Tournus is a historic French town, full of antique shops, a centuries-old abbey, luxury hotels and many excellent restaurants, two of which have a Michelin star. In such a traditional environment, one does not expect to find a modern art shop of exceptional quality. Nevertheless, such a shop does exist in Tournus: the Galerie Nakai.
A selection by Hiromi Nakai
The gallery is run by a Japanese artist, Hiromi Nakai, who was educated as a painter in the 1990s at the Wackers Academy in Amsterdam. There she also developed a preference for figurative works. She was inspired by her mentor Sam Drukker, one of the best known contemporary painters in the Netherlands, and by teachers such as Chiel Vluggen, Maarten Welbergen, Frank Leenhouts and Luk van Driessche. Hiromi has carefully selected the painters from her ‘stable’ and has thus created a fascinating collection that would certainly not be out of place in Amsterdam’s Spiegelstraat or Paris’ Marais.
Works by artists from all over the world:
– Amsterdam (Frank Leenhouts and Bairbre Dugan, also a teacher at Wackers)
– St. Petersburg (Elena Grishina, a promising student of the Repin Academy)
– Ravières (the painting couple Antonin Passemard and Anastasia Dukhanina)
– La Chapelle-de-Guinchay (François Dupuis, multi-talented in classical style)
– Barcelona (Pere Mon Taillant, painter of refined still lifes)
– Avigliana, Italy (Mara Cozzolino, Japanese woodcutter – Mokuhanga)
– Lyon (Marc Dailly, painter of interiors and original landscapes)
– Tournus (Hiromi Nakai herself, still life)
Low threshold in terms of atmosphere and price
Nakai Gallery also sells ceramics by local artists. All this in a setting resembling a private living room, with a warm and approachable atmosphere. Incidentally, this low threshold also applies to the purchase of the art itself, as in the collection of paintings there is a wide choice at less than 1000 euros. This is also due to the location. It is a home-based gallery, so the fixed costs are much lower than in comparable galleries in larger cities.
On your way to the South? Stop in Tournus!
If you’re heading south on the Autoroute du Soleil, you’ll want to make at least one stop along the way. In that case, Tournus – less than four hours from Paris (and 7 1/2 hours from Folkestone) – is an excellent choice to spend the night. You can also visit Hiromi and her Dutch husband at the Galerie Nakai. To simply enjoy a beautiful exhibition of figurative art and a pleasant conversation – in French, Dutch, English or Japanese if you wish.