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BERRI, Claude

PORTRAIT-BERRIBorn in Paris in 1934. 

Died in 2009 in Paris.

Claude Berri, the renowned film director and producer, is also a keen art enthusiast, and since the mid-1980s has been collecting paintings and modern art with a passion. In 1986, following the theft of a Tamara Lempicka canvas of which he was particularly fond, he realised how attached he was to painting and decided to give full rein to his passion. While discovering contemporary art circles, he met the characters essential to his life as a collector, the main ones being Marc Blondeau and Leo Castelli. His meeting with Castelli would be immortalised in 1988 in a television documentary, Claude Berri rencontre Leo Castelli, broadcast on French channel Sept, and in a book of the interview. In 1991, in association with Urs Raussmüller, Berri opened the Renn Espace, which has exhibited leading names such as Robert Ryman, Yves Klein and Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Bernd and Hilla Becher. Through his work as a gallery owner, he discovered photography, which he began to collect in the early 1990s. Claude Berri today owns one of the finest collections of modern art and of photography too. He has just published Autoportrait (Editions Léo Scheer).

Claude Berri presented his work at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2003: La collection de Claude Berri at the Palais de l’Archevêché and in the Cloître St Trophime, Arles.