Next up for our ‘meet the galleries’ series, we caught up with printmaker Anne Gournay from ContemporArti, to learn a bit more about the gallery and find out her top tips for aspiring art collectors.
Read on to discover which artworks Anne has acquired for her walls recently and how she uses them to change the mood of her interior design schemes.
1. TELL US A BIT ABOUT CONTEMPORARTI?
ContemporArti is an artist-run gallery with a strong focus on editions, founded in 2016. Its aim is to promote our artists’ work by participating in art fairs, and organizing pop-up shows. We split our time between producing new work and sharing it with the public. It’s actually very enriching for all our artists to meet people who are interested in their work, and talk about it - It generates creativity. We all come from various countries and various cultures (our artists are English, French, Swiss, Cypriot, Iranian, Icelandic, Scottish, among others), but we all share a common passion for our artistic practice.
2. DESCRIBE THE SORT OF WORK WE WOULD TYPICALLY FIND ON YOUR STAND AT OUR FAIRS AND THAT YOU HAVE AVAILABLE IN OUR ONLINE SHOP?
We specialise in limited edition fine art photography, prints and sculptures, all of which are figurative but very contemporary.
Jennifer Watt’s beautifully simple sculptures meet Jane Daniell’s oneiric world, while Charlotte Gerrard’s colorful and witty prints contrast with Mary Yazhari’s atmospheric etchings and Louise Stebbing’s intricate linocuts.
We all use various techniques, challenge ourselves to produce new and interesting work, and we all have our own separate ‘worlds’ in which our works operate. However, there is the common understanding between us that art should be accessible, both in its meaning and its price. A viewpoint we share with the Affordable Art Fair.
3. WHAT IS YOUR TOP ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ART COLLECTORS LOOKING TO BUILD THEIR COLLECTION?
Don’t think about art as an investment. Buy art which you really like, which you will enjoy living with, which “speaks to you”, which makes you happy! Don’t buy art because you think it will gain value. If it does, it’s an added bonus. If you trust your own feeling, your collection will become consistent. It will resemble you.
4. DO YOU COLLECT ART YOURSELF, IF SO, WHAT’S YOUR MOST RECENT ADDITION TO YOUR COLLECTION AND WHICH ARTWORK COULDN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
I regularly buy art, not with the intent of building a collection, but because I enjoy being surrounded by it. The art I own is on display, not in storage. My most recent acquisition is a photograph by Timo Lieber, a German aerial photographer, who worked closely with scientists in a project called ‘THAW’, to describe the effects of global warming through stunningly beautiful aerial photographs of the Greenland ice cap. I also have recently acquired a portrait of David Bowie by David Studwell, which I hang in my study, and a work by Charlotte Gerrard, for one of my daughters. My next purchase will be one of Jennifer Watt’s sculptures, probably ‘The Walk’. It is a present for someone special.
The artwork I couldn’t live without is a very large painting by Tony Bevan, which takes a whole wall in my open plan kitchen/dining/living room. We bought it ten years ago, I see it every day, morning and evening, and I’m still in love with it!
5. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN INTERIORS STYLE, AND HOW DO YOU USE ART TO ENHANCE YOUR HOME?
My home mixes French antiques with very contemporary furniture. I have a lot of art on the walls, paintings, photography, prints, a few sculptures, and glass art. A piece of art or a series of artworks can set the whole tone for a room (I’m not just talking of colour here, but also the mood of the room).
There is art in my children’s bedrooms too, some paintings and prints I made for them, as well as prints or collages I purchased. I think that if you surround your children with artwork, they will grow into art lovers themselves! I also drag them to all the art exhibitions we’re lucky enough to have in London, which helps.
6. WHO’S YOUR DESIGN HERO AND WHY?
I really appreciate Italian design, and I would probably name Stark, a French designer, who mixes tradition with sleek contemporary lines, and always takes the ‘usability’ of his designs into account as one of my favourites, but I don’t really have one design hero.
7. WHICH ARTIST/ART INSTITUTION HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
I generally admire artists who have challenged themselves to explore different ideas or techniques throughout their career. I went to see Rauschenberg at the Tate Modern earlier this year, and found it profoundly amazing how he managed to constantly reinvent himself until the very last years of his life.
Then, personally, I think Central Saint Martins, where I discovered Printmaking, has had a strong impact on my life and work.
8. WHAT’S YOUR LIFE MOTTO?
Just do it. Take risks, if you want to achieve something, don’t wait for it to happen, make it happen!
Main image: ContemporArti’s stand at an Affordable Art Fair.
Top right image: Anne Gournay pictured on the ContemporArti stand at an Affordable Art Fair.
Top left image: ANNE GOURNAY, 50 years (with Gold) II, 2016, £195, ContemporArti.
Middle right image: JENNIFER WATT, Fly Free, 2017, £750, ContemporArti.
Bottom left image: DAVID STUDWELL, David Bowie, 2016, £300, ContemporArti.
Bottom right image: JANE DANIELL, Key Moments, 2017, £100, ContemporArti.