Giacometti joins the Surrealist movement of André Breton in 1931 and is excluded in February 1935, but the surrealists processes keep playing an important part in his production: dreamlike vision, mounting and assembling, objects with a metaphorical functioning, magical treatment of the figure. It was in Switzerland, where Giacometti spent the Second World War, that he had the idea in 1944-45 for the sculpture which would be the prototype for his postwar standing figures: The Woman with Chariot, which depicts the image of his English friend Isabel from memory. The sculpture of a standing figure, facing forward with her arms beside her body and her face expressionless, is a fine example of Giacometti’s research between 1945 and 1965 involving the space of representation: the figures were either set on pedestals which isolated them from the ground, or incorporated in “cages” forming a virtual space. The standing female figures are allusive silhouettes, sometimes reduced to a line, and invariably approached by way of successive phases conveyed by series.
Born in 1901 in Borgonovo (Switzerland), Alberto Giacometti died in 1966 in Coire (Switzerland). He grew up in an artistic environment thanks to his father, the neo-impressionist swiss painter Giovanni Giacometti. In 1956 he represented France at the Venice Biennale, to which he returned by invitation in 1962 for a personnal exhibition. On this occasion was handed to him the Grand Prize for Sculpture. Two other major awards followed : in 1964 he won the Guggenheim International Award and in 1965 the Grand Prix national des arts, delivered by the ministry of culture in France. His works are included in various major international institutions, among them, the MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, the Tate in London, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Camille Henrot’s Minor Concerns series “seeks to reclaim the routine indignities with which our lives are replete. We are introduced, via large-scale drawings, to a cast of characters whose fumbling, neurotic and disordered lives are redeemed by their instinctive humanity. As heroes in the mould of Pnin, of Leopold Bloom, of Monsieur Hulot, their nobility is predicated upon—rather than compromised by—their response to the ignominies inflicted upon them by societies from which they are, in some way, cast out. We recognise in their exemplary misfortunes our own minor concerns, and that vicarious identification allows us to perceive the transformative potential of the predicaments in which they find themselves. These ironic, compassionate, cartoonish portraits present the stuff of life as the material of an epic. The average day is revealed to be crowded with incidents that expose us to the possibility of defeat: the embarrassing state of our body, the siren temptations of pornography, the treachery of objects, the unruliness of our appetites and emotions. Character is shaped in reaction to adversity, irrespective of its scale, and in these petty crises is the opportunity to prove oneself. These crises precipitate metamorphoses, and Henrot uses the fluid boundaries between species to remind us that not only the physical world but human nature (through love, pain, hatred, failure, loss) exist in a constant state of flux. This fact—and the mortality it entails—is the greatest affront to human dignity, and so the petty humiliation of a missed step or pennilessness is linked to the recognition (and acceptance) of our own shameful impermanence. We are pitched halfway between animals and gods, as mythology exists to remind us, and the categorical distinctions are not as fixed as we might believe.” (Ben Eastham). On the other hand Camille Henrot’s Desktop series is about how the power is incarnated in everyday desktop objects — the book, the axis, the tape, the trophy. The titles are inspired by management jargon, with particular attention paid to how white-collar business people talk about relationships.
Born in 1978, Camille Henrot lives and works in New York (USA). A 2013 artistic fellowship at the Smithsonian resulted in her film Grosse Fatigue, for which she was awarded the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale. She has had various solo exhibitions in institutions among them Fondazione Memmo in Rome; Madre Museum in Naples; New Museum in New York; Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin; New Orleans Museum of Art and the Jeu de Paume in Paris. Her work has been included in group shows at MoMA in New York; Centre Pompidou in Paris; Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo; Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; and SculptureCenter in Long Island. She is the recipient of the 2014 Nam June Paik Award and the Edvard Munch Art Award 2015.
Camille Henrot will present a solo show at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, from October 18th, 2017 to January 7th, 2018.
Lee Ufan is legion. Known and recognised throughout the world for his paintings and sculptures, he is also a writer, philosopher, and art critic. He is Korean and Japanese, a double cultural heritage that has been further enriched through his special relationships with France, Germany, Denmark, and numerous other countries. […] Whether drawn, painted, or sculpted, every one of Lee Ufan’s works is a beginning, an existential point, an event from which the exploration of an infinite, unknown, though vital world unfolds. This adventure takes place in a dialogue with the work. It is a question of setting in motion the creative process that will open art up to its own life. It will allow the viewer to enter into a dance scored to feeling. The outcome is vital: to become freer, vaster, more in tune with the infinite, and hence to the universe. ‘It is not the universe that is infinite, it’s the infinite that is the universe’, says Lee Ufan. Nuance appears on the scale of the limitless, where each of us can invent new dimensions for ourselves.
© Annabelle Gugnon
Born in 1936, in Kyongnam (South Korea), Lee Ufan studied calligraphy, poetry and painting at the College of Kyongnam and the University of Seoul. Lee has been the subject of major shows, in multiples instutitions such as the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels; Yokohama Museum of Art; Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Étienne Métropole; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Jeu de Paume, Paris and the MMCA — National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul. He was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for painting in 2001 and the UNESCO Prize in 2000. In 2010 the Lee Ufan Museum, designed by Tadao Ando, opened at Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan. In 2011, Lee’s work was featured in at the Venice Biennale and the Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York, organized a retrospective of his works. In 2014 Alfred Pacquement curated Lee’s exhibition in the gardens of Versailles and in 2015 the city of Busan honoured the artist with the opening of Space Lee Ufan part of the Busan Museum of Art.
In 2017 for the reopening of the Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré in Tours, the institution will present a solo show of Lee Ufan entitled “Révélation”, from July 9th to November 12th.
The drawings of Martial Raysse provide an itimate glance into his work “making available for the general public a body of work that has been little known until now. The lens offered by drawing often gives one the impression of having surprised the artist in his studio. There is a bit of that here, in the spontaneity of the compositions and poetic assemblages, but it’s not everything. There is also the image of work, control, straightening and fixing up, of past time and the surprising alignments this allows for today.” (Anaël Pigeat)
Born in 1936 in Golfe-Juan (France), Martial Raysse lives and works in Issigeac (France). Former member of the Nouveaux Réalistes, he is a major and historical figure of contemporary art in France and abroad. Great exhibitions have been dedicated to him in the last years, notably a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in 2014 curated by Catherine Grenier and also in Venice at the Palazzo Grassi curated by Caroline Bourgeois in 2015. His works have been part of the collections of various institutions : the Centre Pompidou and the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, the Museum Ludwig and the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, the S.M.A.K. in Gand, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk and the Menil Collection in Houston.
A solo show is currently dedicated to him in two of our parisian galleries (47 rue Saint-André- des-Arts, Paris 6 and at the 28 avenue Matignon, Paris 8) starting March 16th until April 22nd. A catalog of his drawings is being published on this occasion.
© ADAGP Camille Henrot © ADAGP Martial Raysse © Lee Ufan © ADAGP Alberto Giacometti. Photo. Julie Joubert & archives kamel mennour. Courtesy Foundation Alberto Giacometti, the artists and kamel mennour, Paris/London