The Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris is presenting Thomas Houseago’s first retrospective in France.
Sculpture as place, 1958 – 2010
Musée d’Art Moderne
18 October 2016 – 12 February 2017
The Musée d’Art Moderne is presenting a tribute to the major 20th-century American artist Carl Andre (b. 1935 in Quincy, Massachusetts). The exhibition Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010 covers the full spectrum and inner consistency of the Andre oeuvre, with 40 monumental sculptures, numerous poems and photographs, works on paper and various objects that defy pigeonholing. His iconic works appear alongside pieces never shown together before, such as his Dada Forgeries. A leading Minimalist figure together with Donald Judd and Robert Morris, Andre also has links with Conceptualism and Land Art and now stands out as one of the 20th century’s greatest sculptors.
This retrospective reveals how Andre, working with standard, unmodified industrial elements, redefined sculpture as a means for experiencing space, form and matter. He also produced poems that made use of words for their visual as well as their semantic and sound value. The overt simplicity of his work challenges the traditional notions of technique, composition and installation, at the same time as it makes the viewer an active participant.
After arriving in New York in 1957, Andre wrote poetry and made his first, small sculptures. Drawn to the properties of matter – form, weight, texture – in 1965 he began assembling industrial components like wood, metal, bricks and bales of hay in interaction with his exhibition venues. Since then he has continued to respond to gallery, museum and urban spaces: he works with materials he finds on-site, assembles items he can handle on his own, and produces works that combine real presence with a spatial integration so effective that they seem to have been there forever.
In the Andre oeuvre the artwork changes status: it is no longer a symbolic or figurative element, but a real object that is as much a part of the world as a tree or a wall. In the course of the 1960s his notion of sculpture evolved, first as form, then as structure and finally as place: “I have desires,” he told Marta Gnyp in an interview in 2015. “I don’t have ideas. For me it is a physical desire to find the material and a place to work.”
The first Carl Andre exhibition in France for twenty years – the last was at the Musée Cantini in Marseille in 1997 – Sculpture as Place reflects the Musée d’Art Moderne’s policy of taking a fresh look at the great founders of modernity.
Sébastien Gokalp, Yasmil Raymond, Philippe Vergne
Designed by the Dia Art Foundation in close collaboration with the artist, this retrospective has already been seen in New York (2014), Madrid (2015) and Berlin (2016), and will subsequently travel to Los Angeles (2017).
More information: www.mam.paris.fr
Paris Pantin | Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac | 01 Mar 2015 – 18 Jul 2015
A powerhouse of an exhibition from Antony Gormley opens this weekend at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris.
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is delighted to host a major exhibition of sculptures by Antony Gormley in the vast halls of the gallery space in Pantin. The exhibition continues the artist’s investigation of body and space, interrogating the body as place and architecture as the primary conditioner of our experience of space. Antony Gormley fully exploits the scale and volumes of the former foundry sheds that now form the gallery, catalysing our experience of space and time through works that either constitute or are arranged as “fields”. In a recent statement, the artist describes being “increasingly interested in the tropes of framing, containing and constructing being freed from architecture’s shelter function… to make a psychological architecture that allows surface and mass, light and dark, open and closed volumes free play in works that become places for an adventure in real time.”
The first exhibition space is occupied by the work Hole, a four-metre-high model of a house as a body. This work objectifies and internalises the relationship between a perceiving human body and its habitat by mining and perforating the normally closed body-volumes using the languages of cells, corridors, shafts and windows, presenting the subjective body as a mansion of many chambers.
This idea of the transmutation of the anatomical body into interconnected cells is continued in the second gallery space with the installation Expansion Field. The sixty sculptures that constitute this piece are arranged in four rows; a totalised environment constructed in Corten steel sheet from expansions of over twenty fundamental body poses. Each work has been evolved by applying regular increments of expansion to each of the constituent cells of a particular body stack. Together the group of sculptures form a field similar in appearance to the repeated units of a minimalist installation or the rows of megaliths at Carnac.
In the largest and highest space in the exhibition another field is installed. Here, well over life-size cast iron stelae immerse viewers in a forest of totemic presence, in which they are invited to intuit somatic gestalts evoking a variety of emotions, from resistance to delirium.
The final work in the exhibition, Matrix II, is made specifically for the fourth space of the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin. It is virtual architecture, a three-dimensional drawing that identifies sixteen room-sized volumes that interconnect around a void space equivalent to two adjacent standing bodies. Using re-enforcing mesh, the skeleton of cast-concrete buildings, Matrix II interrogates the form and structure of the human habitat. This work reveals itself to the gaze of an ambulatory visitor and invites visual penetration, while denying physical access. The challenge of distinguishing foreground, mid-ground and background in the multiple layers of mesh is a vertiginous optical task. As the viewer circulates around the work it creates a disorientating perceptual field in which figure/ground relations become inverted and the accelerating effects of compressed perspective confuses the eye.
The effect of each of these works displayed through the four halls in Pantin is to disorientate the viewers and invite them on a journey of auto-observation. Second Body is a continuation of the artist’s conception of the exhibition as a physical and psychological test site.
A catalogue with texts by the American choreographer William Forsythe, the art historian Guitemie Maldonado and a conversation between Antony Gormley and Hans Ulrich Obrist will be published in Spring 2015 to accompany the exhibition.
Antony Gormley was born in London in 1950 and received a degree from Trinity College, Cambridge in Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Art. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, he travelled for three years in India before returning to enrol in London’s Central School of Art, Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize in 1999, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997 and has been a Royal Academician since 2003. In 2011 he received the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in recognition of his set for Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Babel. In 2013 he received the Praemium Imperiale and in 2014 he was made Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for Services to the Arts.
Gormley’s work has been widely exhibited throughout the UK and internationally with exhibitions at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo, Rio di Janeiro and Brasilia (2012); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2012); The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (2011); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2010); Hayward Gallery, London (2007); Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (1993) and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (1989). He has also participated in major group shows such as the Venice Biennale (1982 and 1986) and Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany
The notable recent exhibitions of Gormley’s works are Expansion Field, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland (5 September 2014 – 11 January 2015); Sesostris III: A Legendary Pharaoh, Palais des Beaux Arts, Lille, France (19 October 2014 – 25 January 2015) and Sculpture 21st: Antony Gormley, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany (22 November 2014 – 1 February 2015). In May 2015 the exhibition Land will take place at various sites in the United Kingdom and it will be visible for one year.
Structures of Existence: The Cells
27 February 2015 – 02 August 2015
Haus der Kunst
In an artistic career spanning seven decades, Louise Bourgeois (1911, Paris – 2010, New York) created a unique body of work in a wide range
of form, material and scale. In the 1940s, she pioneered the use of
environmental installation for her work, and in the 1970s and 80s she
would at times bring her sculpture into dialogue with theater and
performance. Further, her work helped shift critical discourse to
encompass psychoanalysis and feminism, theories that have since become
prevalent in the artistic language of contemporary art today.
Among the most innovative and challenging sculptural works in her
extensive oeuvre are the “Cells”, a series of architectural spaces that
preoccupied her for nearly 20 years. Bourgeois’s “Cells” are intensely
psychological microcosms: situated within various enclosures, each is a
multi-faceted collection of objects and sculptural forms arranged to
evoke an atmosphere of emotional resonance. In almost theatrical scenes,
these everyday objects, items of clothing or fabric, or furniture,
along with singular sculptures by Bourgeois, create a charged barrier
between the interior world of the artist and the exterior world that is
the exhibition space.
As Bourgeois stated: “The ‘Cells’ represent different types of pain:
the physical, the emotional and psychological, and the mental and
intellectual. When does the emotional become physical? When does the
physical become emotional? It’s a circle going round and round. …Each
‘Cell’ deals with the pleasure of the voyeur, the thrill of looking and
being looked at. The ‘Cells’ either attract or repulse each other. There
is this urge to integrate, merge, or disintegrate.” (Louise Bourgeois,
In this exhibition, the first to concentrate on the “Cells” series,
Haus der Kunst will assemble the largest number of “Cells” presented to
date. It will also include important works from previous decades that
led to the development of this body of work. This comprehensive survey
will bring to light key facets of Bourgeois’s thinking about space and
memory, the body and architecture, and the conscious and the
Robert Delaunay is this weekend’s Sunday Painter. The French painter who co-founded Orphism for its use of strong, vivid colours and geometric shapes produced both abstract and figurative work.
Robert Delaunay 1885-1941
French painter, born in Paris. Apprenticed for two years to a theatrical designer, then began to paint. Influenced by Neo-Impressionism 1906-7, afterwards by Cézanne; a friend of Metzinger and the Douanier Rousseau. Series of pictures of ‘Saint-Séverin’, ‘The Eiffel Tower’ and ‘The City’. Married the painter Sonia Terk in 1910. Exhibited in the Cubist room at the Salon des Indépendants in 1911 with Metzinger, Gleizes, Léger and Le Fauconnier. Started to use pure colours again early in 1912 and at the end of the same year painted his first ‘Disc’ and ‘Circular Forms’, his first abstract pictures. First one-man exhibition at the Galeries Barbazanges, Paris, 1912. His work was much admired in Paris by Apollinaire, who gave it the name Orphism, and in Germany by Klee, Macke and Marc. Lived in Spain and Portugal during the First World War; returned to Paris in 1920. After painting various figurative themes such as nude women reading, runners and portraits, he returned in 1930 to complete abstraction and made numerous compositions with circular discs and colour rhythms, sometimes in low relief. Executed with assistants huge panels and coloured reliefs for the Aeronautics pavilion at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition. Died at Montpellier.