Claire Moulène

  • 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,

  • 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

  • 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

    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

  • 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

  • “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

    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

  • 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

  • Lil Reynaud Dewar

    “I always work in a disturbed in situ,” explains French artist Lili Reynaud Dewar, whose solo show here included a large black wall that partitioned the gallery in two. Within this bisected space, which hosted video, sculpture, and photography, she built bridges—deliberately anachronistic ones—between the media of cinema and performance.

    Reynaud Dewar’s inspiration was the Black Maria, Thomas Edison’s Kinetograph production studio, which operated for just four years at the end of the nineteenth century. Kinetographs were the very first motion pictures, and the studio attracted hordes of performers

  • Jean-Luc Moulène

    Inspired by Norman Foster’s design for the Carré d’Art, Paris-based artist Jean-Luc Moulène has conceived an exhibition likewise organized around the form of the grid.

    Inspired by Norman Foster’s design for the Carré d’Art, Paris-based artist Jean-Luc Moulène (no relation to me) has conceived an exhibition likewise organized around the form of the grid. Rather than mount conventional groupings of works from his best-known photographic series—“Objets de grève,” 1999/2000, images of commodities made by factories during labor strikes, and “Produits de Palestine,” 2000, documentations of Palestinian goods—Moulène will arrange individual photographs (from those series as well as more recent street shots), drawings, and objects both fabricated

  • Loris Gréaud

    In Loris Gréaud’s work, what is on display is only ever the tip of the iceberg. Likewise, the artist is merely the figurehead for a gigantic production system involving collaborations with architect-designers (with two of whom the artist has founded a production company, DGZ Research), graphic artists, geo-biologists, and sound designers. “I’m like a conductor,” Gréaud said in a recent interview. “My original ideas go through a machine that negotiates them, distorts them, and distends them,” allowing him to be “both emitter and receiver” of his own works—an analysis confirmed by his recent

  • Mathieu Mercier

    On the occasion of his exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, French artist Mathieu Mercier has reinvested in a concept one might have thought long since worn out by critics and art historians: postmodernism. The works brought together for his first large-scale retrospective, “Sans Titres 1993–2007” (Untitled Works 1993–2007), function essentially according to postmodern principles of anachronism and stylistic miscegenation, and the exhibition itself, laid out by the artist, follows a varied itinerary that produces often dubious or brutal juxtapositions. For example, Mercier

  • “The Freak Show”

    With a title like “The Freak Show,” we might have expected to see Damien Hirst’s creatures in formaldehyde, Ron Mueck’s giants, or even Maurizio Cattelan’s Pope John Paul II crushed by a meteorite. Yet the exhibition, curated by art critic Vincent Pécoil and architect/designer Olivier Vadrot, two of the codirectors of Lyon’s nonprofit art center La Salle des Bains, contains no such figurative works. Rather, the exhibition transposes the concept behind sideshows—those spectacles that featured dwarfs, giants, Siamese twins, bearded women, contortionists, and the like—into the realm of art itself,

  • Lothar Hempel

    IN 1996 Nicolas Bourriaud included Lothar Hempel in “Traffic” at CAPC in Bordeaux, France, placing the German artist alongside numerous others of his generation such as Liam Gillick, Philippe Parreno, and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. Since then, Hempel’s star has perhaps not burned as brightly as these other artists’, but this spring saw him return to France for his first retrospective—or “flashback,” as the dreamlike nature of the show at Grenoble’s Magasin seemed to suggest.

    Organized by curator Florence Derieux, “Alphabet City” featured more than sixty pieces, spanned eleven rooms, and was

  • Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel

    On the outskirts of Paris, in Gennevilliers, a UFO has crash-landed: a gigantic S/M manta ray, all studded and jagged, in a tangle of piercings, black rubber, sharp metal, and silicone messily applied with a spatula. A menacing nightmare with a strange and foreign beauty conceived by the Nantes/Paris duo Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel. These two, both barely thirty, have erected the homemade into a methodology whose results are always perfect—painstakingly measured and finely tuned. Some of their early pieces, from 2002, resembled handcrafted readymades, carbon copies of Nike tennis shoes or

  • Michael Auder

    “Auder is a poet of moods, brief encounters, tragic moments of our miserable civilization. When I used to visit him at the Chelsea Hotel, around 1970, the video camera was always there, always going, a part of his house, a part of his life, eyes, hands. It still is. A most magnificent love affair: a life’s obsession.” These words, written in 1991 by Jonas Mekas, the other pope of the cinematic diary, confirm the importance of Michel Auder, today an illustrious unknown in France, an artist who in New York attained mythic status without ever becoming famous. Now reparation has been made with a