• gerard van weyenbergh

Pierre Nahon, a great collector passed away, homage

Advertiser converted into a gallery owner in the 1970s, he and his wife formed a colorful couple.

The gallery owner and collector Pierre Nahon passed away at the age of 84 on September 10, 2020, in Vence (Alpes-Maritimes). He was an ardent promoter of the New Realists, including Yves Klein, César, Tinguely, and Niki de Saint-Phalle.

On December 30, 1935, he was born in Oran, Algeria, then moved to Paris with his family. Young Pierre Nahon took an early interest in the Dada and Surrealist movement. In 1960, he married Marianne Bayet. The couple works in advertising, but decide to stop and devote themselves to art. Together, they travel the world to buy and resell works.

Director Jean-Luc Léon had followed the couple for a year. His documentary “ A dealer, artists and collectors ”, broadcast on Arte in 1996 the day before the opening of the FIAC, caused a scandal by depicting a profession dominated by money. Pierre Nahon could himself be mocking the world of merchants. In an interview with the magazine The rule of the game, he compared himself to a drug addict being forced to become a dealer: “Originally, we were, Marianne and I, pure collectors. This passion was so expensive that we became merchants to be able to continue. "

The couple opened the Beaubourg Gallery in Paris in 1973. They organized exhibitions there that helped raise awareness of Arman, Basquiat, Combas, Dado, and others. The gallery was relocated 30 years later to the castle of Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs, in Vence.

They sold part of their collection, including works by Rauschenberg, Warhol, Duchamp, and Kiefer, at Sotheby's in March 2019 under the title “ L'art c'est la vie ” for an amount of 13 million euros. In 2004, the House Sale sale of a large part of the contents of the castle of Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs, and still organized by Sotheby's, had reached 8.7 million euros.

Pierre Nahon had told all this in many books, including L'art content pour rien in 2002.

Le Journal des arts