Louise Bourgeois
© Brigitte Cornand
Opening March 8th, 2013 at the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is Manifesto, a group exhibition featuring five women artists working in various media. The exhibition has been organized based on the article “Inside the Studios of Five New York Artists,” by Vogue Style Editor-at-Large Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis and is co-curated with Antoine Guerrero, Director of Visual Arts at FIAF. Also on the day of the opening, a special film screening will take place FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall debuting the U.S. Premiere of Grabigouji: Life of Disappearance, a portrait of legendary French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois by her friend, the filmmaker Brigitte Cornand. Both the exhibition and the screening present strong women, the exhibition featuring artists working today and the latter, Louise Bourgeois an iconic artist who passed away in 2010. Although originally from France, Bourgeois spent much of her life in New York City and the artists who make up Manifesto, are also all based in New York. The representation of living and working in a globally known urban metropolis, has been inspiration to numerous artists and has function both as home and muse. The exhibition and screening also correspond with Fashion at FIAF (including a series of lectures, workshops and screenings) the Armory Show NYC, and is presented as part of the My Beautiful Women series celebrating female artists through film, which runs in March and April.
Manifesto, French Institute : Alliance Franḉaise, 2013
From left to right: Olympia Scarry, Antoine Guerrero, Lola Montes Schnabel,
Elisabeth vonThurn und Taxis, Ena Swansea, Ellen Berkenblit
© Sasha Arutyunova

The five women who are included in Manifesto, Ellen Berkenblit, Haley Mellin, Lola Montes Schnabel, Olympia Scarry, and Ena Swansea each live and work in New York and have shared with Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis (aka TNT), that they find inspiration through the energy of the city and that it is important to their work and creative process. From von Thurn und Taxis,

 “What I loved about my initial article, was that it offered me the opportunity to interview these interesting artists and to discover this magnificent city through their eyes, their works, their creative process. To me, there is no better guidebook than first-hand insight from a creative mind.”

Manifesto promises to offer a contemporary reflection of Manhattan through the eyes of these five artists. The exhibition is a visual interpretation of the words that were presented in the artist profiles written in November 2011. Brigitte Cornand’s film Grabigouji: Life of Disappearance, documents  Louise Bourgeois the woman, the artist, the transported New Yorker. For many years, even leading up to her death, Bourgeois often held salons in her home, inviting young artists to participate in critique sessions. Her generosity and tough yet honest approach was known by many and her presence in New York was a treat for all who were fortunate enough to meet her.

About the Visual Arts at FIAF
Since its opening in April 2007, the FIAF exhibition space has been an invaluable addition to the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and its cultural programs. It provides a significant platform for cultural discourse between American and Francophone artists and cultures.
More soon!