By now you’ve probably heard about the Art Decoupler exhibition opening this week at the Galway Art Gallery in Ireland.
Its curator, the Dutch-born artist Antoine de Saint-Exupery, was an ardent believer in the idea of art decoupling and its potential to make art more accessible to people who didn’t already have a taste for it.
The exhibit, curated by Art Decuplication curator Marcela Sánchez, will explore the art of decoupled art, showing examples of the work of art that were once completely separated from each other.
The exhibition is an attempt to bridge the gap between art and culture that has long been marked by a divide between what we associate as “real” art and the art that we associate with art that’s taken a completely different shape.
“I think it’s a way of looking at what the distinction between real and fake art is,” says de Saint Exupery.
He sees the exhibit as a way to understand the process of how art can be used to reach new audiences and explore the limits of art.
The project, which is currently running at the Galleries du Louvre, will be the first to be held at the museum in its modern incarnation since the opening of its own retrospective in 2013.
But the exhibition’s focus on art and design is a nod to de Saint exupery’s more contemporary work, which was influenced by contemporary artworks such as Banksy, Pablo Picasso and Matisse.
“It’s about understanding art, and about art and art history, and in particular, what’s happening in the contemporary art scene in Ireland,” de Saintexupery tells Quartz.
It’s also a way for de Saint expo to reach out to a wider audience.
“The way we look at art is that it is a language that is used, and that’s why we have this whole other world of art and pop culture that is going on in Ireland, and we don’t really see much of it,” he says.
But he says the project is a way in which the museum’s contemporary art gallery can be a bridge between the art world and a broader audience.
“I think a lot of people feel a bit lost in the world, because there’s nothing that they see that really matches the art.
And that’s what the exhibition is about,” de Santo says.
And while the art decuplination exhibit at the Gartner Center for Digital Art in London may be a more abstract way of seeing art, the Gallerie’s exhibitions are not without some real impact on the way art is seen around the world.
“Art is a very important tool in the modern art world, but for many people, it is something they don’t have the means to acquire,” says artist John O’Callaghan, the director of the Galifras Gallery in Dublin.
“And that’s not a problem for the Gallery because we’ve got this great gallery that has the capacity to have exhibitions in other places in Ireland that are really big,” he explains.
But O’Clannán points out that there’s a lot more work to be done.
“What is happening in Ireland is that artists have got the capacity and resources to make a difference and that is what this is all about, and it’s really important that we can see that impact,” he adds.
“If we can help the Galwegs to have this same level of artistic impact, then that will make a huge difference.”
Sources: The Wall St Journal, Gartners, Art Decoy Galway, Gallery du Louvetiere, The Irish Times, The Fine Art Council, Fine Art Ireland, Galway City Museum, The New York Times