“In contemporary art, beauty has almost become taboo”

EXCLUSIVE – Benjamin Olivennes, young philosopher, denounces in a hot book the bureaucratization of minds and defends figurative painting which has survived the avant-gardes. Straightforward debate between the engraver and academician Érik Desmazières and the director of Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chantal Colleu-Dumond.

Since January 20, the book by the young normalien and philosopher Benjamin Olivennes, The Other Contemporary Art, true artists and false values (Grasset), brings up to date the debate on contemporary art, opened before him with an incomparable erudition by Jean Clair. The title shows the angle of fire of this pamphlet which quickly became as debated as Bouquet of Tulips of his enemy, the American artist Jeff Koons. He wants to be “A manual of resistance to the discourse on contemporary art” and dissects “His mythical vision of the history of art” where progress would only go from avant-garde to avant-garde. The debate is open. Around the (virtual) table, Chantal Colleu-Dumond, associate of classical letters, former diplomat of culture in Essen, Bucharest, Rome and Berlin, director of the Chaumont-sur-Loire estate since 2007 where she mixes art and nature. And Érik Desmazières, engraver, academician and brand new director of the Marmottan Museum in Paris. This “Son of a diplomat, student at Sciences

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