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Paris, France

Les Mains sans sommeil

Nine artists-in-residence honoured at the Palais de Tokyo

From November 2017 to January 2018, Les Mains sans sommeil presents works produced during the Foundation’s second season of artists’ residencies. Works by nine visual artists, in leather, silk, crystal and silver, were devised and made at Hermès workshops across France. The show also features a number of performances in situ.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Les Mains sans sommeil
© DR

‘Artisans are the custodians of expert gestures defined by savoir-faire; artists are the inventors of forms shaped by a spirit of laissez-faire,’ says Gaël Charbau, curator of the exhibition Les Mains sans sommeil (‘Tireless hands’).

After watching artisans and artists-in-residence at the Hermès workshops, Charbau focuses our attention on the ceaseless motion and astonishing autonomy of hands at work, and the precise choreography of gesture transmitted by the artisans to the visual artists working alongside them.

The exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo features all nine artists-in-residence since 2014, showcasing the multiple artisan trades they discovered while working in situ with fine metals, leather, crystal, and silk. Immersed in the daily life of the workshops, the artists produced works that appropriate artisan skills in new and innovative ways. Gathered together for the first time, the pieces celebrate ‘the inherent freedom and autonomy of the gesture itself’ and witness the rich creativity engendered by the encounter between practising artists and artisans. 

Les Mains sans sommeil tells the story of the creative adventure of the residency programme, through the works created as a result of the carte blanche opportunity offered by the Foundation to the nine participating artists, mentored by Jean-Michel Alberola, Ann-Veronica Janssens and Richard Fishman. The pieces created at the Hermès workshops are presented together with others from each artist’s œuvre, situating their residency and its impact within the context of their work as a whole. 

With: Bianca Argimon, Jennifer Avery, Clarissa Baumann, Lucia Bru, Io Burgard, Anastasia Douka,
Célia Gondol, DH McNabb, Lucie Picandet.

Artists-in-residence 2016:

Find out more about Anastasia Douka at John Lobb

Find out more about Bianca Argimon at Holding Textile Hermès

Find out more about Lucia Bru at the Cristallerie Saint-Louis

Artists-in-residence 2015:

Find out more about Io Burgard at the Maroquinerie de Seloncourt

Find out more about Célia Gondol at Holding Textile Hermès

Find out more about DH McNabb at the Cristallerie Saint-Louis

Artists-in-residence 2014:

Find out more about Jennifer Avery at Holding Textile Hermès

Find out more about Clarissa Baumann at Puiforcat

Find out more about Lucie Picandet at the Pantin leather workshops 

Find out more about Condensation at the Palais de Tokyo in 2013

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Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue du Président Wilson
75116 Paris
Open from noon to midnight, every day except Tuesday
Closed annually on December 25 and January 1st
Special closing time at 6 pm on December 24 and 31


Curator: Gaël Charbau