Nordine Zidoun (Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery) : Rising stars’ catcher
Nordine Zidoun is the co-founder of Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, a contemporary art gallery based in Luxembourg that recently opened two new branches in Dubai and Paris. He is known for having introduced some of the most influential African-American artists at a time when they were still relatively unknown in the art scene.
Can you present your career in a few words?
I started my career as an art consultant, a professional occupation I practiced for over 10 years. In 2007, pushed by some of the artists I was working with, I decided to open an art gallery in Paris to cultivate my passion for New York and specifically African-American artists. At that time, I think I was too avant-garde for the Parisian public, whereas Luxembourg collectors were immediately receptive to my approach to art. Luxembourg imposed itself to me as the place of international scope that could allow me to set up a place for contemporary art. In 2008, I opened the Galerie Zidoun, on rue Adolphe Fischer in the Gare district. I presented young African-American artists who were unknown in Europe at the time: Terry Adkins, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Titus Kaphar, Wangechi Mutu, Rashid Johnson, Jeff Sonhouse, to name a few. Today all of these artists are the big stars of the international art market. In 2013 I partnered with Audrey Bossuyt and together in 2015 we opened the Zidoun-Bossuyt gallery located in the Grund. Our expansion continued with the opening of two new galleries in 2022 in Dubai in March and in Paris in October. Both new spaces offer an expanded exhibition program with a focus on emerging African-American and also African artists: Khalif Tahir Thompson, Noel W. Anderson, Shaunté Gates, Yashua Klos, YoYo Lander, Nate Lewis, Eniwaye Oluwaseyi, Japanese artist Tomokazu Matsuyama, among others.
“The most difficult part of my job is to identify the talents of tomorrow, innovative artists who bring something new to the art history.”
Why did you choose a career in art?
As a teenager I discovered my passion for art. During a trip to New York at the age of 15, I discovered the works of Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat. It was a shock and a revelation. A few years later, three encounters left a deep impression on me. They secretly influenced the person I am today. I had the chance to meet three immense dealers, Leo Castelli, Bruno Bischofberger and Tony Shafrazi, and to converse at length with each of them about art and the artists they were defending.
How do you reconcile art with the commercial aspect?
The most difficult part of my job is to identify the talents of tomorrow, innovative artists who bring something new to art history. To last in the long term and build important collections it is essential to have the confidence of your collectors. It is important to be able to show them that the artist they have bought is part of important institutional collections, and that his career is therefore evolving in the right direction. In this way the financial element cannot be ignored. Even if you always have to buy a painting you like, it can be reconciled with an investment. Having access to information only held by a few people is key to anticipate the direction to be taken by the art market and it is for this reason that the relationship of trust is essential with the collector. I am proud to practice this profession and to be amazed every day by the new talents I discover.