SèteJean-Michel Othoniel: Géométries Amoureuses (Love Geometry)
From 10 June, two simultaneous monographic exhibitions dedicated to Jean-Michel Othoniel are presented at the Centre régional d’art contemporain Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée (Regional centre for contemporary art), in Sète, and the Carré Sainte-Anne, contemporary art space of the city of Montpellier.
Under the title “Géométries Amoureuses”, this double event shows several facets of the artist’s work through some sixty sculptures, a dozen paintings and over a hundred works on paper. The title brings together the dualities that characterize the work of Othoniel: sensuality and rigor, the hidden and revealed, wounds and beauties.
The Centre régional d’art contemporain in Sète – a former industrial wasteland rehabilitated as an art centre – and the Carré Saint-Anne, Montpellier’s contemporary art space, both open their spaces to make the work of the artist resonate with the specific character and charm of each place.
The CRAC in Sète presents an exhibition composed of monumental, previously unseen works. Inspired by the forms and shapes of nature, this exhibition treads a path close to a radical, monochrome and abstract architecture. These new works – made up of glass, mirror, metal, ink or obsidian – show the evolution in the artist’s work since his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in 2011.
On the ground floor, the exhibition begins with a colossal 6-meter-high and 15-meter-long wave, consisting of more than ten thousand bricks of black glass. Specifically conceived for the location, this work echoes the first photograph taken in Sète in 1987 by Gustave Le Gray, titled The Great Wave. In the following rooms, the visitor will discover for the first time mysterious meteorites in obsidian – a black stone that originates in volcanic lava – as well as a series of unseen works, made on canvas and titled Black Lotus, surrounding sculptures of the same name. The last rooms of the exhibition bear witness to the violence of the elements, represented by a series of gigantic steel cyclones suspended in space, and a flower, The Wild Pansy ̧ a large knot of colored-glass pearls – a tribute to the freedom of thought.
On the first floor, a hundred drawings, similar to a large travel diary made between 1996 and 2017, reveal the artist’s thought process and the genesis of many of his works.
This project creates an oeuvre that establishes itself in close relation with Sète and the architecture of the art centre.
Curator: Noëlle TissierImage: Jean-Michel Othoniel, Black Lotus, 2016 (sculpture) Fonte d’aluminium anodisé peinte en noir. H : 166 x L : 150 x P : 138 cm. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin - Photographie : Keith Park - au fond : Black Lotus, 2016 (peinture) Peinture sur toîle