth-century art such as Etel Adnan, Karel Appel, Eduardo Chillida, Barry Flanagan, Ana Mendieta, Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies.
She has developed the production of monumental sculptures for public space with artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Jaume Plensa, Ursula von Rydingsvard and Barthélémy Toguo.
Anxious to present the work of these artists in the diversity of its media and techniques, Galerie Lelong & Co. has a large publishing sector that produces and distributes the original prints (engravings, lithographs, digital prints, etc.) created by the artists.
Presentation of the artist in focus
David Nash was born in Esher, England, in 1945. He lives and works in Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales, where in the late 1960s he renovated a pastor's house with a chapel to set up his workshop. Very early on, he devoted himself to wood carving, letting himself be guided by the shapes suggested by the tree. "Rather than coming up with an idea and trying to find the right part, I always let myself be seduced by the material. Everything comes to me from him, from his form and essence"¹. David Nash uses "tools" as different as the axe, the chainsaw, fire, water; He is also a remarkable draughtsman using pencil, chalk and stencil. The artist often allows the seasons to transform his sculptures, thus integrating them into the natural cycle of evolution. As well as being a sculptor, David Nash is a kind of gardener: he plants and raises his trees, inflecting their shape through appropriate interventions. A sense of time and respect for nature are as important in his work as the saw or the axe. Like the ancient Chinese, he considers wood to be the fifth element and he uses the other four: earth to nourish it, air to dry it, water and fire to obtain the patina he wants. It was in the 1980s that David Nash began to use fire frequently in his sculpture; according to Amanda Farr, "he then realized that he was transforming the plant in the wood into a mineral, charcoal"².
Its formal vocabulary is composed of cubes, spheres and triangles, but also arches, domes and columns. Colour is also an important element in her artistic practice. "From the minimalist generation that preceded his, [il] retained the taste for simple forms and the rejection of ornament in favor of a subtle work of proportions"³. For him, form must, in order to flourish, compose with different parameters: matter, space and movement. These forms can be found in his sculptures as well as in his works on paper, the square representing matter, the triangle, space and the circle movement. Each of these geometric shapes is linked to a color in his mind: red square, yellow triangle, blue circle. Nash the draughtsman uses pastels and coloured charcoal, often bright red, which dialogue with raw or burnt wood, but also with bronzes. Some drawings are placed in burnt wood frames made by the artist.
Another aspect of his work, the "living works" are very revealing of his desire to insert his works into nature. The most famous is the Ash Dome, designed in the mid-1970s. David Nash plants 22 ash trees in the shape of a circle and as they grow, he models the shape of the branches using traditional techniques to create a plant dome.
David Nash has been a Fellow of the Royal Academy since 1999. His work, widely represented in major museums in Europe, America, Australia and Japan, has been the subject of retrospectives at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2010), Kew Gardens (2012) and Cardiff Museum (2019) in the United Kingdom and at the Fondation Fernet-Branca in France (2018). In addition, he has created site-specific works in sculpture parks such as the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire (Thirteen Reds and Tumble Block, 2013).
¹ Marie Maertens, "Studio visit: David Nash", in Connaissance des Art, May 2018
² Amanda Farr, "Green and Black," in David Nash, Twmps and Eggs, Compass No. 127, 2004, p. 13
³ Jean Frémon, "The Fifth Element" in David Nash, Line of cut, Repères n° 108, 2000, p. 11