Jean-Max Colard

  • The Seventies: Art in Question

    With a new generation of artists revisiting the experiments of the ’70s and cultivating legacies as diverse as Land art, post-Minimalism, and Joseph Beuys, a survey retracing the history of a lively decade that submitted art to every sort of question seems a timely effort. Organized by capcMusée director Maurice Fréchuret, “The Seventies” delves in with an offering of more than 300 works grouped into five major themes: the body, matter, space, surface, and text; the cross-section bare a crucial moment in recent art history. An international colloquium is planned for early December, with historians

  • picks July 08, 2002

    Bertrand Lavier

    Bertrand Lavier

    Woe to those in France and abroad who insist on seeing Bertrand Lavier as a heady intellectual ironist, a typically French neo-Duchampian. The retrospective of his work on view here presents an entirely different picture of the artist. Here we find explosions of color and visual force, a rich vocabulary of objects and materials, and a variety of genres and forms that explore and frequently transgress the limits of painting, sculpture, and design. Of course, Lavier’s usual light touch and impeccable sense of humor are amply represented, particularly in the new works such as the canoe, Nautiraid,

  • picks July 03, 2002

    Daniel Buren

    Daniel Buren

    “The Museum which didn’t exist.” With this somewhat utopian title, already critical, Daniel Buren anchors his first major exhibition at the Centre Pompidou and prepares his confrontation with the mothership of institutional French culture. Rather than mounting an impossible retrospective of a body of work that has been largely impermanent, Buren offers an open-ended view on the entirety of his production. He does so by deploying a myriad of spatial propositions: an exhibit resembling an open checkerboard, a labyrinth in which to get lost, rooms made entirely of mirrors, others enclosed by wire

  • Philippe Parreno

    Invited by the Musée d’Art Moderne’s Angeline Scherf and Hans-Ulrich Obrist to mount a first retrospective of his decade-long career, Philippe Parreno opted to go about things backward and start with a catalogue raisonné. Designed by colleagues M/M, the printed chronology freed the artist from the obligation to lay out his oeuvre. Instead Parreno is showcasing works from the last two years and even a few that are still in the pipeline, such as his project with scientist Jaron Lanier. It’s a (paradoxically) signature move for the artist: an

  • Bruno Serralongue

    Expo 2000 in Hannover, Hong Kong’s restoration to China in 1997, the Free Tibet Concert organized by the Beastie Boys in Washington, DC, in June 1998: events of unequal importance but media events all, and all of which have been “covered” by photographer Bruno Serralongue. In an age of instant information, this French artist proposes a slower mode of recording events: working without a press card, paying for his own trips, using a four-by-five-inch folding camera on a tripod, keeping his distance from official forums that provide a point of view that may appear open but which actually preestablishes

  • picks March 20, 2002

    Hans-Peter Feldmann

    Hans-Peter Feldmann in Paris

    With the deliciously bland subtitle “an art exhibition” and a catalog of 272 pages entitled 272 Pages, Hans-Peter Feldmann’s exhibition presents the work of an archivist of the ordinary who doesn’t aspire to make “art.” On display here are Feldmann’s various collections of books, images, postcards, views of the Eiffel Tower, toys, and other objects in order to serve up a ludic yet critical object lesson on appropriation and contemporary uses of the image—everything from vacation photography to collecting images of professional athletes. Feldmann’s approach to the matter is not always gentle; it

  • Eric Rondepierre

    Like many photographers, Eric Rondepierre travels to find his images. And yet he is not a reporter—and hardly even a photographer in the traditional sense of the term. His journeys of exploration, the first step in his creative process, are forays into the deepest nooks and crannies of film libraries—in Washington, Montreal, Lausanne, Bologna. For months on end, eight hours a day, he holes up in the most obscure theaters, eyes riveted to worn-out or decomposing film, looking at loops corroded by time or poor storage conditions. A sort of miner, Rondepierre tries to extract from these

  • Philippe Ramette

    The world upside down: The artist is standing in a suit and tie; he has climbed onto a pulpit, and his hands grip a wooden balcony that is floating on the water. Behind him the Bay of Hong Kong extends as far as the eye can see, but is turned at a ninety-degree angle, its skyscrapers strangely reclining, horizontal. With this unsettling image—Balcon II (Hong-Kong), 2001—Philippe Ramette superbly demonstrates the use that can be made of the strange furniture he has been constructing for more than ten years. Here, a Canon à paroles (Word cannon), 2001; there, a Fauteuil à coup de foudre

  • Raymond Hains

    “Raymond Hains, la tentative”: The very title of the show—“Raymond Hains: The Attempt”—underscores the difficulties involved in mounting a Hains retrospective. The first challenge is posed by the sheer variety of the artist’s oeuvre, from his photographs taken through fluted lenses and the tom posters he first realized with Jacques de la Villeglé in 1949, to his Nouveau Réaliste work alongside Yves Klein in the ’60s, to his recent collages of digital images, “Macintoshages,” 1997-. The second hurdle is Hains himself who has long avoided participation in a retrospective, leaving the

  • Fabrice Hybert

    Literary critic Lucien Dallenbach, who has previously written on Balzac, Claude Simon, and the Nouveau Roman, among other things, recently proposed a new metaphor for contemporary society: What if today’s world took the form of a mosaic? Indeed, this ancient art is making a strong comeback of late: From the patchwork screens of CNN to the parceled urbanism of New York and Marseilles, from models for the structure of genes to the covers of magazines, or by way of the fragmented and kaleidoscopic narratives of today’s novels, the mosaic has imposed itself as a form that structures our world,

  • picks November 08, 2001


    “Traversées” Spotlights Young French Artists

    After Fabrice Hybert’s and Pierre Huyghe’s Golden Lions at the 1997 and 2001 Venice Biennales, and the international recognition accorded to Philippe Parreno, Dominique Gonzalez-Förster, Pierrick Sorin, Xavier Veilhan, Claude Llévêque, and others, it’s become clear that France produced a new generation of talented, influential artists in the '90s. This might partly explain why curators Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Laurence Bossé position “Traversées” as a “post-national, heterogenous, emerging, and non-identity-based” exhibition. But the twenty-three young artists presented here—among them Mathieu

  • picks October 31, 2001

    Fabrice Hybert

    • Hybert Demonstrates His Broad Range

    Fabrice Hybert’s latest exhibition, at the Anne de Villepoix gallery, is a return to form for the 40-year-old French artist. Among the works on view here are several paintings, several objects never before exhibited, and a porn film, Vendanges-energie, meant to be the first in a series of X-rated films made by artists and produced by Hybert’s production company. From gardening to painting by way of the canvas C’Hybert-Pshitt, 2001 (which is also a video game work-in-progress), these exploded pieces demonstrate Hybert’s broad intellectual and artistic range—and his light touch—but also the wide

  • picks September 28, 2001

    Philippe Ramette

    • Philippe Ramette Turns the World Upside Down

    With close to thirty pieces and several series of drawings, Philippe Ramette has rather discreetly imposed himself on the French artistic scene as a wide-ranging creator endowed with a strange and poetic sensibility. Somewhere between design and reverie, Ramette offers up an array of objects, sometimes grim and caustic, sometimes ironic, ready for experimentation: The suicide of a chair hanging from a cord; a crucified motor scooter; a kit made for an alien encounter; a talking canon; falling starting-blocks. One could perhaps reproach this show for its stylishness and showroom look, which

  • picks September 07, 2001

    Lost in the Supermarket

    • Lost in Consumerism

    Inspired by the title of a Clash song, art critic Jean-Yves Jouannais’s thematic exhibition asks artists to reimagine sites of mass consumption: department stores, supermarkets, warehouses, etc. Jouannais considers this gesture to be a response to a “certain ideological instrumentalization of culture,” the reappropriation of commercial spaces for other cultural possibilities. In the video triptych Un rêve—en marchant avec précaution (A dream—walking with caution), 2000, Jean-Baptiste Bruant presents the critical theses of the show’s curator literally: We see the artist moving around at night in

  • Catherine Millet

    LAST APRIL, CATHERINE MILLET, a respected member of the French intelligentsia, editor in chief of Art Press for more than twenty years and author of several books on contemporary art, suddenly became famous—as a sex fiend, a habitué of orgies, the blow job queen of underground Paris; in short, a tireless servant of sexual liberation. What happened?

    A book. A dazzling best-seller with a title as naked as a porn star: La vie sexuelle de Catherine M. An autobiography of sorts, limited to a nonchronological analysis of the author's sexual encounters, which prove so numerous she is incapable of

  • picks July 10, 2001

    Dan Graham

    A Relational Aesthetic Years Ahead of Its Time?

    Whether in glass pavilions, in mirrors without their tain, or with hidden cameras, Dan Graham offers the viewer an experience of self that is—though sometimes live, sometimes recorded—always from the point of view of someone else—the other. This first full-scale retrospective in France gathers some of Graham’s most notable and magnificent works and, more importantly, is especially relevant in the context of the current French art scene. When one thinks of Pierre Huyghe’s prizewinning work at the Venice Biennale this year, with its play of opaque glass and a room-sized game of Pong, or of Dominique

  • picks June 14, 2001

    Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

    Gonzalez-Foerster's Blend of Cinema and Exhibition

    In leaning toward the medium of film, French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster has proposed to say good-bye to traditional forms of the exhibition—and she has done so with a great deal of formal and plastic ingenuity. On view here are her short and medium-length films, such as Riyo, which takes us along the length of a Tokyo canal, or the very recent and very beautiful Plages (Beaches), a single long aerial take of the overcrowded beaches of Copacabana. The true originality of this exhibition, entitled “Quelle architecture pour Mars?” (Which architecture for Mars?) lies, however, in the structures

  • Alain Séchas

    WHETHER IN THE FORM of sculpture, installation, or video, the work of Alain Séchas always retains a sort of primary allegiance to drawing. Using the style of comics and cartoons to put across his bony worldview, this French artist has populated his exhibitions with a playful and appealing bestiary for more than fifteen years. Yet despite its bright colors and superficially cheerful allure, Séchas's world has nothing childlike or sweet about it. If there were a Disney World à la Séchas, it would no doubt feature, in the manner of Paul McCarthy, a guided tour of all our fears, anxieties, and

  • Biennial

    Now that the millennial wrap-ups are truly over, the sixth Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon has turned an eye to the future: This installment (to be continued in 2003), themed “Complicity,” is a primer for the multidisciplinary visual culture the next century promises. Under the direction of Musée d’Art Contemporain’s Thierry Raspail and Thierry Prat, seven international curators explore points of contact among video, photography, dance, film, music—even literature (installations by French writer Patrick Bouvet and ferocious English novelist Will Self are planned). Following Harald Szeemann’s

  • Bertrand Lavier, Expositions 1976–2001

    “Americans work in terms of masterpieces; I do the mastershow!” For his MAMCO retrospective, Bertrand Lavier teleports through space and time, revisiting a few of his earlier exhibition-scale readymades, including shows in Paris at Eric Fabre (1980), Denise René (1997), and Yvon Lambert (2000), and at the Fine Arts Building in New York (1977). But these are more than re-creations: The artist has freshened up the installations with new works, effecting a retrospective as oeuvre-in-progress. The show boasts a double catalogue: One volume compiles interviews and the artist’s writings; the other is