Press - Technikart - Yoyo Maeght, The child of art

Yoyo Maeght in Technikart special art,

Granddaughter of Aimé, legendary 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 do it combines hats with a beautiful and dynamic generosity: publisher, exhibition curators, teacher, but also friends and caring godmothers of many artists.

Can you tell us about how your family contracted the artistic bug?
The story begins with my grandfather Aimé Maeght. He was an extraordinary man from a modest background, very intelligent, brimming 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 lithographic designer. Then he met my grandmother Marguerite, and they opened an engraving and lithography workshop in Cannes. During the occupation, the French Riviera was the refuge of many artists and collectors. My grandfather had some 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. First Matisse and Bonnard were exhibited there, then George Braque, 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 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 today's art galleries... His achievement was to create the Maeght Foundation, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a place of modernity that he nourished with his brilliant ideas. There you could see the works of art of the best artists, but also attend music concerts, conferences, meetings or visit its library. This place strongly inspired the George Pompidou center which was born 13 years later.
What convinced you to also get involved in the art world?
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 came to rehearse in the Foundation gardens. He improvises a “Miró blues” on the piano. And Miró said 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 words, he adds: and 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! Another event, it is an exhibition at the Foundation where I feel an unforgettable artistic emotion as 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 continued to maintain a 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 disseminate their work, but I support them. Artists are great worriers, both in a kind of arrogance, in certainty of their work and at the same time in permanent doubt. I'm not saying that I'm here to reassure them, but the fact of accompanying them, looking at them and talking with them, even if only in a friendly way, about their work, does them good...I also love discovering new talents. Not so long ago, while being a judge at the Prix des Beaux-Arts in Paris, I fell in admiration of the paintings of Karolina Orzelek, an extremely talented young Polish painter. I went to see her in her workshop, I encouraged her, and she won the prize, which still had 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 it, I tell my collector friends: “for once, buy something below the price you usually charge!” » Yes, supporting and promoting an artist is something that means a lot to me. I probably got that from my grandfather!
“In this cover photo, I am three and a half years old and I am with Pablo Picasso and Jacques Prévert in an exhibition of collages made by the latter. I ask the ogre, since I affectionately called him that, why on one of his collages, among six gentlemen with their heads upside down, there was one with his head right side up? He answered me, as he so often did, with a question: would you have preferred it to be upside down? »