All’s well…

We’re 30! This year, the gallery is 30 years old.

And all’s well.

We are one of France’s leading galleries and are quite a substantial player in the global market.

Before following in my father’s footsteps at the gallery, I successfully oversaw the setting-up of Christie’s French auction house.

I formerly sat on the boards of FIAC and TEFAF and am now a member of the selection committee for Art Basel.

I sometimes find myself taking a stand to defend what I believe to be the interests of my profession.

I have broadened Applicat’s marketing strategy to include horses. I may not have actually done it myself, but I am a French Dressage Champion by proxy, and my mare Fiadora is poised to take part in the World Dressage Championships.

Last but not least, we are in the process of mounting our most ambitious exhibition yet, which is scheduled to open in October.

All’s well!

But in doing all this, what have I really achieved over the last 30 years?

I fear I may have reached the point of no return on my path from Ionesco to Houellebecq, and that bothers me.

What has become of my roots? There is probably still some life in them, but I cannot be sure.

Yet I have acquired at least one conviction, from rubbing shoulders with the genuine talent of great artists. There can be no oeuvre without a masterpiece, no trace without posterity.

I myself do not possess artistic talent, but I am still driven by the fire that glows beneath the ash-strewn hearth of redundancies and endless beginnings again. A light has touched my soul and it has flared up again, offering me a glimpse of the next 30 years and allowing me to view them resolutely.

Franck Prazan


To all those intoxicated by the machine and the city, frenzied by rhythm or masturbated by reality, YVES offers a highly rewarding cure of asthenic silence. These strictly monochrome propositions are situated way beyond the unfurlings of alternate worlds that are already so faintly perceptible to our common sense of what is reasonable, probably alongside what is conventionally known as “the art of painting”, in any case on the level of the purest and most essential emotional resonances: each of them marks out a visual field – a coloured space uncluttered by any graphic transcription and therefore eluding duration, devoted to the uniform expression of a certain tone. Over and above the “public” public, that convenient snare, old hands used to Informal Art will agree on the definition of a “nothing”, the senseless attempt to elevate to the power of + ∞ the tragic (and now classic) venture of Malevich’s square. But here the point is precisely that there is neither black square nor white ground, and that is the core of the problem. The aggressiveness of these propositions in various colours, projecting from the walls, is merely apparent. Here, the creator requires of the viewer the intense, fundamental minute of truth without which no poetry could ever be communicated. His presentations are strictly objective. He has avoided even the tiniest pretext incorporation of the coloured spaces into the architecture might have offered. He cannot be suspected of any attempt at mural decoration. The eye of the reader, terribly contaminated as it is by the external object, only recently freed from the tyranny of representation, will seek in vain the unstable, elementary vibration – the sign by which life, the essence and end of all creation, is usually recognized… As if life were nothing but movement. The universal must ultimately be grasped without the aid of gesture or its written record, so I now ask, Where, then, at what level of discernibility, is the locus of spirituality in art? Has dialectical omniscience turned us into thinking mechanisms, incapable of sincere total accommodation? In the presence of these phenomena of pure contemplation, you will receive the answer from the few surviving men of good will.

Pierre Restany, for Colette Allendy, Paris 1956, text for the invitation to the exhibition “Yves, propositions monochromes”, translation Victoria Selwyn for Applicat-Prazan

Note 1: There is no opposition between Informal and Immaterial, so long as they are linked by the connecting thread of talent. (FP)

Note 2: From Wols and Fautrier to Klein and Martin Barré, from Tapié to Restany, I come down on one side, then the other, back and forth, again and again, unceasingly! (FP)

The Shadow for the Prey

I have just re-read “The Plague” by Albert Camus. Only a few meters’ from here Notre-Dame still lies… prostrate… I am reading a lot….Marvels and filth! And like everybody, for want of anything better, I endeavour to transmute this time of constraint into a beneficial moment.

I am an Art Dealer in Paintings. A passer on. I am neither an actor, nor in any case a protagonist. I see myself as one who reveals the evidence of links between civilizations. Not great, but not that bad!

However, to prevail, civilization must live on. And now, what about us?  When certainty is no longer certain? This is without doubt the question which many of my colleagues are at present asking themselves, without expressly formulating it as such.

When the poorest of the homeless, those we tended not to see, not because they were further South but only further away, roam just below our windows.  When even the stronger or those we believed such, die. When each day, a growing portion of us hide in confinement. When masks and gels have become objects of our most coveted desires. When in darkness, the blackness of souls glow, and in the light, suddenly, like a blinding evidence, the weight of the common good surges, such as – amongst others – that manifested by those who ill. What remains of our trade or what of it will prevail tomorrow?

Some are perturbed, others prostrated. Many feel lost….

There will be an « after », as there have been “befores” …

Before revolutions, before wars – as in the last World War, that from which we (I, myself) have fundamentally emerged. Before pandemics, even when they did not yet carry this name.

However, we shall have to focus, leave the shadow for the prey!

And delve back into reading the Fables of La Fontaine!

Franck Prazan

PS: To the 10,266 readers of this blog, to their family, relatives and friends, and to the rest of us all (including the 102,300 friends of the gallery on Instagram and 107,946 on Facebook!): “Be well!”

Notre Notre-Dame !

A roof of opalescent grey/white glass

A pyramidal spire sheathed in the same glass that soars up to 96 m

A framework in stainless steel, titanium or composite material