Rosie Millard

Welcome to the Impasse Ronsin – the artists’ colony to beat them all

This tiny, squalid cul de sac in Paris’s 15th arrondissement was once the centre of the modern-art world

A huge amount of art, not much washing, and a lot of sex took place at the Impasse Ronsin, whose final flourish saw 20-year-old Argentine artist Marta Minujin’s destroy all her work in the Happening ‘La destruccion’, 6 June 1963. Credit: Shunk-Kender, courtesy of the artist

Of all creatives, visual artists are perhaps the least likely to work in isolation; the atomised life of garret-installed solitude is not for them. Artists have always bounced off one another, whether in colonies, studios, collectives or co-operatives. The YBAs would not have been a thing, let alone a now-unfashionable acronym, had a significant group of them not chosen to hang out together.

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