Carte blanche – Exhibition, Swedish Circle, Paris

April 6 – 22, 2022

Swedish Circle
The contemporary lounge
Paris | FRANCE

Carte blanche
3 artists

Opening by invitation on Tuesday, April 5

Artists :
Jean-Christophe Ballot, Australia, photography
Charles Hair, Bols, ceramics
Isabelle Tournoud, The Simples and the Heartbreakings (plants), drawing




Virtual visit

The bar of the Swedish Circle, Paris

Jean-Christophe Ballot

His numerous travels around the world lead him to a contemplative photography of the architecture of our cities as well as of the wild or man-made nature.
In 2004, Australia was a stop for the photographer who was freely inspired by what he saw: the red desert in the center of the continent, the primary forest or the rocks of the northeast.
From these landscapes, the photographer has created a paradisiacal image – in the sense of a garden – through the gaze he casts on these natural elements. Inspired by European painting (Douanier Rousseau) as much as by calligraphy, Jean-Christophe Ballot plays with perspectives, creating artifices, illusions, thus rediscovering the essence of photography.

Charles Hair

Charles Hair is a ceramic artist living in the heart of the Touraine region of France (Loire valley). He shapes clay – stoneware or porcelain – with a goldsmith’s precision that gives his pieces an obviousness and a timeless harmony. The enamels, which have been worked on for a long time, are mastered and have also become one of his creative trademarks.
The color does not clash but is deep, warm. Green, black, blue, celadon, eggplant, … shimmer under the glaze. The surface is sometimes marked by the traces of the ceramist’s fingers, creating small craters. This exhibition is a selection of bowls of intimate dimensions (Ht 9 x diameter 12 cm on average), for some placed on steles themselves in ceramics or presented under glass cloches like the precious objects they are, objects of curiosity ready to be admired and touched.

Isabelle Tournoud

Visual artist, Isabelle Tournoud has started a new series of drawings with red ink on paper. Entitled “Les crève-cœurs” and “Les Simples”, she has chosen the flowers called simples and known since Antiquity for their medicinal virtues (simplis herba).

Thyme, juniper, lemon balm, cornflower, sage etc. the list is long and this new series already includes more than thirty “portraits” of these flowers, mixing pencil and ink. Here is what the artist says: “Tears of blood, I sketch them with red ink to inscribe in our memory the oblivion of their knowledge. These drawings of the series of heartbreaks show the fragility of a biodiversity whose knowledge of the benefits for human health disappears but also simply their very existence. Sometimes a text appears in this series, reminder of the properties of a plant but, the text is illegible, stained with red ink. This knowledge is not lost, just forgotten, it is up to us to remember it.”



Carte blanche

On an original invitation from the AAS (Swedish Art Association) and its current president, Riina Ingel, the Gallery is organizing for the first time an exhibition at the Cercle Suédois, rue de Rivoli, Paris 1er. Discovering the place nestled in the heart of a Haussmannian apartment with a dense history (first Swedish Circle abroad, creation of the Nobel Prize, AAS since 1957), the gallery continues its nomadic work in original, singular places, open to art and welcoming contemporary art with always great enthusiasm.
Carte blanche simply for the title of this exhibition turned towards nature also honored during Art Paris fair which will take place in early April.
Carte blanche of the gallery in a new place to invest.
Three artists whose concerns are different but who each in their own way will respond to the other artist through works as varied as photography, drawing and ceramics.
The color is at the rendezvous for a shimmering exhibition that questions our relationship to nature in a broad acceptance, that of a look that we must carry with benevolence on what surrounds us and that we must respect. Knowing the origin of plants (Isabelle Tournoud), feeling the earth (Charles Hair), looking at the landscape shaped by nature itself (Jean-Christophe Ballot) require a contemplative, sensitive and analytical attitude.
The artists are there to remind us and share with us a moment of necessary beauty.

Exhibition organized in partnership with the Swedish Art Association in Paris.

The Cercle Suédois (The Swedish Circle) in brief

Founded in 1891, the “Svenska Klubben i Paris” is the oldest the Cercle Suédois abroad.
Just a stone’s throw from the Place de la Concorde in the heart of Paris, the Cercle Suédois welcomes its members and their guests in its lounges, bar and restaurant with a breathtaking view of the Jardin des Tuileries.
In addition to the Rivoli Mercredi Jazz every Wednesday evening, the Cercle Suédois organizes for its members and their guests events dedicated to Swedish traditions and culture (themed lunches, traditional parties…), as well as other gatherings connected to the zeitgeist (After Work, Thursday Apéro, brunches…).
In 1957 the Swedish Art Association (AAS) was created and this year it celebrates its 65th anniversary. Close to the artists, the association is very active: organization of exhibitions, valorization of the collection of works created since the beginning of the Circle, edition of a work of art each year, help to the exposed artists, artistic meetings, conferences.

Practical information

Visit the exhibition


Monday – Friday
3:30 – 6:00 pm (confirmation of the exhibition visit is recommended)
And during events organized by the Swedish Circle (Wednesday jazz evening)

Exhibition exceptionally closed on 6 and 18 April (Easter Monday)


The Cercle Suédois
242, rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris
Intercom system / Building on the left, 2nd floor