ParisRaphaela Simon: The Fashion Show
Galerie Max Hetzler presents The Fashion Show, Raphaela Simon’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and first in Paris.
Conceived for the capital of fashion, The Fashion Show presents a recent body of work that testifies to the development of the artist’s visual vocabulary. Raphaela Simon shifts towards a simplified and almost analytical figuration. Her large canvases aspire to summarise their subjects rather than describe them in a realistic way. The artist endeavours to produce apparently simple compositions, applying, over monochrome backgrounds, synthetized motifs of familiar objects. Like key words, or icons, provided by the artist for us to decode each canvas, the elementary work titles such as, Pantolette (mule) or Dicker Schuh (big shoe), keep the viewer at a distance. The shoes displayed here thus take on a totemic dimension.
Alongside these large canvases, coexist the life-sized fabric figures of thin fashion show models and their dressers, actively bustling. Having recently appeared in Simon’s work, these meticulously staged, colourful sculptures, develop their own narratives and dialogue with the artist’s works on canvas.
In addition to the glamorous shades and platform shoes – accessories that reflect the pages of fashion magazines – the body of works selected comprises some apparently odd ones out. Some are perhaps even slightly provocative, such as the monumental representation of a Fleischwurst – a German sausage, referencing the popular culture of the artist’s homeland – as well as a gun, a tennis racket and a ski boot.
Born in 1986 in Villingen, Germany, Raphaela Simon currently lives and works in Berlin. She was Günther Förg’s student at the Munich Kunstakademie, and Peter Doig’s at the Fine Art Academy in Dusseldorf. Her work has been exhibited at Michael Werner Gallery, London (2019); Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin (2019 and 2017); TRAMPS, New York (2017); and Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles (2016).
Copyright © Nicolas Brasseur / Courtesy Raphaela Simon and Galerie Max Hetzler