It’s been a little over a decade from the time we arrived in Berlin, and as soon as I opened the Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH in 2011, I was immediately blessed with continued success, starting with the inaugural exhibition “Fertility” featuring the works of Auguste Rodin, E.L. Kirchner, George Grosz, Louise Bourgeois, Tracey Emin and several other first-rate artists. I mention these in particular because I subsequently had the good fortune to engage with several of their estates, not the least of which that of Auguste Rodin, which through my privileged relationship with the musée Rodin in Paris, I have the honor of representing.
Over the last several years I have had the immense joy to pull together close to two-dozen exhibitions that the press and public alike have hailed as museum quality presentations. This would have been impossible without the relentless support of the lenders, the artists, estates, galleries, and most notably the several museums that have trusted me with exceptional loans, and the countless faithful visitors who have braved the harsh Berlin winters to see my shows.
I am deeply grateful for the unfailing encouragements I received, and I take this opportunity to give a deep bow to my assistants and associates without whom the gallery would not have existed. I will miss you dearly!
As I say though, “it’s time to move on,” not to “move from” -because Berlin is one of those rare cities like New York or Rome that get under one’s skin, but “to move on,” as the term appropriately characterizes the present moment in our journey.
Anne-Marie and I chose LA -the City of Angels; the promise of the Great American West; the State of California and it’s economy -presently the fifth in the world; the cradle of our aspirations to become a multi-planetary species, one that can edit it’s own genes – for the better or for the worse; the place where the most brilliant minds are devising ways to hand-over their intelligence to AI… Contradictions abound here, but they are great examples of our quest to advance our culture -that with a “big C,” but also with a small…
So here we are in Los Angeles! I have established a company in Santa Monica, and handed over my beautiful Berlin space to a lovely Chinese-German couple, Hua & Klaus Dierkes who will, I am sure, successfully animate my beloved Potsdamerstrasse exhibition rooms (now theirs), and receive the public in a most engaging and appealing manner. Please sign-up here to receive their newsletter.
I have been charting the next chapter(s) of my practice, and I will start in California with the development of three projects, two of which I have already been working on for several years involving Auguste Rodin and George Grosz, and a third which I just cannot pass, so great is the luck to have stumbled upon rare works by Antonin Artaud. See here.
Finally, I am thrilled to announce that Anne-Marie and I have been invited by Jeffrey Spier, Senior Curator, Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum, to sit on the very prestigious council of the Getty Villa, the board of the newly re-installed home of the world-renowned collection of antiquities of the J. Paul Getty Museum, a near replica of the Villa dei Papiri, a luxurious Roman residence in Herculaneum, Italy that had been buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
Auguste Rodin, a great collector of antiquities, famously said,
“Antiquity for me is supreme beauty: it is the initiation to the infinite splendor of things eternal.”
And as if to echo Rodin’s words, this text from J. Paul Getty greets the visitor upon entering the Getty Villa:
“The collector can, at will, transport himself back in time and walk and talk with the great Greek philosophers, the emperors of ancient Rome, the people, great and small, of civilizations long dead, but which live again through the objects in his collection.”
I strongly feel that as we embark into the “age of the immaterial,” in the words of great conceptual artist Yves Klein of whom I proudly carry the given name as my middle, we would be well advised to take inspiration from Rodin and Getty’s words, and I am so thankful to have both as travel companions to walk with, on the shores of the great Pacific.
I am deeply grateful for your collaboration and support over the past decade and look forward to continuing the legacy of the gallery in its new form.
Akim Yves-Louis Monet, CEO
Akim Monet Fine Arts, LLC
PS the print-ready PDF of the present letter is accessible here.