Maison d’Art



Gold, Secular and Sacred


A journey from the 13th century to the present


The exhibition will be held at the Hotel de Paris, in the Salon Louise-Hippolyte,
from July 2nd to July 8th, 2022.
Opening hours will be from 11 am until 6 pm.


We will exhibit painters from the 13th century to contemporary, including a Tuscan Byzantine painter, a collaborator of Segna di Buonaventura (a fresco), Pietro Lorenzetti and workshop, Niccolò di Pietro, Andrea di Bonaiuto, Jacobello del Fiore, and Bartolomeo Rigossi da Gallarate, to name only a few.


Gold has been used for millennia as a sign of wealth and beauty and to enhance sacred paintings, bringing them to their highest level through the application of gold leaf, punchmarks and detailed decoration. Such paintings were treasured objects, used to honor the people who commissioned them as well as the place in which they stood. Being rare and precious, gold could emphasize the power of the owners, the Church (as an institution) and entire communities. Painters who specialized in working with gold were highly respected, and many of them became celebrated during their lifetime. Gold ground pictures were presented to local parishes, and the quantity of images often stood in direct proportion to the quality of relations between individual patrons and the Church.


We have combined these paintings with works by the contemporary artist Carlos Rolón, The artist has used gold this to explore history that directly deals with questions of inclusion, aspiration, cultural identity, cultivated settings, and their relationship to post-colonial spaces.


The idea of gold juxtaposed with stunning tropical flowers found in the New World of the Americas is an homage to their beauty while emphasizing how colonizers urgently sought out gold to enrich themselves and the Spanish Crown. The Americas were left with the destruction of land while most of the gold went to Spain for the creation gold bullion. These new works reimagine the beautiful flora and fauna that protected these precious minerals, creating a sense of urgency and beauty from a place of destruction that pays homage to his native heritage of Puerto Rico.



Carlos Rolón (born in Chicago, Illinois, 1970) is known for his multi-disciplinary practice that employs craft, ritual, beauty, spirituality, and history to explore memory and the macro narrative of the Caribbean diaspora as a symbol for broader issues surrounding migration and inclusion.


The blue-collar, baroque aesthetic of the artist’s upbringing reflected the cultural influence brought over by Rolon’s parents and his extended family from the island. Their homes― filled with patterned tiles, delicate faux porcelain, collected tchotchkes, floral wallpaper, and gilded-framed mirrors mixed with criolla energy― brimmed with the hopes and aspirations of a better life in the U.S., while juxtaposed against a backdrop of a deep-rooted past. Navigating this hybrid symbolism and exuberantly charged history is what forms the underlying thread of Rolon’s paintings, drawings and objects.


Rolón creates work that suggest rupture, tension, destruction, decay, beauty, and ultimately the hopeful possibility of cultural harmony. Honoring the humble origins of untouched landscape while also commenting on the fraught history of colonialism. Rolón redraws his vision of beauty, resilience, and optimism.

These new canvas works extend this narrative via tropical floral paintings embellished with 24kt gold leaf as a sober commentary on the history of his parent’s native Puerto Rico where the Spanish Inquisition destroyed much of the natural foliage, vegetation, and land for the excavation of gold. The artist acknowledges the complex stories that shape the identities of immigrants and emigrants such as his parents and the many that came before them, but injects such history with images of beauty, rebirth, and a sense of celebration for the abundant lives achieved in the face of their many challenges.

Rolón has held solo exhibitions at The Dallas Contemporary, Dallas; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Museo de Arte de Ponce, San Juan, Puerto Rico; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA and CAM Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis. His work has also been exhibited in group shows at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Marta Herford Museum, Herford, Germany; Museum Het Domein, Sittard, The Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museo del Barrio, New York and Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Canary Islands; Oakland University Art Gallery, Michigan and Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico.

In 2007 Rolón represented Ukraine in the 52nd Venice Biennale. He is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation award for Painting and Sculpture. Rolón’s work is included in the following public collections: Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Brooklyn Museum, New York; City of Chicago Public Art Collection; Deagu Art Museum, Deagu; Museo del Barrio, New York; Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan; Museum Het Domein, Sittard, The Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; New Orleans Museum of Art and Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine, among others.