Artist, writer, co-founder of New York’s Private View, the innovative Madeleine Paternot
Anthropology comes from the Greek, literally “the study of the human.” As such, it overlaps with history, sociology, psychology, political science, literature, documentary studies, and other fields. What distinguishes anthropology is less what anthropologists study than how they do it, and in particular the investigative techniques of participant-observation.
Coursework in anthropology gives students powerful tools for making sense of society and culture, and an appreciation of both different cultures and of hierarchies and inequality in the 21st century world.
Cultural Anthropology Course Description, Stanford University
MADELEINE PATERNOT MAJORED IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY AT VASSAR COLLEGE, NOT THE MOST TYPICAL COURSE OF STUDY FOR AN ARTIST BUT ONE SHE HAS PUT TO GREAT USE. HER APPRECIATION AND KNOWLEDGE OF CULTURES FROM AROUND THE WORLD IMPACT ON THE SUBJECT MATTER AND TECHNIQUE IN HER PAINTINGS WHICH EMBRACE IMAGES AND SENSIBILITY OF THE HOME AND ITS MEANING. HER STUDIES OF CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY HAVE ALSO STRONGLY IMPACTED ON THE MISSION OF HER FOUNDATION, THE 3-D SCULPTURE PARK IN VERBIER AND ON HER NEW ARTISTIC PLATFORM, PRIVATE VIEW NEW YORK, A BY APPOINTMENT GALLERY AND GATHERING PLACE FOR ARTISTIC DIALOGUE IN SOHO.
WE HAVE A LOT OF TERRITORY TO COVER SO LET’S REJOIN MADDY NOW.
MADDY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR WORK AND YOUR ART VENTURES WITH THE LRFA BLOG.
WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD? WAS YOUR FAMILY INTERESTED IN ART. DID THEY COLLECT?
I was named after the French children’s book, Madeleine, who was known for her adventures. I spoke primarily French until the age of ten. I love exploring and it’s no wonder that as an adult, I have lived an extremely nomadic existence. Travel was always encouraged and after my parents separated, I visited my father in Switzerland frequently. My extended family lives in every corner of the world. Through my early influences, I realized that travel and culture have always been an inspiration for me artistically.
HOW DO YOU THINK THAT YOUR EARLY EXPERIENCES IN BOTH AMERICA AND EUROPE HAVE INFLUENCED BOTH YOUR OWN ARTISTIC OUTPUT AND THE PLATFORM OF THE GALLERY?
My work is highly influenced by my cultural sensibilities. Retrospectively, my nomadic existence informs my work and the ideas around my gallery. A part of my practice focuses on creating “home” environments and being a catalyst for social change. I love this quote from Coco Chanel “an interior is the natural projection of the soul”. I really live by this. The old school loft style gallery that we created allows our visitors to experience art in an intimate and personal setting. It is no surprise that I would mix my enthusiasm for global outreach into my artist practice and business structure.
WHERE WERE YOU EDUCATED?
I was educated in America, Switzerland and the UK. After receiving degrees in cultural anthropology and French literature from Vassar College NY, I moved to Vevey, Switzerland to study product design at the Art Center School of Design. I received a Higher National Certificate in Fine Arts, at the Kensington and Chelsea College in London. I have always found the beauty in learning about cultures from all over the world. The gallery is a platform for international artists, galleries and institutions that do not have a platform in the United States or more specifically New York. We wanted to create a space that could fill that gap and provide more opportunities for artists that are prolific yet under the radar. I aspire for our programming to be a catalyst for social change. PRVT VW Soho is reflective of the mission of Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park and Residency in Switzerland that I co-founded with my longtime friend, Kiki Thompson in 2011.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, WE WILL TRAVEL TO SWITERZERLAND WITH MADELEINE PATERNOT TO LEARN ABOUT THE EXCEPTIONAL SCULPTURE PARK AND RESIDENCY PROGRAM SHE HAS ESTABLISH IN ONE OF HER HOMETOWNS, VERBIER.
PLEASE JOIN US!