Photography by Franco Shicke
Fashion by Vanessa Bellugeon
According to an old English proverb, behind every great man is a great woman. Case in point: Behind the scenes of David Zwirner’s eponymous Paris gallery is Victoire de Pourtales, an art world veteran who has been quietly overseeing the chic space since its opening in October.
de Pourtales was running VNH Gallery in Le Marais, the artsy neighborhood in the third arrondissement of Paris, when the space was taken over by the David Zwirner empire in summer 2018. It was kismet, really: she is now running the space with Justine Durrett, who was brought in from New York. In just a few months, the space re-opened with Zwirner’s name freshly appended to the door and an inaugural exhibition by Raymond Pettibon, the illustrator who came up in the Los Angeles punk scene in the ‘80s and is now known for large-scale drawings of waves and political caricatures. The art world was impressed, to say the least, and de Pourtales has a feeling that momentum will only continue.
“We’re working on some shows which I think will be very exciting, with a strong program over the next year,” de Pourtales says. The gallery director is more comfortable talking about her work than herself – in fact, she is humble, often turning the conversation back to the gallery’s next exhibition, which will be American minimalist artist Dan Flavin, who has become famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from fluorescent light fixtures.
“He’s very interesting; the material is very important,” she says. “And his relationship to architecture in his work is very interesting. There are some very important pieces.”
Regardless, while de Pourtales may argue otherwise, talking about her career trajectory is equally as interesting as talking about the artists whose careers she shapes.
“I was lucky to grow up around art and I was very lucky to understand that I wanted to work in this field for a long time,” she says. “It just came very naturally to me.”
For centuries, de Pourtales’ extended family has excelled in many industries, art being one of them (as well as literature, finance, and diplomacy, to name a few others). But the gallery director isn't resting on anyone else’s laurels. “I think you just have to do things with passion and do what you believe in and it is only time. Time is a key point. Everyone wants to rush everything and be quick in their career,” she says. “And the luckiest thing is to be surrounded by artists."
L'Officiel teamed up with famed astrologist Susan Miller to predict what each sign has in store for the new year. For 2020, Leos should embrace their natural, healthy flush with hydrated skin. Whether your expertise is in the arts like de Pourtales or in something else altogether, let the power of your work shine with pinkish cheeks and rose-hued lips.
Makeup Virginie Hullaert (Sybille Kleber)
Hair Walter Armanno (Callisté)
Photo Assistant Jeremy Konko
Stylist Assistant Gabriela Cambero
Production Assistant Kenzia Bengel
Location La Moustache