Claire Moulène

  • Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni, 1922—The Uncomputable, 2016, HD video, color, sound, 26 minutes.

    Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni

    Art history regularly yields works that are worlds unto themselves, that demand time of the viewer and can only be understood properly from an oblique perspective, from a precise viewpoint, performing something like a temporal rather than a spatial anamorphosis. Among these is Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni’s series “The Unnamed,” 2014–, an epic tracing the world’s gradual algorithmization, which debuted at the Casino Luxembourg in January and will subsequently travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard in Paris, the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart,

  • View of “Sophie Bueno-Boutellier,” 2016.
    picks June 22, 2016

    Sophie Bueno-Boutellier

    The title is the key to this show of work by French artist Sophie Bueno-Boutellier. “La Ritournelle du peuple des cuisines” (The Refrain of the Kitchen People) makes reference to an essay by Luce Giard and Michel de Certeau published in the second volume of The Practice of Everyday Life (1998), in which the authors attempt to reconstruct the often pejorative grammar of domestic tasks from a feminist perspective.

    In the words of the curator, Dorothée Dupuis, this show is an “essay in the visual arts that posits the gesture and the body as fundamental units of measurement in our perception of time

  • View of “Katinka Bock,” 2014.

    Katinka Bock

    In Katinka Bock’s recent exhibition “Populonia,” everything was a matter of fluidity—fluidity not just of gaze, but also quite literally of water, which periodically flowed through two transparent tubes winding their way across the gallery floor. This German-born, Paris-based artist seems to possess an innate sense of space—of its equilibrium and vanishing points. And it was precisely such an exit, an unexpected perspective, that she found by piercing the back wall of the gallery to uncover another space, a storeroom one would not have known was hiding there. “I had the intuition that

  • Camille Henrot, “Robinson Crusoé,” Daniel Defoë, 2012, mixed media. Installation view. From the series “Est-il possible d’être révolutionnaire et d’aimer les fleurs?” (Is It Possible to Be a Revolutionary and Like Flowers?), 2011–12.

    Camille Henrot

    It’s a strange phenomenon that has been around since the 1970s, the decade of the famous Carnation Revolution that overturned Salazar in Portugal: flowers and their very specific language serving as emblems for revolutions. There was the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan in 2005, and, more recently, the Jasmine Revolution, which, after a month of protests in Tunisia that were bloodily repressed, eventually brought about the downfall of Ben Ali and inspired the revolt of the Arab world in its wake. A number of artists in recent years have seized upon this

  • View of “Pia Rönicke,” 2012.

    Pia Rönicke

    In Pia Rönicke’s recent exhibition “Dream and action find equal support in it,” everything was a matter of transparency—above all, that of the forms and ideas she assembled and borrowed from the Irish-born architect and designer Eileen Gray, whose oeuvre and precepts served as a script for what might be called an augmented or collaborative solo show. But transparency was also a matter of the Danish artist’s very approach, since she exhibited here, without restriction and without restraint, documents in the rawest, most straightforward form possible: photocopies, collage, low-resolution

  • Bruno Persat, Trying to make a work of art by thinking of Babylon . . . , 2011, charcoal on wall, dimensions variable. From “Le Sentiment des choses” (The Feeling of Things).

    “Le Sentiment des choses”

    A completely delightful mental exercise was offered by the curatorial team Yoann Gourmel and Elodie Royer: Take an artist unjustly relegated to obscurity by art history because unassimilable to a particular medium or movement; revisit his multifarious oeuvre, measuring it by the yardstick of contemporary standards; then peer into the cracks thus opened to illuminate, by the light of a new day, many of today’s works and practices. This magic formula is that of “Le Sentiment des choses” (The Feeling of Things), the stunning “prospective retrospective” not so much of as around the work of artist

  • Neil Beloufa, Untitled, 2011, mixed media, 59 x 78 3/4 x 94 1/2".

    Neil Beloufa

    Neil Beloufa belongs to a generation of artists seemingly unburdened by scruples about production or concerns about the readability of works. Still in his late twenties, this young French-Algerian is already surfing art centers and fairs around the globe and producing a sprawling oeuvre that is both formally and conceptually dense and complex. For his recent exhibition in Paris, he pulled out the big guns, as he is wont to do. Not that he presented anything luxurious or ostentatious, however; instead the exhibition space was invaded by a plethora of poor materials: melamine, wire mesh, taped

  • View of “Emmanuelle Lainé,” 2011. From left: Untitled, 2010; Untitled, 2010.

    Emmanuelle Lainé

    The French artist Emmanuelle Lainé, born in 1973, has previously given us bio- or even anthropomorphic drawings and roughly finished sculptures made out of materials ranging from concrete, plaster, and resin to grease, chocolate powder, and glue: bachelor machines and bondage gear that flirt with the history of science and of art (one of her recent pieces, LO, 2009, a case lined with mdf, was inspired by Picasso’s sleeping nudes) and favor an anachronistic approach. “I am not a modern,” the artist told me. “I don’t believe in ruptures but in a continuous history.”

    In her recent show “Effet cocktail

  • Benoît Maire

    The Nouvelle Vague: Benoît Maire, who spent some time studying philosophy before striking a path through the meanders of contemporary art, embodies this very French universe—defended body and soul in the 1960s by Godard, Truffaut, Eustache, and Varda—in more ways than one. First of all, he belongs to a new wave of artists, French but not only French, who deploy a rather discreet, radically intellectual art far from the laws of the market, an art whose anti-Pop formats tend more toward Conceptual art on the one hand and folk art on the other. Second, this thirty-two-year-old artist borrows

  • Mark Geffriaud

    Mark Geffriaud strives to obscure the clues of the individual artist’s signature by inviting friends, critics, designers, and other artists to collaborate on his work. For his recent double exhibition at the École Municipale des Beaux-Arts in Gennevilliers (“Et Mason”) and at the Zoo Galerie in Nantes (“Et Dixon”), he was joined by no fewer than ten people (and had invited a hundred). Artist and photographer Aurélien Mole shot portraits of Geffriaud’s collection of preparatory source images, extracted from books, magazines, and journals, which were then printed as panoramas along one wall in

  • “We Are Sun-kissed and Snow-blind”

    “I love the authority of black. It’s a color that doesn’t compromise. . . . At once a color and a non-color. When light is reflected on it, it transforms it, transmutes it. It opens up a mental field all of its own.” We owe this entirely personal definition to the painter Pierre Soulages, the inventor of outre-noir, ultrablack, whose work is on view all winter on the seventh floor of the Centre Pompidou. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Paris, Galerie Patrick Seguin was also playing with a color that is simultaneously a noncolor. Here, though, the subject was black’s immaculate counterpart: The gallery,

  • Kerstin Brätsch

    In Kerstin Brätsch’s work, the autobiographical elements cannot be discounted. It’s important to keep in mind that this young artist was born in Hamburg thirty years ago and now lives in New York—this dual heritage deeply colors her work. Take, for example, her latest exhibition in Paris, “buybrätschwörst”: Its eighteen large-scale paintings on paper were presented in rotation at a rate of three per day, one in the window, one hanging as a room divider, and one attached to the wall with magnets. These works take as their target German Expressionism and its pose of virile heroism, which Brätsch