Mennour now collaborates with the Estate of Huguette Caland
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Mennour now collaborates with the Estate of Huguette Caland
Huguette Caland wearing her kaftan she designed for Pierre Cardin. Courtesy Estate Huguette Caland and Mennour, Paris. © Huguette Caland.

BASEL.- Mennour announced an unprecedented collaboration with the Estate of artist Huguette Caland (1931- 2019).

On the occasion of Art Basel, Mennour reveals historic works by this pioneering artist, notably for her poetic and political exploration of the female body and desire. In November 2024, the gallery will be devoting a new exhibition and publication to the particularly productive years Huguette Caland spent in Paris between 1970 and 1987.
A painter, draughtswoman, engraver and sculptor, Huguette Caland was born in Lebanon into a cosmopolitan family. Educated at the American University of Beirut in the 60’s, with her friend the artist, gallery owner and art critic Helen Khal (1923- 2009), she played an active part in the Lebanese scene, along with Etel Adnan, Simone Fattal and Shafic Abboud.

In 1970, while her work was being shown at the 36th Venice Biennale and in several exhibitions in the United States, Japan and Italy, Caland left Lebanon to devote herself fully to her career in Paris. Over the course of more than a decade, marked by a fruitful collaboration with the fashion designer Pierre Cardin, her work evolved rapidly, through the masterly series of ‘Bribes de corps’, erotic paintings on the verge of abstraction and brilliant chromaticism. In the 1980s, Huguette Caland developed her work with line and colour through new series such as ‘Limousin’ and ‘Granite’, while at the same time taking an interest in sculpture, practised by her husband, the Romanian artist George Apostu (1934-1986). When he died, she moved to Venice, California, where her studio had become a work in itself, and one of the focal points of the West Coast’s artistic effervescence. There she produced numerous portraits, including those of her friend the painter Ed Moses (1926-2018), as well as drawings, assemblages and sculptures, from the ‘Homage to Pubic Hair’ series to the ‘Silent Letters’ series, in which she oscillated between figuration and abstraction.
Huguette Caland’s work is now being rediscovered by leading collectors and international institutions.

She has recently been the subject of retrospectives at the Tate St Ives (2019), the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2021), the Drawing Center, New York (2021) and the Wiels Museum, Brussels (2021). The Institute of Contemporary Arts, Miami currently devotes an exhibition to her (‘Huguette Caland: Outside the Line’, 3 May - 6 October 2024). Her work is also exhibited at the 60th Venice Biennale and in the ‘Présences arabes’ exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris (5 April-25 August 2024).

In 2025, a major museum retrospective will be dedicated to her work.
Her paintings, drawings and dresses are already in the world’s leading collections: Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate Modern (London), Barjeel Art Foundation (Sharjah), Sharjah Art Foundation, Fondation Saradar (Beirut), Lazaar Foundation (Tunis), RAK Art Foundation (Riffa, Bahrain), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), LACMA (Los Angeles), Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), San Diego Museum of Art, Toledo Museum (Ohio).

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