Acquired by the Swedish collector Staffan Ahrenberg in 2011, ‘Cahiers d’Art’ refers at once to a publishing house, a gallery, and to a revue founded in 1926 by Christian Zervos at 14 rue du Dragon in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Cahiers d’Art was entirely unique: a journal of contemporary art defined by its combination of striking typography and layout, abundant photography, and juxtaposition of ancient and modern art, where writers like Tristan Tzara, Paul Éluard, René Char, Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Beckett often replaced the usual art critics.
Ahrenberg, the Publisher of Cahiers d’Art, is joined by his key advisors, Sam Keller, Director of the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland and Chairman of Art Basel, Hans Ulrich Obrist, art critic and Co-Director of the Serpentine Gallery in London, and Isabela Mora. Ahrenberg, Keller, and Obrist are Co-Editors of Issue no. 1, to be released on October 18, 2012. This is the first issue of the Cahiers d’Art revue to be published since 1960 and will be available for the first time in both English and French versions.
Faithful to the spirit of the original revue, the first issue contains an extensive article of 70 pages dedicated to a defining artist, Ellsworth Kelly; texts from renowned architects, art historians and critics; as well as portfolios devoted to Cyprien Gaillard, Sarah Morris, and Adrián Villar Rojas.
Contents of the first 2012 issue:
> Ellsworth Kelly by Yve-Alain Bois, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Ann Hindry, Richard F. Townsend and the artist himself
> An homage to Oscar Niemeyer by Tadao Ando
> ‘Architecture and the Museum: a Troubled Relationship’, by Jean-Louis Cohen
> Cyprien Gaillard, photographs with a text by Jan Tumlir
> Sarah Morris, recent paintings and works on paper
> Adrián Villar Rojas, recent drawings
> ‘Conversation with Picasso’ by Christian Zervos
In parallel to the publication of the revue, Cahiers d’Art will present an exhibition from October 18, 2012 to January 30, 2013 including paintings by Ellsworth Kelly from the 1950’s together with a selection of the artist’s personal collection of prehistoric artifacts, at 14 rue du Dragon, as well as an exhibition of his recent lithographs at Cahiers d’Art’s new editions gallery, at 15 rue du Dragon. New books from Cahiers d’Art on modern and contemporary masters will follow soon.
Historique des Cahiers d’art
HistorY OF Cahiers d’art
The early days of Cahiers d’Art coincided with the advent of the Bauhaus, Le Corbusier, of Klee and Kandinsky, and with Zervos’ exploration of primitive art and Cycladic archaeology. From 1930 until the outbreak of World War II, the revue concentrated on the work of Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Léger, Ernst, Arp, Calder and Giacometti, among others. By 1932, Cahiers d’Art had published the first volume of the Picasso Catalogue, a project that would become a life’s work, prepared by Zervos together with Picasso.
Artist collaborations with Cahiers d’Art often yielded original artwork. Joan Miró’s 1934 pochoirs and his Aidez L’Espagne, produced in 1937, and Marcel Duchamps’s Fluttering Heart of 1936, perhaps the world’s first example of kinetic art, are some of the most iconic images ever produced by these artists. Christian and Yvonne Zervos organized between two and five exhibitions per year between 1932 and 1970 at the Cahiers d’Art gallery space, including the work of Calder, González, Tanguy, Laurens and Brauner.
By 1960, Zervos had published 97 issues of the Cahiers d’Art revue and more than 50 books, including monographs on El Greco, Matisse, Man Ray, and African and Mesopotamian Art. Zervos’s work on the Picasso Catalogue continued from 1932 until his death in Paris in 1970. These 33 volumes have since become the definitive reference for Picasso’s work.
In 2011, as Staffan Ahrenberg was accompanying his son to a friend’s house on rue du Dragon, he came upon Cahiers d’Art, an important reference in his experience as a collector. He asked if by any chance the publishing house might be for sale. ‘Perhaps,’ was the answer. ‘Please come back tomorrow.’
Today, Ahrenberg and his team have brought Cahiers d’Art back to life.