artnet Asks: Haute Design Mega-Dealer Patrick Seguin
The visionary design gallerist is branching out from Paris to London's Mayfair.
Galerie Patrick Seguin, the renowned gallery specializing in 20th century French design, is expanding beyond its Parisian flagship. Launching a new London space in the heart of Mayfair this fall, the gallery will soon be rubbing shoulders with blue-chip art galleries like Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, and Victoria Miro, as well as the three top auction houses, Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Philips.
Located at 45-47 Brook Street, right next to the iconic hotel Claridge’s, the 65-square-meter gallery will showcase a program combining architecture, design, and contemporary art exhibitions.
artnet News talked the visionary design dealer behind it, Patrick Seguin, ahead of its London debut, which will take place on October 11, during the ever-bustling Frieze week, with a show devoted to the seminal architect and designer Jean Prouvé.
After 25 years holding court in Paris, why open a gallery in London now?
London has an extremely dynamic art scene with a large collector base. Artprice recognized that the British art market represents 75 percent of the European market.
The city boasts numerous assets, and it is a strategic location, since many of our collectors are either from London or regularly spend time there. Opening a gallery in this city will allow us to have a wider range of opportunities.
Mayfair is a hot spot for blue chip art galleries. Modern and contemporary design showrooms, however, are usually in Clerkenwell, while antiquaries tend to be located in Chelsea and Pimlico. Does your location signal a specific interest in being aligned with the fine art circuit?
In our gallery, we started showing furniture pieces alongside contemporary art from very early on. We are very keen on this interdisciplinary collaboration: there is a real synergy between contemporary art and mid-century design, and we have organized exhibitions to show the dialogue between these two worlds since the early 1990s. For instance, in 1995, we organized the exhibition “Pièces-Meublées,” which was curated by Bob Nickas.
We have also collaborated with top contemporary art galleries such Sonnabend Gallery in New York, where we organized a Jean Prouvé show in 2003, and Gagosian Gallery in LA, where we organized the exhibition “Prouvé-Perriand” in 2004. Since then, we’ve done three collaborations with Sonnabend and eight with Gagosian Gallery, including the “Calder/Prouvé” exhibition in Paris in 2013 and the more recent “Chamberlain/Prouvé” show in New York in February this year.
Design—both modern and contemporary—is being increasingly embraced and celebrated by the art world and art collectors. Why do you think that is?
One may say there has been a worldwide recognition of mid-20th century design: Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Jean Royère managed to create a unique vocabulary which appeals to contemporary art collectors. In fact, since the first day, a large percentage of my collectors have been contemporary art collectors also.
What specific position are you hoping to occupy within the London art and design scene?
We certainly hope that our new London space will be a go-to destination in the city, yet we are happy to be joining what is already an established gallery scene in Mayfair. We have a history of collaborating with other galleries, particularly combining design and contemporary art, as I just mentioned, so we are really looking forward to new scopes.
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