Nine months after it was originally scheduled to be permanently installed to coincide with Golden Gate Park's 150th anniversary celebrations in April 2020, the glistening gold sculpture returns to its place in front of the Conservatory of Flowers where it was first installed in September 2015 by Gallery 836M in partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Arts Commission; removed in February of this year for what was initially going to be a short period of time to prepare its exterior cladding along with the construction of a new base for its forever home, the kinetic gold and aluminum sculpture by renowned French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel will resume its prominent place in the Park and the Conservatory's flowerbeds—after a long delay brought about by Covid-19—as a highly visible treasure to be enjoyed by San Franciscans and visitors alike for decades to come.
The re-gilding was placed in the capable hands of Nancy Thorn owner of Gold Leaf Studio in Portland who worked on the project at Atthowe Fine Art Services in Oakland where the sculpture is currently stored; the installation in Golden Gate Park is scheduled for December 9 & 10 with an official and public dedication ceremony in March of 2021.
San Francisco CA, December 09, 2020 – San Francisco gallery 836M, which first came to prominence in 2015 when it brought Banksy's Haight Street Rat back to the city for a 9-month run at the gallery, fulfills a dream this December when it finally achieves the long-pursued permanent home for La Rose des Vents, the work of one of the gallery's favorite artists, Jean-Michel Othoniel.
Like the Banksy piece, the gallery first brought La Rose to the city in the fall of 2015 where the kinetic sculpture made of gold and aluminum was installed in front of the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. La Rose des Vents pays homage to the compass rose, an ancient device used to gauge wind direction. Since then it had been free to shimmer in the sun, move with the wind or glisten in the rain, intriguing and delighting tourists and residents alike until February of 2020 when it was taken to be prepped for final install in April. However as noted, Covid-19 and shelter-in-place had other plans.
Working in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission as well as the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, La Rose des Vents was first installed on the chilly and foggy morning of September 26th, 2015 and was subsequently greeted as a beautiful addition to the park. That install was recorded by 7x7and can be seen here:
Originally scheduled to be in front of the Conservatory through mid-January 2016, its stay was extended several times as founders of 836M Julie and Sébastien Lépinard—who are longtime devotees of the artist—sought to make the installation permanent. “We wanted," say the couple," to mark the long and deep association between two cities known the world over who share similar values about life, beauty and art, San Francisco and Paris."
Following a public outpouring of appreciation for La Rose des Vents, the artist and owners of the sculpture gifted the piece to the City’s Civic Arts Collection. Its permanent placement at the gardens adjacent to the Conservatory of Flowers was approved by the Recreation and Park Commission on Dec. 6, 2018. Its permanent installation falls during Golden Gate Park’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration.
Why the Conservatory of Flowers?
Othoniel has a long association with flowers and gardens, and much of his work is inspired by them: in the same year La Rose was first installed in the Golden Gate Park, he won an international competition in collaboration with French landscape architect Louis Benech for the opportunity to renovate the Water Theater grove in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. The resulting three sculptures, Les Belles Danses (The Beautiful Dances) opened in May 2015 and evoke King Louis XIV dancing on water. Othoniel is the first contemporary artist to have a permanent installation on the royal grounds in over 300 years.
"When I first came to San Francisco in 1999 for my show at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts," says Othoniel, "I went to Golden Gate Park to visit the Conservatory of Flowers and instantly fell in love with this wonderful historical place."
Though built and constructed in Paris before coming to San Francisco, La Rose des Vents was for a brief time on display at the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, which garnered national coverage in Architectural Digest among other publications.
“For 150 years, Golden Gate Park has been a place to find inspiration in both art and nature. La Rose becoming a permanent part of our park on the park’s 150th anniversary is wonderful news,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
La Rose des Vents, 2015. Aluminum, gold leaf, steel. 131 3/4 x 96 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches; Photograph: ©Galerie
Perrotin / Livia Saavedra. © 2015 Othoniel/ARS, New York/ADAGP, Paris; Courtesy Galerie Perrotin
More Information can be found at: www.othoniel.fr; www.perrotin.com; www.836m.org
Hashtags: #othonielsanfrancisco #othoniel_studio #836m_art
High Res Images Can Be Found: HERE and HERE
From left to right: La Rose des Vents side view; artist Jean-Michel Othoniel; La Rose des Vents in front of the Conservatory
About Jean-Michel Othoniel
Jean-Michel Othoniel lives and works in Paris. He began working with glass in the early 1990s after being introduced to some of the finest glassmakers in Murano, Italy. From 1996, he began creating artworks for specific places – hanging giant necklaces in the gardens around the Villa Medici in Rome and from trees in the gardens of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. In 2000, he received an invitation to transform a Paris subway station into a double crown of glass and aluminum for his work, Le Kiosque des Noctambules. In later works for the “Crystal Palace” exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris and MoCA in Miami, Othoniel made blown-glass enigmatic sculptures that resembled jewelry, architecture, and gigantic erotic objects. By 2004, he exhibited his freestanding glass necklaces at the Musee du Louvre In 2011, his important retrospective, “My Way,” at the Centre Pompidou in Paris also traveled to the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art/Plateau in Seoul, the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, the Macao Museum of Art in China, and the Brooklyn Museum of New York. Jean-Michel Othoniel is represented by Galerie Perrotin in Paris.
About the Conservatory of Flowers
A Victorian confection of wood and glass, Conservatory of Flowers, managed by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, opened in 1879, is the oldest building in Golden Gate Park and one of San Francisco’s most beloved landmarks. It houses some 1,700 species of aquatic and tropical plants, many of them rare, including a 100-year-old giant Imperial philodendron, a world-renowned collection of orchids, giant water lilies, and carnivorous plants. Special exhibits have included such popular favorites as the Butterfly Zone and the miniature garden railroad.
About the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department currently manages more than 220 parks, playgrounds and open spaces throughout San Francisco, including two outside city limits—Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. The system includes full-complex recreation centers, swimming pools, golf courses, sports fields and numerous small-to-medium-sized clubhouses that offer a variety of sports- and arts-related recreation programs for people of all ages. Included in the Department’s responsibilities are Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower, the Marina Yacht Harbor, the San Francisco Zoo and Lake Merced. In 2017, San Francisco became the first city in the nation where all residents have access to a park within a 10-minute walk, a direct result of the Department’s commitment to increasing and improving parkland in the city. Learn more at sfrecpark.org
About San Francisco Art Commission
The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. SFAC programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries and Art Vendor Licensing. http://www.sfartscommission.org
836M is a nonprofit gallery founded in 2014 to highlight Francisco’s vibrant and growing arts community. It is a cultural and artistic endeavor designed to leverage the city’s diverse interests and audiences and looks to discover and showcase those who go beyond themselves, push boundaries, and create stellar work that has the capacity to surprise. Throughout the year, 836M offers a carefully curated selection of art, conversations and events to private and public audiences alike in modern, contemporary and warm space. Seeking out not only stellar living artists but also “coup de Coeur” projects, gatherings at 836M are simple and fun, and always include a glass of wine! Banksy@836M was the first exhibition of an internationally acclaimed artist in the new gallery space. 836M is located at 836 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. More information www.836m.org