On the road with Olivier Debré

Monday, September 4th 2017

La Gazette Internationale, Céline Piettre

Olivier Debré (1920-1999), “Petit Lysne gris”, 1974, oil on canvas, 70 x 60 cm.
Provenance :Norwegian private collection.
Estimate: €10,000/15,000.
“Never mind the bottle, as long as it gets you drunk.”
For this sale dedicated to art and design, the Rouillac auction house proves Alfred de Musset wrong. Here, the packaging matters a great deal. Taking place in the nave of the Olivier Debré Contemporary Creation Centre (CCCOD), recently renamed after the French painter and then moved to a brand-new building in Tours, the sale is symbolically rooted in the history of art and the local institutions. A token of this history is an oil painting on canvas by the guiding spirit of the premises, Olivier Debré, who loved the Loire region as a sanctuary and a source of inspiration. The work here recalls the painter’s adoptive home, Norway, which he fell in love with during his many stays there, fascinated by the northern light. It is entitled “Petit Lysne gris”, after the name of the house of the Astrup family (founders of the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo), where the painter regularly went to charge up his batteries from 1971. We can just make out a thin strip of land swallowed up in a dusky sky. For Debré, abstraction was a way of transcribing the emotion he experienced before a landscape. Accompanying him on this journey are an anthropomorphic lamp by Georges Jouve (€10,000/15,000); the iconic Carlton bookcase (€10,000/15,000) created in 1981 by the Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, who would have turned 100 this year; a coffee table by Yves Klein, entirely covered in IKB blue (€18,000/22,000), and a photograph of one of Norwegian artist Per Barclay’s “oil rooms” (€5,000),taken in situ during the exhibition of his installation in the nave of the CCCOD. A link between the Loire and the rest of the world.
Céline Piettre
Tours, CCCOD, Rouillac auction house.
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