Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950-1970, Conversation at the French Embassy

March 26, 2012 | By French Culture

On March 26th, 2012, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy organized a conversation to accompany the exhibition “Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950-1970” currently on view at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery. The panel was introduced by Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor, in the following speech.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear Lynn Gumpert, Estrellita Brodsky, Patricia Rubin and Edward Sullivan

Welcome to the French Embassy and thank you for joining us!

Tonight we are gathered here for a very special conversation to celebrate Estrellita Brodsky’s wonderful exhibition: “Soto: Paris and beyond, 1950 to 1970” at the NYU Grey Gallery.

I must say that this evening has a particular significance to me… I am a French diplomat and my wife, Bérénice, is Latin American and moved to France at a young age. And so, I am really touched to host this evening.

I also feel that it is important to sincerely thank Patricia Rubin, our neighbour, and also the NYU community. University partnerships are at the core of the Embassy’s mission and NYU is a loyal friend and collaborator in so many important projects. Thank you Patricia.

When I think about this evening, what strikes me is that we are honouring Soto at the French Embassy, and… Soto is not French! But Soto embodies a very dear France’s principle: cultural diversity and “terre d’accueil”. It’s been the main motto of our country and this event tonight represents our desire to welcome artists from all over the world.

And what a place to embrace cultural diversity: New York City! I feel very fortunate to discover the cultural breath of this city which instructs us all to live strongly, reach outside our comfort zone and connect differently with people of diverse backgrounds. Perhaps this is also a lesson from Soto’s life and work… And so we hope this event tonight will explore the idea of surpassing boundaries through art. 

I’m very happy to give the floor to Patricia Rubin, director of the Institute of the Fine Arts who will introduce tonight’s speakers. Bonne conversation!

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