Jean-Pierre Criqui

  • Katharina Fritsch

    IMAGINE SOL LEWITT OR DONALD JUDD in love with old fairy tales, haunted not only by the formal archetypes of geometry but also by the iconography of piety, commerce, and everyday life in their most generic aspects. The resulting combination might have resembled the work of Katharina Fritsch (born in 1956 in Essen, Germany).

    IMAGINE SOL LEWITT OR DONALD JUDD in love with old fairy tales, haunted not only by the formal archetypes of geometry but also by the iconography of piety, commerce, and everyday life in their most generic aspects. The resulting combination—as improbable, or as beautiful, as the encounter, so dear to Lautréamont, of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissection table—might have resembled the work of Katharina Fritsch (born in 1956 in Essen, Germany). Driven by a search for maximum visual impact, and fabricated with an obsessive perfectionism, her various productions—small

  • Saâdane Afif

    Faithful to the idea of the “cover version,” the artist will revisit and rework more than ten of his previous productions in the show.

    The works of French-born, Berlin- and Paris-based Saâdane Afif frequently include an audio or musical dimension. His best-known work, Power Chords, 2005, is based on a principle similar to synesthesia: The sound sculpture consists of a computer-programmed chorus of electric guitars, each playing a series of chords derived from the chromatic sequence of one of André Cadere's barres de bois rond. Melding the figures of viewer and listener in an ambiguous way, Afif always makes reference to some absent origin and thereby induces the sort of nostalgia—light and

  • Claude Closky

    For this show, Claude Closky will translate some fifty of his works from 1989 to 2007—drawings, collages, video, Web projects, artist's books, and other texts—into a purely sonic mode. Visitors will don headphones and stroll through otherwise empty galleries, listening to the results.

    “I like the kind of artifice that gives no authority to form,” quipped French artist Claude Closky, whose multimedia output includes a book of the first thousand numbers in alphabetical order and a series of giant street posters announcing that it isn't 3 PM. A Bartleby in reverse, Closky is a hyperactive artist who find new reasons to produce work in the realm of the arbitrary. For this show, he will translate some fifty of his works from 1989 to 2007—drawings, collages, video, Web projects, artist's books, and other texts—into a purely sonic mode. Visitors will don headphones

  • Richard Estes

    It used to seem obvious that the Photorealist work of Richard Estes (born 1932) was in tune with the major artistic currents of the 1960s: primarily Pop, but also Minimalism, which it is difficult not to think of when looking at a painting such as Telephone Booths, 1968. But our sense of Estes’s affinity with these movements was doubtless mistaken and he now appears, instead, as an antimodern painter, fairly unconcerned with the art of the past century.

    It used to seem obvious that the Photorealist work of Richard Estes (born 1932) was in tune with the major artistic currents of the 1960s: primarily Pop, but also Minimalism, which it is difficult not to think of when looking at a painting such as Telephone Booths, 1968. But our sense of Estes’s affinity with these movements was doubtless mistaken and he now appears, instead, as an antimodern painter, fairly unconcerned with the art of the past century. Bringing together some fifty paintings from 1967 to the present, this retrospective should

  • “Ecstasy: In and About Altered Sttes”

    In the ’80s, XTC (the English pop band whose name phonetically transcribes the word that serves as the theme for this exhibition) wrote a song titled “The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul.” The great voyage beyond oneself seems to be the order of the day, at least if one is to judge by the number of recent exhibitions devoted either to soul-searching’s historical and vernacular side (psychedelia) or to its multiple avatars in contemporary art. Among the latter, this show promises a particularly original, and very multimedia, journey. The list of thirty artists is radically

  • psychedelic posters

    WE ARE IN A LUXURIOUS VILLA somewhere in the Los Angeles hills, the home of Terry Valentine, a rock-music producer of a certain age now involved in a panoply of dubious schemes. Our man stands facing a bathroom mirror, inspecting his teeth. His young mistress, lying in the tub, points at a framed poster for a Santana concert at the Fillmore West that hangs on the wall and, after waxing lyrical over its colors, says, “It must have been a time, huh? A golden moment.” Valentine responds, “Have you ever dreamed about a place you never really recalled being to before? A place that maybe only exists

  • “Inflamed with Art: Dubuffet and Art Brut”

    Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985), who amused himself at times by reading the comedies of Terence in the original Latin, nevertheless asserted that he preferred the inventions of art brut to the “parrot-like processes” of “cultural art”—a torturous but fruitful aporia that occupied him for much of his life. The largest show of art brut to date, this exhibition allows comparisons between 117 of Dubuffet’s own artistic productions and those of some fifty brut artists, from the Swiss Aloïse to Henry Darger by way of other less

  • Bernard Frize

    What is the greatest number of color fields that can be arranged so that each maintains a border with all others? Bernard Frize’s Heawood, 1999, a pair of painted sculptures in the permanent collection of the MAMVP, and Heawood, 2003, the thirteen digital prints that introduce this show of the artist’s mostly recent paintings, address this thorny question. The works’ namesake, British mathematician Percy John Heawood, labored over this and related problems (which originated in cartography) in the years surrounding the turn of the last century; at one point, exploring three-dimensional forms, he

  • LOCUS FOCUS: “HYPERREALISMS”

    TO BE A STUDENT OF ART HISTORY IN PARIS DURING THE EARLY ’80S WAS not especially exhilarating, but for me Jean-Claude Lebensztejn’s courses at Nanterre University and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, like Hubert Damisch’s seminars at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, were exceptions. I remember his classes, devoted to the beginnings of abstract art and to Romanticism, in which knowledge was mobilized not to anesthetize the subject but, on the contrary, to reconstruct in lively fashion the artistic stakes for Mondrian, Constable, Caspar David Friedrich, Novalis, and Nerval. In

  • Hyperréalismes—USA 1965–1975

    Just after Pop art created a taste for iconography drawn from the banal precincts of everyday life, and some time before photography began to rival the great apparatus of painting, there was hyperrealism.

    Just after Pop art created a taste for iconography drawn from the banal precincts of everyday life, and some time before photography began to rival the great apparatus of painting, there was hyperrealism. This exhibition revisits the American phase of the phenomenon in detail. As imagined by the highly imaginative art historian Jean Claude Lebensztejn, accompanied by Patrick Javault of the MAMC in Strasbourg, “Hyperréalismes” presents roughly seventy works by more than a dozen artists, from Richard Artschwager to Ben Schonzeit. The landmark catalogue includes texts by the curators and art

  • Carla Accardi

    Italian writer and poet Italo Calvino was preparing the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University when he died suddenly in 1985. Published later as Six Memos for the Next Millennium, the series begins by exploring the theme of lightness. Identifying the source of his literary vocation as the urgent desire to escape the paralyzing effects of heaviness, Calvino declared, “Above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.” If Calvino's enterprise was a “subtraction of weight,” the project of his compatriot and contemporary Carla Accardi has run

  • CTRL [SPACE]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother

    The twofold destiny of the spectator: A viewing subject, this modern figure who was constituted parallel to the autonomous work of art, is also always the object of the other’s gaze. This is the theme explored by Thomas Y. Levin through an itinerary whose theoretical and chronological point of departure is Jeremy Bentham’s vision of a panoptical prison project. Examining the consequences of this model of total control for visual culture, Levin has gathered around fifty names, among them artists, photographers, architects, and filmmakers. “CTRL [SPACE]”: an exhibition that should see you.

  • EATER'S DIGEST: WIM DELVOYE'S CLOACA

    PURE NIGHTMARE OR FONDEST DESIRE, we all dreamed of it; Wim Delvoye has made it. After eight years of collaboration with a team of experts in fields as diverse as gastroenterology, computer technology, and plumbing, the Belgian artist debuted his defecation machine at the Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, last fall, just in time for it to leave its mark on the twentieth century.

    Any observer of modern art could smell it coming: The history of the relationship between art and excrement has yet to be written (no doubt dissertations are in the pipeline), but the link is a solid one. We know,

  • “Voici”

    It is possible to say, if one has a slight taste for paradox, that from the very beginning there has only ever been contemporary art, and so the history of art in its entirety could be described as an interminable succession of contemporary moments. There is something of this Zeno-esque perspective in the subtitle of “Voici: 100 Years of Contemporary Art,” a show that presented such unusual pairings as Jeff Koons and Rodin, Sue Williams and Manet. The inclusion of Manet alone suffices to demonstrate that the strict limits of the century were blithely transgressed; in fact, the oldest work on

  • Christopher Williams

    For example: What relationship is there between a French car from the ’60s—a Japanese student posing for a fashion photo in 1993, papayas (of the Carica papaya Linné sort), and a dishwasher tray filled with brightly colored plates? This is the sort of question raised by Christopher Williams’s first solo exhibition in a French institution, “Couleur Européenne, Couleur Soviétique, Couleur Chinoise” (European color, Soviet color, Chinese color)—a title that is already somewhat confusing in light of the images presented. What was found on the walls of Le Magasin’s rooms, hung (“orchestrated,”

  • Galería Kurimanzutto

    AS SPECIFIC AS A BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT, it was the first thing you read on the back of the small poster that served as the invitation to an exhibition: “The Kurimanzutto Gallery was founded on August 21, 1999, in Mexico City, by Mónica Manzutto, José Kuri, and Gabriel Orozco with thirteen artists to collaborate and represent their work: Minerva Cuevas, Eduardo Abaroa, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Damián Ortega, Philippe Hernández, Gabriel Kuri, Sofia Táboas, Jonathan Hernández, Fernando Ortega, Alejandro Carrasco, Luis Felipe Ortega, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Daniel Guzmán.”

    Kurimanzutto doesn't have its own

  • François Morrelet

    The natural child of Max Bill and Alphonse Allais, born by chance in 1926, François Morellet combines the joys of geometry and wordplay in his work. This ninety-five piece full-career survey, his first in Paris since the 1986 retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou, should prove once and for all that he is one of the four or five most important French artists of the postwar period (to resort to the kind of appraisal that never fails to cause dissension). Daniel Abadie, the museum's director, places particular emphasis on the neon pieces, where the genius of the absurd vies with a programmatic

  • Daniel Buren

    Of the handful of upcoming European exhibitions devoted to Daniel Buren, this pair looms large. In Villeneuve d’Ascq, the emphasis is on the artist’s beginnings through the refinement of his “visual tool” (striped canvas in bands 8.7 centimeters wide, alternately white and color) in 1967. Also on offer, in Villeurbanne, is a retrospective of the “Cabanes,” an in-progress suite begun in 1982 that takes architecture and the notion of in situ (central to Buren’s thought) in a radically new direction. The occasion coincides with the publication of the first volume of Buren’s catalogue raisonné.

  • “Murdering the Media: Karl Kraus's Die Fackel”

    “Art must displease,” wrote Karl Kraus, a master stylist whose artistry was equaled only by his pessimism. A friend of Adolph Loos and Oskar Kokoschka, admired by Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht, Kraus published 922 issues of Die Fackel (The torch), the journal he founded in 1899 and edited almost single-handedly from 1911 until his death in 1936. The exhibition at Vienna's Jewish Museum (which includes nearly 600 photographs) offers a detailed presentation of this unique undertaking that attacked all the moral and cultural pillars of Austria—with particular ferocity reserved for journalists.

  • Bernard Frize

    Someone who makes paintings this, well, different, then gives them titles like 61% True–38% False and Drexel-Burnham-Lambert is bound to hold your attention. Bernard Frize, the most singular French painter working today, has been pursuing a remarkable European career. With about forty paintings, most from the last two years, the show in Tilburg (organized by De Pont director Hendrik Driessen with a catalogue authored by Dominic van den Boogerd) allows a detailed look at a way of thinking about painting in which nothing goes without saying and each work problematizes the conditions of its own