Installation shot of "French Delights" featuring Jean-Michel Othoniel's Noeud Infini (2022).
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

Perrotin Gallery Transforms Bodrum Loft into an Art Wonderland This Summer

Istanbul-based curator Selcan Atilgan has organized a show of 18 artworks from the gallery across the luxury resort in Turkey

Bodrum Loft. Photo: Courtesy of Bodrum Loft; © Afken Group

With the art crowd sailing off to holiday locales during the height of the summer, art finds its way across these laid-back destinations as well. This season, art looks best displayed in sun-kissed breezy outdoor spaces, roofed by the nature’s lush blossoms and lit by the sharp August sun. Unsurprisingly, the Mediterranean leads this year’s seasonal exhibitions with its caressing climate and turquoise-laden vistas. From Greek islands on the Aegean Sea, like Hydra or Chios, to the rivieras in France and Italy, the region bursts not only with linen-clad Aperol Spritz-sipping visitors but also art to accompany the idyllic afternoons.

Take Perrotin gallery’s ongoing exhibition, “French Delights,” at Bodrum Loft, located in a quaint cove in Turkish riviera’s beloved town. Tucked away from Bodrum’s iconic white houses that dot the hilly peninsula, the relatively new resort hosts twelve artists from the Parisian powerhouse’s roster. Benefitting from the property’s sprawling acreage, the eighteen artworks on display are nestled within the hilly paths, inside a sea-viewed restaurant, making a statement on the terraces, or perched by the tranquil pool.

Installation shot of "French Delights" featuring Wim Delvoye's Nautilus (2013). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

“The juxtaposition of man-made art against the backdrop of the natural world creates a thought-provoking contrast that enhances the appreciation of both,” says the show’s curator Selcan Atilgan. The founder of Istanbul-based Artsa Consultancy thinks blending art into a vacation experience “adds a layer of serendipity, discovery, and surprise to the overall show, creating a unique atmosphere that engages visitors on multiple levels compared to an exhibition in a regular gallery space.” What Atilgan describes as the “unpredictability of stumbling upon sculptures,” indeed orchestrates singular experiences for each wanderer between a chilling dip, afternoon siesta, or a morning jog. This format, she notes, “transforms the exhibition from a passive viewing experience into an interactive adventure.” Injecting art effortlessly to a paced-down rhythm of life, however, may be a challenge. To overcome the risk of interrupting the summer’s dolce far niente, Atilgan focused her attention to juxtaposing what she calls “an interplay between land and sea, aquatic and terrestrial,” and selected works that “capture the hues of the ocean, incorporate maritime elements have been selected to resonate with the surrounding beauty.”

Installation shot of "French Delights" featuring Elmgreen & Dragset's Adaptation, Fig. 16 (Black Mirror) (2023). Photo: Courtesy of the artists and Perrotin

Installation shot of "French Delights" featuring Klara Kristalova's What holds me back, carries me further (2017). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

Serendipity is perhaps most vividly captured in the Parisian artist Jean-Michel Othoniel’s stainless entangled steel beads sculpture, Noeud Infini (2022). Each reflecting the Aegean Sea’s yacht-dotted placidness with a warped roundedness, tens of metallic-colored conjoined globes contain a static energy, relaxed akin to the sun’s late setting in long summer afternoons. Reflection—albeit for the self—is also an invitation in Elmgreen & Dragset’s Adaptation, Fig. 16 (Black Mirror) (2023), three vertically-aligned circular mirror-polished stainless steel surfaces. By positioning the sculpture at a roundabout for the resort’s busy buggies, the curator elevates the sculpture’s resemblance to a traffic sign. More than a caution to stop, however, the Berlin-based duo’s work operates like a moment of contemplation, a self-reflection against the sharp-hitting sun.

Installation shot of "French Delights" featuring Xavier Veilhan's Manfredi (2019). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

“The rugged coastline, sandy beaches, and rocky formations have inspired us while making the choice of artworks that incorporate earthy textures like the two works from Ivan Argote’s ‘Excerpts’ series,” says Atilgan about her collaboration with the surrounding nature. Among the Paris-based Colombian artist’s duo of sculptures, All words fall by their own weight… and no site is innocent (2016) resembles a cutout from a building facade or a commercial billboard, painted with the titular quote. The mixed-media sculpture, which contains concrete, patinated copper leaf, wood, and galvanized and stainless steel introduces an industrial poetry into the green and blue-rich environment, as well as some mystery with the ambiguity about its origin. Hidden on a tucked in tiny promenade, the sculpture sits steps away from Klara Kristalova’s What holds me back, carries me further (2017), perhaps the show’s most nature-embracing work. The 76-inch bronze sculpture shows a woman lifted by branches that sprout from both of her legs. Elevated and facing the wind, the figure seems to be preparing to take yet another step while the thick branches assure her for next move. “Sculptures and mixed-media pieces with tactile surfaces reminiscent of sand, stone, or natural erosion evoked a tactile connection to the surrounding environment,” the curator adds.

Installation shot of "French Delights" featuring Daniel Arsham's Bronze Eroded Delorean 1:2 (2022). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

Installation shot of "French Delights" featuring Gregor Hildebrandt's Pierre (2022). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

The presentation which also includes works by Daniel Arsham, Wim Delvoye, Jean-Marie Appriou, Laurent Grasso, Gregor Hildebrandt, Takashi Murakami, Paola Pivi and Xavier Veilhan is another sign for the strengthening bonds between art and hospitality worlds. Gone is the old days’ generic lobby art as today hotels pay more attention to thoughtfully collecting and organizing art as part of their hospitality experience. “Artworks provide visual stimulation, provoke thought and conversation, and create a sense of ambiance that resonates with the guests, making their stay more memorable and engaging,” says Atilgan. In a beach town that has been home and inspiration to many artists and thinkers then and now, Bodrum particularly resonates with this sentiment.

“French Delights” will remain on view until September 10, 2023.

Cover: Installation shot of "French Delights" featuring Jean-Michel Othoniel's Noeud Infini (2022).
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin


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