Technikart - Yoyo Maeght, The child of art


Granddaughter of Aimé Maeght, mythical gallery owner and creator of the Maeght foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, daughter of Adrien, illustrious art publisher, Yoyo Maeght perpetuates the family tradition.


This passionate about art and those who make it combines the hats with a beautiful and dynamic generosity: editor, curator, teacher, but also friends and benevolent godmothers of many artists.

Can you tell us about how your family contracted the artistic virus ?

The story begins with my grandfather Aimé Maeght. He was an extraordinary man from a modest background, very intelligent, overflowing with ideas and who swore only by art and music. I believe that deep down, he wanted to be an artist, but he chose to put himself at the service of artists. He first worked before the war as a lithographer designer. Then he met my grandmother Marguerite, and they opened an engraving and lithography workshop in Cannes. During the occupation, the Côte d'Azur was the refuge of many artists and collectors. My grandfather had decisive encounters: those of Pierre Bonnard, then that of Henri Matisse. The workshop quickly became an art gallery, presenting young artists from the region. It was only after the war that he opened his gallery in Paris, rue de Téhéran. He first exhibited Matisse and Bonnard there, then George Braque, and finally Miró, Giacometti and Fernand Léger. After a trip to New York, he organized a legendary exhibition on the surrealist movement designed by André Breton and Marcel Duchamp. Aimé became one of the most important gallery owners and art dealers of the post-war period. Unlike what was being done at the time, he was less interested in the promotion of works of art than in that of artists. In this, he is a precursor of current art galleries... His consecration was to create the Maeght Foundation, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a place of modernity that he nurtured with his brilliant ideas. You could see the works of art of the best artists there, but also attend music concerts, conferences, meetings or frequent its library. This place strongly inspired the George Pompidou Center which was born 13 years later.

What convinced you to get involved in the art world too ?

There were several very important events. The first: I am seven years old, and I am in Saint-Paul-de-Vence with Juan Miró who was like a beloved uncle to me. That afternoon, Duke Ellington comes to rehearse in the gardens of the Foundation. He improvises a “Miró blues” on the piano. And Miró says to me: you see, he uses the same instrument as Mozart. Then he continues: I use the same colors as Rembrandt. And so that I understand the meaning of his remarks, he adds: and you, you use the same words as Prévert. For the little girl that I was, it was a revelation: I understood that the material or the tool are always the same, and that only talent and intelligence make the work! t is an exhibition at the Foundation where I feel an unforgettable artistic emotion when I find myself facing an immense jungle by Douanier Rousseau. Then, after the death of my grandfather, there was the friendship of the artist Aki Kuroda, who pushed me to work in the Maeght gallery. I was a little over twenty, and he gave me the best advice ever: you have no right not to go.

Since your childhood, you have never ceased to maintain a very close relationship with artists…
People are essential. There are artists that I have known for a very long time. They don't need me to distribute their work, but I accompany them. Artists are very anxious, both in a kind of arrogance, certainty of their work and at the same time in permanent doubt. I'm not saying that I'm there to reassure them, but the fact of accompanying them, of taking a look and talking with them, if only in a friendly way, about their work, makes them feel good...I also love discovering new talent. Not so long ago, while being a juror at the Prix des Beaux-Arts in Paris, I fell in admiration in front of the paintings of Karolina Orzelek, an extremely talented young Polish painter. I went to see her in her studio, I encouraged her, and she was the one who won the prize, which was still endowed with five thousand euros. She was able to buy equipment and exhibit for the first time. Today, she is already preparing a second exhibition for the end of the year in a gallery in the Marais. On this occasion, I will publish a print of her. I support her. I regularly quote her on my Instagram account, which gives her visibility. About him, I say to my collector friends: “for once, buy something below the price you usually put! Yes, supporting and promoting an artist is something that means a lot to me. I probably get that from my grandfather!