New publication

Christelle Téa à la Fondation Custodia

Christelle Téa (born in 1988) looks at the world, objects and materials with a non-hierarchical eye, seeking to capture the complexity of the visible and the elements that shape it. The artist uses drawing to represent her surroundings. Her subjects, explored in series, range from (urban) landscapes to interior views, portraits and still lifes.

Christelle Téa’s name was already familiar to some of the Fondation Custodia team when, in spring 2021, she knocked on the door of 121 rue de Lille in search of remarkable libraries for a series of drawings. In the end, the artist’s attention was caught by the intimacy of the premises, and the beauty and profusion of the interiors of the Hôtel Turgot and the Hôtel Lévis-Mirepoix, which house the institution in the heart of Paris. “The place inspired me; it’s like a cocoon out of time; I felt like I was somewhere else. […] It’s like a little gem”. Between 8 March 2021 and 22 August 2022, at the request of Ger Luijten, she produced a series of forty views of the Fondation Custodia, its salons, storerooms and every nook and cranny.

  • {Hôtel Turgot, seen from the garden}, 14.VI.2021
    Hôtel Turgot, seen from the garden, 14.VI.2021
    Indian ink on paper, 650 × 500 mm
    © Christelle Téa
  • {Storage room for drawings}, 27.VII.2021
    Storage room for drawings, 27.VII.2021
    Indian ink on paper, 650 × 500 mm
    © Christelle Téa

Moving discreetly among the works and members of the Fondation Custodia, Christelle Téa drew on the spot, in Indian ink – her preferred technique –, on large sheets of paper (65 × 50 cm). This method allows her neither preliminary study nor repentance. With her thin, confident line and recognisable personal style, the artist has captured both the soul of the place and the everyday activities of the people who work there: “There’s a lovely atmosphere. It’s not like a museum, it’s like a little anthill where everyone is busy. It’s a place of life, full of art and taste”.

  • {Staircase}, 26.VII.2021
    Staircase, 26.VII.2021
    Indian ink on paper, 650 × 500 mm
    © Christelle Téa
  • Christelle Téa drawing in the staircase of Hôtel Turgot
    Christelle Téa drawing in the staircase of Hôtel Turgot

Conceived as a portfolio in which the artist carries her drawings, this large catalogue takes us on a journey through the Fondation Custodia, bursting with a wealth of materials and details to which Christelle Téa is so attached. She also knows how to surprise us with unexpected points of view, allowing us to (re)discover the premises in a new light.

The series of drawings is introduced by an interview with Christelle Téa, which sheds light on her career, her approach to art and her practice. The interview was conducted in September 2022 by Ger Luijten, director of the Fondation Custodia, who passed away last December and was the driving force behind this project, and Maud Guichané.