25 years of running a gallery seems long and yet it goes by very quickly. I started working at the age of 16 or 17 for the Charles Cartwright Gallery and when I was 21 I started my own gallery. Now I am 45 and have almost a 30-year career behind me.
It’s sad to have to organise your own birthday. So when Martine Aubry and Didier fusillier were kind enough to invite me to Lille, the offer was too good to turn down. By handing over the Tripostal to me, a 6000 m2 space, they gave me the opportunity to present both the artists who have been part of my career along the way and those who are part of the current programming at my gallery.
There is undoubtedly a touch of pretension involved in doing a retrospective. But also a questioning of things. I fluctuate between pride for having worked with important artists and regret for having missed some opportunities.
When several artists of our gallery become successful, we like to think we share in the merit. That it is not chance that guides us but a sharp instinct. The choice of artists is crucial but when we engage with them early in their careers, we have very little to go on: the few works already created, unrealised projects, their discourse, passion, charisma, aspirations, modesty, the people around them, determination, ethics, the ability to collaborate… That’s what helps us decide. While many of these criteria are suitable, we must determine whether or not the gallery is able to develop this potential.
We always hope that the artist’s entry into the gallery will be a new step for him. We are giving him a context and tools to grow and to do so – we hope – in a good direction.
It isn’t always straightforward. The incredible success of some of the gallery’s artists makes the public forget the risks that we continue to take. Without some big names, it would be impossible to offer other artists the same resources.
The power relations between dealers explain why some of us are willing to take risks to avoid losing artists. Our galleries are expanding, we are opening spaces abroad. We are participating in an exponential number of fairs (twelve per year in our case). We organize dinners and parties everywhere, hire more assistants, more directors. Up to now I have enjoyed the loyalty of my artists, and today I thank them for that.
I have a team that works hard, but I cannot help but think of all the things we can still improve. I try to give them enough freedom and responsibility so that they can flourish in the gallery. Most of my directors have been with me for over ten years. I want to thank them here for their patience and work. Without them we would not be celebrating this anniversary.
It was hard for me when I started out. The fRAC and the fNAC helped me a lot in my early years. There are many french collectors and of high quality. I am deeply grateful to them. A fellow art gallery owner was essential in my story: Marie-Hélène Montenay, who ran one of the most interesting galleries of the 90s. She offered to help me when I was only 23 years old. Her generosity and the freedom she gave me were crucial. Her good humour despite her long illness made her an example. She would have been happy to visit this exhibition. It is also hers.
This exhibition forces me take a look back on the journey travelled, but I hope it also marks the start of a new phase for me. One usually practices the trade of art gallery owner until the end of one’s life. This leaves me, I hope, with 25 years of great projects ahead! Ultimately, the invitation extended to me is a wonderful tribute to the craft of the gallery manager, a worthy profession. This exhibition proposed by a public institution to a private gallery is courageous. People have often pitted the institutional system against the private market instead of encouraging us to work together, but things are getting better. These closer links are beneficial to all, especially the artists.
Now, I leave you to discover the world in which I live and hope you will share in my passion. Dear visitors, I wish you lots of pleasure and emotions.

Emanuel Perrotin

Chiho Aoshima, Ivan Argote, Daniel Arsham, Mark Barrow, Hernan Bas, Anna Betbeze, Jes Brinch, Sophie Calle, Maurizio Cattelan, Peter Coffin, Martin Creed, Johan Creten, Matthew Day Jackson, Wim Delvoye, Eric Duyckaerts, Elmgreen & Dragset, Kate Ericson & Mel Ziegler, Leandro Erlich, Lionel Estève, Daniel Firman, Mark Flood, Bernard Frize, Giuseppe Gabellone, Gelitin, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Thilo Heinzmann, John Henderson, Gregor Hildebrandt, Noritoshi Hirakawa, Damien   Hirst, Information Fiction Publicité (IFP), Wendy Jacob, Sergej Jensen, Bernard Joisten, Pierre Joseph, JR, Yeondoo Jung, Jesper Just, KAWS, Jean-Pierre Khazem, Bharti Kher, Kolkoz, Klara Kristalova, Ange Leccia, Guy Limone, Adam McEwen, Ryan McGinley, Mariko Mori, Farhad Moshiri, Olivier Mosset, Gianni Motti, Mr., Takashi Murakami, Kaz Oshiro, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Philippe Parreno, Paola Pivi, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, R.H. Quaytman, Terry Rich ardson, Claude Rutault, Michael Sailstorfer, Aya Takano, Tatiana Trouvé, Piotr Uklanski, Xavier Veilhan, Pieter Vermeersch, Jean-Luc Vilmouth, John Waters, Pae White, Kenji Yanobe, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Peter Zimmermann. Emanuel Perrotin, Le Tripostal, Lille