Lillian Davies

  • interviews March 05, 2021

    Xinyi Cheng

    Xinyi Cheng, winner of the 2019 Baloise Art Prize, painted much of what is currently on view at Berlin’s Hamburger Banhof last spring, during France’s first Covid-induced lockdown. Her intimate-yet-detached gaze, previously applied to male figures in ambiguous encounters, is here trained on moments of solitude among men, women, and animals. The Horse with Eye Blinders—an enigmatic double portrait of a chestnut mare clad in red cap, ear hoods, and blinders and a young man with his arms folded across his bare chest—gives this exhibition its title. Born in Wuhan and raised in Beijing, Cheng is now

  • picks February 26, 2021

    Gaëlle Choisne

    Gaëlle Choisne’s exhibition—her first at this gallery named for its production of artists’ editions—feels at home here, as her work consistently addresses porous boundaries between original and copy, precious and poor, loved and destroyed. The sculpture To love is to give what we don’t have to someone who doesn’t want it. For each definitive and lasting return, 2018, takes center stage, resembling a cauldron or a wastebasket or a once-gleaming pot charred by a sudden blast. Choisne’s fingerprints and the pressure of her hands are apparent in black enameled ceramic she’s ornamented with cigarette

  • Rirkrit Tiravanija

    By the time Rirkrit Tiravanija moved to New York in 1982, Jasper Johns had been making his flag paintings for almost thirty years. For his new tapestries and marble works, Tiravanija has copied the elder artist’s maps and flags. Tiravanija produced his tapestries on the historic French looms of Pinton, manufacturers of works by such twentieth-century heavyweights as Calder and Picasso; his marble comes from the same veins of Carrara that supplied Michelangelo.

    While Tiravanija gained visibility in the 1990s for modest installations that privileged socializing and shared meals—essential rituals

  • picks October 02, 2020

    Miryam Haddad

    Miryam Haddad invokes the Phoenician god of chaos and storms in “La complainte de Yam,” her second exhibition at this gallery, where new works in watercolor and oil draw on symbols associated with Poseidon’s predecessor, Yam, whose name rose from the Canaanite word for “sea.” During lockdown, Haddad, unable to access her studio, achieved “creativity out of crisis,” to borrow from literary theorist Evelyne Grossman’s latest thesis, channeling the turbulence of her large-scale oil paintings onto smaller watercolors on Japanese paper.

    The fourteen aquarelles shown here, part of Haddad’s series “La

  • Alia Farid

    For her second exhibition at Galerie Imane Farès, Alia Farid applied tinted vinyl to the gallery’s glass-front facade to cast its interior in pink light. The rosy atmosphere, like that of an equatorial crepuscule—and in sharp contrast to the gray Rive Gauche streetscape outside—surrounded her video installation Maske Paske Wi, 2020. The title is Haitian Creole for “Perform Because Why Not.” Originally commissioned for Rotterdam’s Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, the film was shot in Port-au-Prince this past winter, where Farid worked with local residents to realize and record the

  • picks August 14, 2020

    Léo Chesneau and Madeleine Roger-Lacan

    When Milton Bradley Company launched Twister in 1966, some competitors called it “sex in a box.” Intended for two players or more, the game turns human bodies into play pieces, torqueing them on a plastic mat the size of an Ab-Ex canvas. If this exhibition is a game board, as its title—“Twister”—suggests, paintings by two “players,” Madeleine Roger-Lacan and Léo Chesneau, both recent graduates of Paris’s École des Beaux Arts, are acrobatically entangled.

    Chesneau’s seven paintings (all Untitled, 2020), built in layers of heated toner ink on wood, supply a linear rhythm. Rich, saturated colors,

  • picks July 13, 2020

    Eliza Douglas

    Eliza Douglas’s twelve stretched canvases—all Untitled, 2020, and about eighty-three by sixty-three inches, an echo of the traditional photographic 4:3 ratio—hang from the gallery’s ceiling on thick steel chains. Working from pictures she captures with an iPhone of rumpled graphic T-shirts in her wardrobe, Douglas creates hyperrealistic images in oil on canvas. The printed textiles she appropriates bear illustrations of NASCAR drivers, zombies, Sailor Moon, and other pop-cultural references. In one work, a tiny two-holed button, striking in its simplicity, slips from round plastic object to

  • interviews July 06, 2020

    Neïl Beloufa

    As virtual art showrooms proliferated after cities locked down to curb the spread of Covid-19, Neïl Beloufa worked with web designers, developers, and painters to produce The java site, its blinking interface a throwback to the ’90s, features pop-up videos, a live chat, and a series of games that allow browsers to choose an avatar and progress toward the prize of an artist’s edition also available in an online shop. The URL launched in early May, days before the end of France’s confinement, but its clips belong to a lo-fi miniseries that Beloufa made in 2014 titled Home Is

  • Christine Rebet

    Christine Rebet’s animated film The Square, 2011, glowed in a small darkened room. Like all of the artist’s films (each just minutes long), this work is formed from thousands of hand-prepared still images, shot in 16 or 35 mm and thrust into movement. The Square invokes Samuel Beckett’s 1981 television piece Quad, echoing the synchronized footsteps of Quad’s four dancers and the palette of their hooded costumes. With hand-laid trails of powdered wood, metal, plaster, and clay, Rebet’s work traces the agonies of confinement and incarceration, while alluding to the simple, ennobling act of the

  • picks June 15, 2020

    Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Saâdane Afif

    Though they are silent, the recent works by Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Saâdane Afif on view here are all about sound. On the gallery’s ground floor, Hamdan’s Earwitness Inventory, 2018–19, places some ninety-five objects, both found and designed, on warehouse shelving in an installation that draws from legal testimony and historical disasters to capture the complex nature of sonic memories. The contents, which could stock a Foley artist’s library, include stilettos, boxing gloves, a watermelon, celery stalks, frog guiros, plastic soda bottles, and a popcorn popper; Earwitness Inventory (Animated

  • Caroline Wells Chandler

    About ten years ago, Caroline Wells Chandler was living in East Texas next door to his aging grandparents. The New York–based artist, who identifies as a “fluid non-binary transgender boi,” remembers feeling guilty about “ditching them” to work on a group of large-scale paintings he was then producing, and so, armed with balls of colored yarn purchased at Michaels, he started to crochet, which allowed him to hang out with the couple while working. Chandler continues to use a variation on the slip stitch to make exuberant hand-crocheted “drawings,” twelve of which were stapled to the gallery

  • Marie Losier

    Faithful to her windup 16-mm Bolex, Marie Losier takes cues from the experimental filmmakers of New York, where she was based for two decades. Since returning two years ago to Paris—where Georges Méliès, another important influence for Losier, realized his pioneering work in silent film and special effects—she has begun to move her cinematic work to the exhibition space, presenting her films inside crafted carpentry and together with drawings, sculptures, and installations. “I wanted to make boxes for my films,” she explained, “like in the early days of cinema, with all of the rotoscopes, the