I was very involved in the world of economics, finance and communication until I was 42 years old, but I always had a passion for art: literature, music, and especially painting. Very early I was conscious of the importance of its enigma in the alpine landscapes of my vacations. In 1990, I left everything behind and opened a gallery three years later. In this book, I talk about my profession, my choices, my relationships with artists and the management of the gallery. Painting remains, as ever, the essential thing which enriches our lives, which brings fulfillment and the ability to resist the deviations of an image-based society.
Les Echos du jeudi 3 juillet 2014, Industrie & Services
Galerie Margaron : a model of discretion and efficiency since twenty years.
The gallery located in the Parisian Marais in a network of artists and faithful collectors is celebrating its 20th birthday. It prefers museums to art fairs.
It rarely participates in art fairs or society events. Far from the “people” set, Alain Margaron works in an old fashioned way. He invests in his stable of the fifteen or so artists he supports by buying their work instead of consigning it. “That gives me access to the best pieces” he explains. The gallerist doesn’t look for the one-time good shots, but wagers on long term relationships. “I own several thousand paintings, I pay off my artists at regular intervals to ensure them a regular income,” he says.
His strategy is to rely on museums and art centers rather than investing in expensive booths in art fairs for the promotion of his artists. The artist Fred Deux, who he is exhibiting now in the gallery in the Marais in Paris has been shown in the Pompidou Center and in museums in Lyon, Issoudun, and in Germany and Switzerland… The gallerist also publishes reference works printed in several thousand copies at his own expense for his artists.
For Alain Margaron, a dealer for more than twenty years, “the major art fairs have become arenas for speculators. One must pay a great deal to present the best paintings, those which would sell well in any case. I prefer to spend this money on acquiring paintings.”
Club for regulars
In his point of view, art fairs encourage artists to produce intensively. “So they are especially interested in galleries networking with others around the world in order to rapidly raise the quotation of young artists,” he explains. Instead he has customers that remain faithful to his stable of artists. “It’s almost like a club of regulars. 80% of my customers have bought work of several of my artists. There is never a day when we don’t sell a painting, he says proudly, while many of his competitors complain about having nobody in their shops. In 2013, this former financial journalist and banker, who radically changed his life at forty-two has seen his sales (about 1.5 million euros) grow by 50%. But his prices remain reasonable in comparison with the deliria of the contemporary art scene: from 2,000 to 150,000 euros. He doesn’t play on the same game board. “In any case, it’s not the price that makes the artist,’ remarks Alain Margaron.
The Alain Margaron Gallery celebrated its twentieth year of existence in September of 2013. At that time it presented an exhibition “”Les Singuliers”) which brought together thirteen artists known for the exceptional character of their work and their independence vis-à-vis the art world: Fred Deux, Michel Macréau, Dado, René Laubiès, Anselm Boix-Vives, Aurel Cojan, Clara Fierfort, Karl Godeg, Robert Groborne, InSook Hong, Lunven, Cecil Reims, and Bernard Réquichot.
A PLACE TO SEE by BERNARD NOEL
You go through the door and you enter a peephole. You won’t realize it for a long time. You came the first time because you were attracted by a name. You enter with that name in your head, and one painting after another you are completely pleased or displeased to compare with memories. In any case you appreciate the selection so you leave your name and address. You say thanks and good-bye. You take with you the space, a way of occupying its volume, and the latter unconsciously follows you like a shadow – a strange bright shadow. You receive an invitation a month later. You look at it with the curiosity that goes from the name of the artist to the address, and since you recognize the latter, the bright shadow comes back to you and you reconstruct the place. You think that, decidedly, this time again, it’s an interesting temptation to go and see. You give in, and going through the door you already get a certain familiar feeling. You don’t really pay attention because you have come to see a drawing, a painting, and don’t yet see the relationship between this way of working, and a name which is still confounded with an address. You go back. You make it a habit with each new invitation to go back so that a face adds itself to the names that made you go back. You begin to consider that this face is like a backdrop to the names which all sign the surfaces where pencil strokes, gestures and colors give you satisfaction and start to resemble themselves in spite of their differences. You have, of course, given in several times to the impulse of entering into a conversation with Him who has given you these occasions for meeting, discovering, or confirming. You have thus arrived at the point where you no longer dissociate the name that signs the place with those who sign the works of art, because there exists between them not only equality, but a reciprocity of a mysterious nature. From time to time you wonder about this impression, because you try to understand the relationship that serves as a link between a drawing, which constructs an organic fantasy, and a water color whose fluidity puts infinity into shapelessness. You quickly arrive at the conclusion that one can’t explain the evident, because the drawing fulfills your artistic sense like a water color. Even if you realize that this is not an explication, you know just as strongly that the essence of a veritable work of art is to be inexplicable. You then realize that the name that signs the place has chosen, by principle, to only show the inexhaustible. You would like to be satisfied with this formula if it doesn’t seem to you to be a bit too fast, and therefore, questionable. You still find that this qualification has a justification which should be preserved, so that here you are, searching for what whispered the word to you, and why? In your mind you now proceed to a presentation where the drawing is next to the water color, where the painting wreathed in gold is next to the one full of revolving bits of flesh and metal, or a surface peopled with loathsome creatures is next to the one with an explosion of colorful gestures. You see the discord, the contradictions, but far from excluding each other, they fit together in such a way that the whole produces what you retain from each one. You are not immediately conscious of this harmony formed by discord, because to see it you must shake off the inner encounter of all these forces before perceiving the conjunction. You then discover, after looking attentively at what is shown of the surface, that all these works offer a perception of voluminous space, and that the space emanating from them solicits an interpenetration with the equally voluminous space of your observation. You understand that the choices regularly made here, less than we thought at first, affirm impressiveness more than a certain type of representation, and concern the construction of a presence able to rise above observation calling for reciprocal elevation. You now feel that you inner self meets its expression here, mixing with what the artist puts into his painting, and what follows is a sort of aerial coupling bringing visual satisfaction. You go through Alain Margaron’s door knowing that you are entering his world and it is the shortest path to discovering yours or to enrich it….
Besides the artists that the gallery possesses sufficient works to represent them, Alain Margaron’s gallery also holds works of artists exhibited or collected in the past. One finds among them René Duvillier, Emil Stoitcher, Hug Weiss, Atila, Kijno, Zoran Music, and Kupka.