When we think of French art, we necessarily conjure images in our minds of bonneted women perambulating through spring landscapes; of waterlilies prettily bobbing on the water; and of absinthe drinkers, propping up the bar, ragged but still picturesque. These images are beautiful, alive, candid and vivid; they come courtesy of the great Renoir, the astonishing Degas’, of Manet and of Monet; and they also hail largely from the 19th-century.
Which is why it is with some delight that we learnt of the Griffin Gallery’s ‘Selective Memories’, a new exhibition that celebrates the next generation’s stars in the contemporary French art world. Students from l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, are set to come to the Notting Hill gallery as part of a cultural exchange, and ‘to explore the role of materials within contemporary art practice’.
As with all self-described art, it may have the ring of over-earnest arty-speak, but don’t be put off. It is a show worth seeing, for the sheer enthusiasm of the students alone.
March 19 – April 17; griffingallery.co.uk