Cultured Magazine

Fall 2014

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86 CULTURED Béatrice Saint-Laurent captures both sides of Paris with Galerie BSL Rive Gauche. BY JANELLE ZARA CROSSING THE SEINE alerie BSL, Béatrice Saint-Laurent's contemporary design destination in Paris' chic Haut-Marais district, may be only four years old, but has already established nothing short of a global presence. Where you'll find Saint-Laurent and works by the artists she represents—including Taher Chemirik, Noé Duchaufour- Lawrance, Nacho Carbonell and Faye Toogood— depends on the season: New York in spring for Collective Design Fair; Switzerland in summer for Design Miami/ Basel; London in fall for PAD; and Miami in winter for Design Miami's namesake iteration. With a roving generation of collectors fixed to the design fair moveable feast, it may come as a surprise that Saint-Laurent chose to open her second gallery just across the Seine. With the success the gallery has experienced in much farther-flung locales—including partnerships with Maison Gerard in Manhattan and a growing following in the Middle East—it seems counterintuitive to create a brick-and-mortar shop not far from where one already exists. "Our market is worldwide," explains Saint-Laurent. But at the end of the day, "Paris is Paris." And although it's relatively small on the scale of global cultural capitals, Paris is divided into two worlds. Rive Droite (the Right Bank), where the gallery was founded, is a hotbed of contemporary chic, home to Galerie Perrotin, Carpenters Workshop, Colette and Commes des Garçons. Rive Gauche (the Left Bank), where the new location opened in September, is decidedly more classical, as it's the former haunt of Paris' creative class that once counted Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Hemingway and Rimbaud as residents. "The Left Bank is more related to this collective memory of French culture," explains Saint-Laurent. On Rue Bonaparte (incidentally where Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir once lived), the new gallery joins the ranks of midcentury vintage powerhouse dealers Philippe Jousse, Jacques Lacoste and Galerie Kreo, making the area a one-stop destination for Parisian architects and interior designers. Saint-Laurent's vision is for the space to serve a complementary function to the original, introducing BSL's design ethos to a different set of eyes while retaining its identity as a French gallery. "They all have a dreamy quality to them," Saint-Laurent says of her designers' work. "There are so many objets now, the role of the gallery is to present things that you cannot find anywhere else—amazing things, astonishing things." While the Marais location will continue its thematic exhibitions and solo shows (the coming months are slated for Carol Egan and Ayala Serfaty), Galerie BSL Rive Gauche will have all of Saint-Laurent's artists on view all the time. "It's the kind of place you can see day and night," says Saint-Laurent. "The windows will always be lit, and cars will never be allowed to park there," leaving nothing to disrupt the street's quintessentially Parisian charm. G Nacho Carbonell's Time is a Treasure, 2013 (left) and Taher Chemirik's Obsidian Dream, 2014, are featured in the inaugural show at Galerie BSL Rive Gauche.

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