Invention and ingenuity are the hallmark of Didier and Clémence Krzentowski’s Galerie Kreo, whose avant-garde limited editions have long blurred the line between design and art. This time what’s most original is the format of the exhibition devoted to the collections of Marcel Brient. At home, the Krzentowkis are surrounded by a profusion of contemporary art, vintage lighting and Kreo’s fast-forward designs. Their friend, collector and client Brient, however, lives with only a Sam Francis engraving and photo albums of his acquisitions, all of which are kept in storage: contemporary art, design works and rare manuscripts of such renowned poets as Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine.

“It’s all here in my head,” Brient insists, citing an imaginative “marriage” of “a coat rack by designer Naoto Fukasawa with my portrait by Felix Gonzales-Torres, made of 85 kilos of bonbons.” The hefty bonbon pyramid “portrait” didn’t fit into the Kreo show, but similar poetic pairings of art and design works from Brient’s storeroom demonstrate the exhibition’s title, Ensemble: Konstantin Gric’s Podify table is mated with the late Luxembourg artist Michel Majerus’s graphic painting Burned Out; Wieki Somers’s Bathboat bathtub is matched with Carsten Höller’s hairless Orang-Outang, and Marc Newson’s Carbon ladder with Escalade, by young American artist Nate Lowman.

Until Nov 24. 31 rue Dauphine, 6th. www.galeriekreo.com

Originally published in the November 2012 issue of France Today

 

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