DAVID KAPP – Lunch – Oil on canvas, 1984 – Courtesy Christian Cheneau Gallery
The Paris Years
Christian Cheneau has a substantial background in both Europe and the United States as an art publisher, gallery director, and dealer. In the 1960s, after earning a business diploma in France, he opened a small gallery in Paris, which later evolved into the ABCD Gallery, specializing in exhibitions of original prints by Karel Appel, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Pierre Soulages, and the émigré artist Zao Wou-ki, among others. In addition to producing several editions of these artists, he was the publisher of the three-volume Appel Circus, which included 30 original large prints signed by the artist.
In 1980, the gallery moved to rue de Lisbonne and operated for the next eight years under the name of Galerie Christian Cheneau. Besides his publishing activities, the gallery organized thematic exhibitions along with five to six solo shows every year. The most famous ones being with Marina Abramovic, Joseph Beuys, Helmut Newton, Daniel Pommereulle, and Yayoi Kusama among the blue- chip artists. Christian Cheneau developed close relationships with the artists, and in collaboration with them produced catalogues and posters—many of them original lithographs.
DANIEL POMMEREULLE – Le Chaos et la Mère, 1984
HELMUT NEWTON – David Bowie from an album presented at Galerie Christian Cheneau, Paris in 1985 during Newton’s one man show
In 1984, Galerie Cheneau participated in an exchange of exhibitions sponsored by the Asahi Shimbun, one of five national newspapers in Japan. This was the first occasion for an important show in Paris of works by Yayoi Kusama, now recognized as an artist of major international stature. In the late 1980s, Cheneau began a collaboration with the American sculptor Mark di Suvero, who has created two editions of lithographs for the gallery and worked occasionally with Cheneau for more than 30 years.
Since the creation of that first gallery in Paris, Cheneau has traveled extensively all over Europe and the United States, visiting major museums and establishing relationships with other gallery owners.
He has participated in numerous international exhibitions, such as Art Basel, Art Cologne, the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC), and the International Chicago Art Exposition. From 1988 to 1996, Cheneau was a member of the Comité Professionel des Galeries d’Art, Paris (the French equivalent of the Art Dealers Association of America).
YAYOI KUSAMA – Photograph by Chris Felver
FRANCOIS MORELLET – Contresens – 2014
Cheneau in the United States: Introducing a New Gallery
in Santa Fe
In 1996, Cheneau left Paris and moved first to Seattle and then to Santa Fe, working as a private dealer and arranging for the shipping and presentation of works by Chagall, Delacroix, Giacometti, Léger, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, and other artists.
From 2005 to 2015, he was first associate and later artistic director of Zane Bennett Contemporary Art in Santa Fe. In that capacity, he had the opportunity to introduce a number of artists, such as di Suvero, David Kapp, Francois Morellet, Mimmo Paladino and Mary Shaffer, and brought to the gallery a personal inventory of paintings and prints.
As Zane Bennett’s director, he traveled regularly to the major international venues to participate in art fairs and stay in touch with his European base of artists. He also acquired for the gallery an inventory of secondary-market prints by such blue-chip artists as di Suvero, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Motherwell, Frank Stella, and Tom Wesselman, and regularly bought work at auction from Christies, Sotheby’s, and others.
OLIVIER MOSSET – Widow, 1984 – Former collection John Gibson New York
MARK DI SUVERO – Homage to the Seed. Sold to a private collection.
As director of his own gallery in Santa Fe, Cheneau will be representing di Suvero, James Havard, David Kapp, Paladino, Tony Soulie, Mary Shaffer, and Olivier Mosset. He maintains extensive relationships with dealers and collectors throughout the world, who regularly trade in important works.
Cheneau brings to his new venture an extensive and specialized collection of art books, catalogues raisonnés, and monographs of works by outstanding modern and contemporary artists. Though not in a position to authenticate individual works, he is connected to most of the specialists and experts qualified to issue certificates. And he brings to his endeavors nearly five decades of relationships with a roster of international collectors and gallerists.
MIMMO PALADINO – Porte d’Oriente, 2005
Christian Cheneau Gallery
Modern and Contemporary Art
129 San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
505-670-2222 – email@example.com
Tuesday to Saturday, 12 to 5 p.m.
- Activity – Christian Cheneau
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- Artist – James Havard
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- Artist – David Kapp
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- Artist – Mary Shaffer
- Artist – Tony Soulié