He was not only Sophie Calle’s father and a Great Contemporary Art Collector. He was the one who had the vision of a future in contemporary art for the city of Nîmes, an old city built by the Roman people. He loved so much contemporary art that ,once retired, he teamed up with the mayor of Nîmes, Jean Bousquet, great collector too, to build the best Museum of contemporary art in 1984: “Le carré d’art de Nîmes” with UK Architect Norman Foster.
Calle and Bousquet both knew the idea of a contemporary Museum in Nîmes would be somewhat too much revolutionary for the citizen of Nîmes who had just a folk museum at that time. It was necessary to inspire those people, to acknowledge them about the interest of the art that will be displayed in the Museum.
How to appreciate Mario Merz, Giuseppe Penone, Alighiero Boetti, Giovanni Anselmo, Richard Artschwager, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Christopher Wool, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Albert Oehlen, Thomas Schütte and many others if you don’t know a bit about the Art History?
So, to tease people’s curiosity they imagined to dispense free classes of Art History, 1 time per week, during the time of the construction for two years.
I was one of them in those classes and Bob Calle helped me grow in that Contemporary Art Word thanks to his generous sense of sharing his passion for Art. I realized later that in a way this is the story I wanted to continue with my words and with my own means.
Thanks again Mr Calle, I do love contemporary art and will continue whatever the issues!
Beatrice Chassepot, Los Angeles, April 12th, 2015