A Message from the Director 2021

Sylvette BabinWhat a joy it is to be back for a 12th edition of the Vendu–Sold auction, following an involuntary pause that stopped us all in our tracks. The artists invited for 2020 generously agreed to take part this year instead. But the auction will be revived in a different form; the world is still stumbling forward through the long tunnel of the pandemic, and the kind of festive gathering for which our events are known can’t yet take place. After a year of paying close attention, however, we have observed our field’s incredible adaptability, as well as collectors’ open-mindedness about the world of virtual auctions.

Thanks to our partnership with BYDealers, which has proven expertise in online contemporary art auctions, we’re feeling confident about this new adventure. So, we’re thrilled to unveil the selection of works that will be offered for sale on the BYDealers website for two weeks. A gallery exhibition on October 16–17 will be the ideal complement for those who wish to experience the works “live”.

It is also our pleasure to present a series of videos on the Éditions Esse YouTube platform. The series will be unveiled and posted online from the end of September. They are composed of interviews, cases of love at first sight, and a tribute to artist Richard Deschênes, who, sadly, died this year. This section replaces the pedagogical activity Vendu–Sold Backstage and gives the community an overview of the approaches of some of the artists chosen by our selection committee. So, check out our social media regularly to learn about what these encounters led to.

Your support is needed more than ever, not only for Esse but also for the artists, who have been heavily affected by the slowdown in art activities. The spark of solidarity with the art field in recent months has been heartwarming, and we’re returning to our fundraising event with a sense of faith and purpose. Thank you for being with us yet again.

Sylvette Babin

Photo : © Jean-François Brière