Burgundy has much to recommend it, but its contemporary art scene is hardly world-renowned. Nevertheless, there are local artists producing truly exciting works, as I discovered in Beaune and, quite by accident, in Dole.
This appealing gallery around the corner from the Hospices de Beaune displays a range of contemporary paintings with everything from sunny landscapes to portraits resembling a collision of Klimt and the “Book of Kells.” I particularly loved the unusual Bosch-inspired surrealist paintings of Gérard Willemenot. He works in tempera, not oil, giving the paintings a luminous, liquid aesthetic that enhances the precision of their execution.
Galerie de l’Hôtel de Saulx
13 Place Fleury, Beaune. Tel. (33) 3-80-24-68-34.
I took a walk one evening in the remarkably picturesque town of Dole (which is technically in Franche-Comté, east of Burgundy) and passed a couple seated by their window. They greeted me with a friendly “Bonsoir!” and we fell into conversation. After a time, Dan invited me in to tour his studio. He and his wife, Cindy, poured me a glass of wine, and we discussed his art. This spans from masculine, industrial floor-lamp sculptures to H.R. Giger-inspired diptychs and more. Whether the art is to your taste or not, touring the studio with the infectiously energetic Dan is sure to be memorable. Request an appointment at [email protected].
17 Rue Marcel Aymé, Dole. Tel. (33) 3-84-69-13-54.