Art meets jewellery with ‘Motley Curators’, where we speak to luminaries about the Motley that’s caught their eye, their favourite art and more.
Vincent Honoré is a curator and writer. Vincent has curated at Palais De Tokyo in Paris, as well the Tate in London, creating exhibitions featuring artists like Pierre Huyghe and Louise Bourgeoise. In 2011, he co-founded ‘Drawing Room Confessions’, a series of books dedicated to one artist per issue, based on conversations and words only. Here, he tells us how the best exhibits are always the ones to come and how he’d love a Matisse painting (but nothing from the 20s).
What’s your favourite Motley?
My absolute favourite is the gold curator necklace.
What do you love most about it?
This necklace is a classic: a refined piece of minimalist design that makes a difference in every occasion, it can be worn casually or for high profile functions, with any kind of style. And it can be customized and curated with charms to personalize it and make it even more unique.
What piece of art / art movement does this remind you of?
Minimalism (the strong presence of Carl Andre came to mind first), or rather, a chic minimalism (which doesn’t really qualify as an art movement), developed for instance in some of the exquisite installations by Leonor Antunes. Something classy, slightly kinky.
What art movement did you love discovering the most?
More than art movements as such, I love digging into an artist’s career to discover less known aspects of their practice, from Louise Bourgeois, when I worked on her retrospective at the Tate Modern, or Miriam Cahn, to emerging artists such as Io Burgard, Flora Moscovici or Dominique White.
Which artist would you most like to have dinner with?
I would have loved to have had dinner with Felix Gonzales Torres: his kaleidoscopic personality as a migrant, educator, activist, and one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century fascinates me. He had a grace to see in the mundane objects the catalysis for personal and universally complex narratives about love, death, memory, the author’s status, etc. His work can be perceived as melancholic but I can also see a good sense of humour. As it is sadly too late to dine with him, I would certainly not mind having a date with Sarah Lucas. I am a great admirer of Sarah and her work, daring, feminist, sexual. Well, the list could go on, really.
If you could own any object from any time, past present or future, what would it be?
What could be very useful these days is a new computer. Mine, which I got from artist Paul Maheke, is starting to age dramatically. Alternatively, I could do with a painting by Matisse, the Pansies on a table from 1903 or Nu rose assis from 1935-36, a moment when he reconsiders his work to produce the Barnes’ panels. Nothing from the 20s or early 30s though, please.
What do you love most about being a curator?
Being uncertain all the time, doubting and working from my ignorance rather than from my knowledge. I always feel a new research and exhibition is a new start, and that allows me to learn, to nourish myself and to grow.
What has been your favourite exhibition to curate?
My favourite exhibition to curate is always the one to come, the one I am preparing from the selection of works, the editing of the catalogue, the design of the scenography and all associated elements that come with exhibition making. Right now, I’m fine tuning the list of works to be included in the autumn 2021 exhibition in the institution where I work. It will present a survey of how the human figure has been addressed from the 70s to nowadays by contemporary artists. Works are selected from the collection of Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, who has been so generous to give me access to her collection. I will present works by Cindy Sherman, Sarah Lucas, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Zoe Leonard, Ed Atkins, amongst others. I will of course wear my Motley necklace at the opening reception.
What inspired your founding of Drawing Room Confessions?
Most of the interviews with artists were sort of pre-scripted, not allowing any element of improvisation. More often than not, the artist speaks in front of a mirror. Manuela Ribadeneira (the other founder of the publishing house) and myself wanted to change the game, and stage conversations between an artist and a creator (scientist, designer, cook, etc) from another field, so they could learn from each other. The books are very playful, not taking themselves too seriously, yet still address serious matters.