Pont-l’Evêque: Andy Warhol, M. Chat… Bring modern art into your home with Artotèque!

Art librarian Kevin Mollet with communications officer Xavier Le Guévellou in the area dedicated to Dominican women. ©Camille RUFFRAY / The Pays d’Auge

Live for a few weeks with a masterpiece: here it is the original concept of an art library ! Pont-l’Evêque (Calvados) art library in the Dominicans, between an art gallery and a library modern art for alletc… and everyone else!

The birth of the art library concept

It is the borrowing of works 20 were borne century Berlin, in Germany. “Due to a lack of space, artist Arthur Segal decided to meet with a group of artists and lend their work and promote themselves,” recalls art library director Kevin Mollet. The idea of ​​an art library came to France in the 1960s with André Malraux and the Maisons de la Culture, before being relaunched in the 1980s by Jacques Lang, “leaving the choice of opening one to local authorities”.

Pont-l’Evêque was founded in 2002, originally as a branch of the Caen branch, the first in France and very well known. “The city quickly wanted to free itself up to develop its own art library,” says Kevin Mollet. With the same leitmotif: to spread modern art throughout the territory and introducing new artists and emerging techniques, at affordable prices.

Borrow a job for a few weeks

Artotek offers to individuals, schools, communities and even companiesborrow a job a few weeks time. “It’s based on a subscription system,” says Kevin Mollet, citing the offer for individuals: for €56 a year, you can borrow two works every two months.

“What the public appreciates above all is to change its decor thanks to regularly updated works, they want to shake up their habitats, shake their habits and discover new artists,” enumerates the cultural intermediary.

The team between twenty private borrowers, ten companies and eight schools, as well as turnkey exhibitions such as the Eden Park hotel or Le Lion d’Or in Pont-l’Evêque up to 300 business transactions per year. “The works travel, some went to a hospital in Havre or even to an architecture firm in Paris,” Kévin Mollet says as an example.

Pont-l'Evêque Dominicans art library
There are more than 500 works in the art library fund! ©Camille RUFFRAY / The Pays d’Auge

Spoiled to choose from over 500 works!

Engravings, lithographs, serigraphs, photographs… spoiled for choice among rental companies in a room dedicated to the Dominican art library. More than 500 works, from local artists to international artists. Works come from the City’s collection, donations, or artists’ one-year deposits. “Thanks to the support of the municipality, the policy of acquiring original works, which allowed to enrich the collection, was implemented. This year, 18 artists, i.e. 36 works, joined the city’s fund,” says Kevin Mollet.

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Monsieur Chat, Picasso, Charlélie Couture, Camille Hilaire, Alain Buhot, Fabien Verschaere, Felix Labisse, Thibault Laget-Roux, Jérôme Mesnager, Tony Soulier and many others. accessible works. Recently, pop art fans can also pick up two Andy Warhol serigraphs. Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon. Heritage lovers can also be charmed by one of the works from the series Artist’s commemorative panties Coco Texedre. Or the animated street art works of Bilel Allem, who created a collaborative mural in a Dominican garden a few months ago. “This is a living fund, the idea is not to let the works lie, but to borrow them. It’s the borrowers who keep the art library alive,” smiles Kevin Mollet.

Pont-l'Eveque art library
This time, the couple went for the Obey piece, which found its place in the living room for several weeks. © DR

Olivia and Anthony, a couple of borrowers: “We enjoy art on a daily basis”

Olivier Malheiro and Anthony Cadeau settled in the Pays d’Auge in Bonnebosq a year ago. Having discovered the principle of the art library with Caen, the couple took this step by pushing the door of the Dominicans. “It also helps support a small structure,” Olivia said.
Good reasons to borrow
He is a website creator and web editor, and he is a gardener. Every two months, the duo head to the art library to select two works that will take over their residence for a few weeks. Like a library, we look, we touch, we direct ourselves to the right path. One finds its place in the living room, the other in the corridor. “I like it! It allows you to change your decor very regularly and enjoy art on a daily basis,” replies Olivia, an art history graduate and former employee of the cultural sector. If they fell in love with the works of well-known artists like the street artist Obey, they were also drawn to local artists. “We discover artists at the same time,” he enthuses, adding that the pair even consider taking turns acquiring works. This sharing with art is also a source of exchange: “when we invite friends, we definitely talk about works and share art.” This is indeed the DNA of artotek: to spread contemporary art beyond the walls of cultural institutions to everyone.

By appointment at the Artothèque, Les Dominicaines, contact: [email protected] Phone. 02 31 64 89 33. Prices: €56/year for individuals (2 jobs/2 months); schools €62/year (5 jobs, 2 months); communities and businesses €133/year (6 jobs/2 months), casual loan €5/loan (2 jobs for 1 week).

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