Lillian Davies

  • Le Flamboyant (The Flamboyant), 2008, wood, cast aluminum, steel, leather, varnish, Clark Foam, paint, and felt, 78 3/4 x 63 x 37 3/8".
    picks March 25, 2008

    Wilfrid Almendra

    Crafting a post-Pop aesthetic, French artist Wilfrid Almendra fashions a series of exuberantly sensuous sculptures, and one portrait collage, out of natural materials including wood, felt, and peacock feathers. While maintaining the glamorous sheen of “finished” work by precisely determining each angle, curve, and juncture of these tightly formal pieces, Almendra allows the organic nature of certain elements to remain exposed. The central hanging sculpture, 5.1 (all works 2008)—which could be described as a bouquet of speakers or perhaps a bundle of trumpets, announcing a massive party or the

  • View of “Kabarett Keif.” Foreground: Kabarett Keif and Untitled, both 2007. On wall: Untitled, 2006.
    picks February 28, 2008

    David Noonan

    Australian artist David Noonan has covered the gallery’s slick concrete floors with burlap mats (a natural weave in the front room and a black version in the back) to create a complete—while at the same time rough and unfinished—atmosphere for this exhibition. Three costumed sentinels, Noonan’s sculptures Kabarett Keif and Untitled, both 2007, stand guard in the front room. The slightly larger-than-life-size figures are silk-screened onto linen that is then mounted on wooden frameworks, and they loom mysteriously, detached from their signifying milieu. Culled from midcentury European textbooks,

  • Left: Dealer Yvon Lambert. Right: Artist Loris Gréaud with Palais de Tokyo director Marc Olivier-Wahler. (All photos: Lillian Davies)
    diary February 17, 2008

    Brain Candy

    Paris

    “It’s good that people have to wait—it’s like a rock concert,” remarked Marc-Olivier Wahler, director of the Palais de Tokyo, last Wednesday night, as a growing crowd anxiously paced outside the entrance to Loris Gréaud’s “Cellar Door.” Two years in the making, Gréaud used every second before the gate rolled open to prepare his unprecedented solo show. (This was the first time the institution’s entire space had been devoted to the work of someone under thirty.) Eager to get a look at Gréaud’s ambitious project—the expansive charred forest, the paintball arena, and the full-scale replica of his

  • Jardin suspendu (Hanging Garden), 2008, burlap sacks, earth, and grass, 4' 3 1-2“ x 2' 11 1-2” x 10 ' 4".
    picks February 09, 2008

    Mona Hatoum

    For her first solo exhibition in Paris in thirteen years, Mona Hatoum presents a powerful selection of new and recent sculptural, kinetic, and paper-based work, firmly locking the viewer into a state of enraptured paralysis as she incites concurrent feelings of enchantment and disturbance. Hatoum immediately establishes an acute level of tension with the installation Nature morte aux grenades (Still Life with Grenades), 2006–2007, just inside the gallery entrance. Covering a morgue gurney, an icy cold steel-and-rubber contraption, with a colorful collection of crystal blown into the shape of

  • Left: Marian Goodman and Jeu de Paume director Marta Gili. Right: Eija-Liisa Ahtila and art historian Régis Durand. (All photos: Lillian Davies)
    diary January 27, 2008

    Here, There, Everywhere

    Paris

    Arriving at Jeu de Paume just after 11 AM on Monday for the opening of Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s first retrospective in France, I immediately found the artist, dressed in slim, dark jeans and a pin-striped blazer, holding court in the luminous triple-height entryway. Ahtila gave me a polite hello but quickly urged me down the gray stone ramp toward her newest work, Where Is Where, allegedly finished just two days before. “It takes fifty-two minutes, so go on.” An attentive crowd was gathered inside the six-screen installation, absorbing the poetic drama of mortality and colonial politics. The starting

  • Manège humain (Human Carousel), 2007, one C-print and six digital prints, dimensions variable.
    picks January 04, 2008

    Carsten Höller

    In this exhibition of new works, each shadowing a previous project, Carsten Höller constructs a theater of duality. The walls are covered in Double Shadow Zöllner Wall Paper, 2007, a graphic pattern in white and gray that quickly launches into motion as the varying tones and angles tease the eye into registering volume and movement. (These images have also been photocopied in black-and-white and pasted like a frieze around the gallery.) In the back room, Höller has set up a microphone, seemingly an opportunity for the viewer to enter the work as an autonomous figure. However, the piece, titled

  • Still from CELLAR DOOR—BUCKY, THE INTERGALACTIC DRAW, 2007–2008, 16mm film transfered to 35mm, 6 minutes 50 seconds. Photo: Ghosting.

    Loris Gréaud

    Granting Loris Gréaud domain over its entire exhibition space—an unprecedented opportunity for a French artist under thirty—the Palais de Tokyo will present “Cellar Door,” a show with operatic implications.

    Granting Loris Gréaud domain over its entire exhibition space—an unprecedented opportunity for a French artist under thirty—the Palais de Tokyo will present “Cellar Door,” a show with operatic implications. A libretto will integrate installations from 2001 to the present, one of which, in an act of Gréaud's signature “spatiotemporal” repositionings, will be a replication of his first major solo show at Le Plateau, Paris, in 2005. A new work—a paintball terrain where players armed with pellets of International Klein Blue are to “perform” once a day—will boast technical

  • Fan with a Cigarette, 2007, silk screen on canvas and tacks, 78 3/4 x 89 3/8".
    picks December 27, 2007

    Hedi Slimane

    Hedi Slimane approaches the sublime in this cohesive installation of image and sound, form and texture, with souvenirs from his documentation of the Klaxons’ appearance at indie-rock festival Benicassim, as well as a recent performance by Amy Winehouse. Plunging into the richness of music and performance, Slimane’s art re-creates the seductive power of a band’s live show. A glittering silver runway, illuminated by a row of bare lightbulbs, draws visitors into the otherwise darkened space. Music—ambient recordings from the Klaxons’ preshow preparations—pours forth from two speakers. Suspended

  • Chandigarh Secrétariat #1, 2007, C-print, 70 3/4 x 92".
    picks December 07, 2007

    Stéphane Couturier

    In a visually and historically rich exhibition of large-format color photographs and a film, French artist Stéphane Couturier investigates the architectural legacy of Le Corbusier in the city of Chandigarh, India. Following the partition in 1947 of the British Indian Empire into India and Pakistan, Chandigarh developed rapidly in the 1950s under the supervision of Le Corbusier, whom Jawaharlal Nehru had commissioned to lead urban planning. Couturier’s images of the city's local monuments, such as Chandigarh Secrétariat #1, 2007, and Chandigarh Haute Cour de Justice #1, 2007, as well as of

  • Le Bateau (The Boat) (detail), 2001, silver print mounted on aluminum in six parts, each 39 3/8 x 39 3/8".
    picks November 22, 2007

    Philippe Bazin

    Asked by the Dunkerque Museum of Fine Arts to respond to a painting of a bound slave by Louis XIV’s leading court painter, Hyacinthe Rigaud, French photographer Philippe Bazin launched an investigation into the construction of identity and visibility through a series of filmed interviews and photographs. Examining historical representations of Dunkerque’s population from the Comoros, an archipelago located between Madagascar and Tanzania, Bazin presents sharp close-up photographs of nineteenth-century “ethnic casts”—facial molds with exaggerated physiognomies made in the colonies in an attempt

  • Shadow Piece, 2005, still from a black-and-white digital video with sound, 30 minutes.
    picks October 31, 2007

    David Claerbout

    In this small survey, Belgian artist David Claerbout presents films that hover between the fixedness of still photography and the momentum of time-based media. His Shadow Piece, 2005, for example, is a found photograph of a modern glass-and-steel office foyer digitally merged with footage of people, clad in suits or heels, walking briskly. Yet even as the action plays out, time seems suspended, since the quality of the sunlight does not change and the shadows cast across the polished marble floor do not move. In contrast, the bands of shade beneath the concrete highway viaducts in the video The

  • Davide Balula

    Atomic clocks, first developed in 1949 in the United States, regulate universal time according to the resonance of atoms. The frequency of these fundamental particles, often of cesium or rubidium, creates a simple motion analogous to that of a sonic wave—a correlation that anticipates French artist Davide Balula’s coupling of sound and time. At the entrance to his exhibition “De la place pour le sable” (Room for Sand), Balula unhinges the standard measure of speed and duration by setting the hands of each of the twelve clocks in Les Humeurs, 2007, at dramatically different speeds. Launching a