As someone with a PhD in art history who spent five years in Cairo, Egypt, specialising in medieval art, 33-year-old Adeline Jeudy knows a thing or two about archaic masterpieces. And yet the Brittany-born gallerist found fulfilment and success in contemporary art, with the 2007 opening of her Galerie LJ.
The modest, two-floored space concentrates heavily on what other people might call street art. “I don’t claim to be representing street artists,” says Jeudy, “but young contemporary artists. In some of their practices they do stuff in the street but, when they show in the gallery, it’s different.”
Whatever she calls artists such as Swoon, known for her wheat-paste cut-outs, or AJ Fosik, who makes wildly colourful and tribal 3D masks, they’re eons apart from the original masters of the French art world. “These contemporary artists create work that’s still considered ‘folk art’ to a lot of collectors who favour a more intellectual kind of art, which is definitely preferred here in France. I don’t think we’ve moved forward yet to the new generation,” Jeudy says. “I have to do more work to get accepted [in Paris]. But it’s a good challenge.”
Part of that sees Jeudy (who lives near the gallery in a two-roomed apartment with “a lot of artwork and books”) connecting with other creative outlets, specifically fashion. Galerie LJ has hosted presentations for Turkish designer Erdem and Indian designer Manish Arora, who after peeking at Fosik’s masks in Jeudy’s storage room felt instantly inspired to use them as a jumping-off point for a new collection – a classic case of art inspiring art.
“There is a lot of connection between fashion and art,” says Jeudy, who herself sticks to more approachable labels like Zara and H&M. “Fashion is an art. We are feeding each other. I really like that.” She also really likes Paris and feels lucky to be part of its burgeoning contemporary art scene.
“Paris is a small city. I like this human scale. I understand why people think it’s the most beautiful city. I like the history. It hasn’t been destroyed by the wars and you can see it in the buildings. Maybe I’m more sensitive to history because I studied it for so many years but, to me, it’s important.”
- Learning about young French designers at FR66 Furniture Store.
- Eating French food cooked by the Argentine chef at Le Baratin in the Chinese district.
- Donning 1920’s garb to participate in the annual Ride Béret Baguette city cycle event in the spring.
More from Urbis’ Paris travels here.