n Paris, the Yves Gastou gallery is an unavoidable stop for design enthusiasts; this space deals in contemporary design and in furniture and sculptures, which date from the forties to the eighties. Yves Gastou first opened in 1985 with an exhibition on Ettore Sottsass, who also designed the gallery, one of his first architectural projects. What’s more, Sottsass sparked instant controversy by cladding the façade of this period building on rue Bonaparte in white-and-black terrazzo tiles.
We are in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the 6th arrondissement, on the rive gauche (south of the river Seine); this was historically the most intellectual and artistic borough in Paris. Rue Bonaparte, the long street which leads from the Seine to the Parc de Luxembourg, is filled with famous art galleries and most importantly the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (Fine Arts School). After an initial experience in Toulouse and subseque working for four years in Paris at the “aux puces” (the flea market in Saint-Ouen), Yves Gastou finally fulfilled his dream: to open a gallery next-door to the imposing entrance of the most prestigious Fine Arts School in France.
A portrait of Yves Gastou and his son Victor, who has been working with his father since 2008. Growing up surrounded by pieces by Sottsass, Mendini and Pesce, Victor’s love for design finally triumphed over his degree in economics and international relations.
(Tapestry «Le matin» by Pierre Dubreuil, 1942).
Yves Gastou’s passion sparked in 1980, following his first trip to Italy, when he fell in love with the great Italian designers: Giò Ponti in Milan, Carlo Mollino in Turin and Carlo Scarpa in Venice. It was at that time, Gastou also discovered Ettore Sottsass, who stood out for his unique explosion of colour, inclination towards humble materials and an ability to reinterpret iconic designs in a modern and ironic fashion. Sottsass soon became a permanent feature of the gallery, even if still surprised of how well his pieces were doing.
In other words, Yves Gastou is the antique dealer of the future; this is also the title of his biography ("Yves Gastou, l’antiquaire du future", Editions Norma, Paris, 2011). For thirty years, he has shown in rotation both iconic names and emerging young designers like once were Ron Arad, Philippe Starck, Tom Dixon and Shiro Kuramata.
Unconventional par excellence, passionate about furniture and sculpture, Yves Gastou has never been one to follow the beaten track. Naïvely and poetically, he hand-picks decorative arts and designs from the last one hundred years. Yves Gastou has always preempt times and his shows are a real landmark in the world of interior design.
Galerie Yves Gastou
12, rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France
Tel. +33 (1) 5373 00 01
Tue-Sat 11.00-13.00 / 14.00-19.00
Mondays by appointment only
Closed on Sundays
Photos: Courtesy Galerie Yyes Gastou