The Preview

Hosted at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Ely House, the preview of the auction will take place from May 21 to 23. It will gather a selection of artworks by artists from Europe or living in Europe such as Marina Abramović, Grayson Perry, Marlene Dumas, Sylvie Fleury, Daniel Buren or Pascale-Marthine Tayou and Giuseppe Penone. Featuring several original commissions, works such as Jan Fabre’s diptych or Francesco Vezzoli’s montage explore European identity and the current challenges it faces today. Other artists, like Grayson Perry or Elmgreen & Dragset who frequently address the European situation in their work, reflect with anxiety and irony their concern about the future of Europe. Following the exhibition, these artworks will be sold at a charity auction in aid of European cultural projects.

Citizen, 2015
Graphite on china
140 x 68 x 64 cm
(Base Dimensions 90 x 68 x 64 cm)
©Adel Abdessemed, Paris ADAGP 2019

The Talks

During the exhibition, artists and thinkers will create a forum for debate and discussion on the state of Europe today and the place of art and culture in our disorientated continent, caught in the midst of a severe identity crisis.


-May 22, 5-6 PM, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Ely House: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, in conversation with novelist Adam Thirlwell about literature as a multilingual art form, créolisation, portable Europes, and the construction of multiple identities.

-Further encounters and discussions open to the public will take place on May 23 at Ely House, surrounded by the artworks, and will provide a space for new ideas and solutions to these urgent questions.

Pascale Marthine TAYOU
Fresque de craies L, 2015
Chalks, mixed media
240 x 330 cm
Courtesy the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana
Photography © Veronica Tronnolone

B.H. Lévy’s performance of Looking for Europe

A highlight of the initiative will be the evening of May 22 with the one-off performance of Bernard-Henri Lévy's new one-man play, Looking for Europe, at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Ely House. Occurring one day before the European elections, the French philosopher will perform his final representation of the play surrounded by the United Artists for Europe artworks, following a successful tour of twenty European cities. The play is rewritten for each show in order to address the political context of each European country, making it a one-of-a-kind performance.

The family A, from the series 8 Lessons on Emptiness with a Happy End, 2008
Chromogenic Print
150 x 120 cm
© Marina Abramović
Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives

The Auction, June 3

Following the exhibition, the artworks will be sold at a charity auction conducted by renowned auctioneer Simon de Pury on June 3, at Maison Assouline in Piccadilly, during a special evening featuring a discussion between Bernard-Henri Lévy and Simon de Pury.
Several of these artworks will also be displayed during the day.

Funds raised by the auction will be distributed to European cultural projects including Europa Nostra, the main European NGO defending and enhancing Europe’s cultural heritage, and Artagon, who support the careers of young emerging artists throughout Europe.

"In the current century, artists, curators and gallerists have gained visibility and mediatic power as never seen before. What do we make of all this influence we supposedly do have? We should get together, raise funds and awareness for the causes that deserve so.Europa unita at the moment must be our first priority."
Francesco Vezzoli