Lillian Davies

  • Laure Prouvost

    Smeared with mud, Laure Prouvost’s letter of invitation for her exhibition “This is the visit” announced a tea party and an evening of “fond- razing” for her Grand Dad, described elsewhere as “a very close friend of Kurt Schwitters” who is still lost in the tunnel he’s been digging to Africa from his ramshackle cabin in England’s Lake District. At the opening, a waiter cheerfully offered “thé à la gin” in floral flea-market china—tepid Earl Gray spiked with booze. The works were linked by a low, dark-brown platform, a kind of stage for the viewer to walk on. An early video, Burrow Me, 2009,

  • Lee Ufan

    This summer, for the annual exhibition of contemporary art in Louis XIV’s gilded Château de Versailles and the surrounding formal gardens of André Le Nôtre, South Korean artist Lee Ufan installed a group of ten new sculptures from his “Relatum” series, which began in the late ’1960s, complementing the marriage of regal symmetry and natural beauty that defines the work of the seventeenth-century landscape architect. Relatum—The Arch of Versailles (all works 2014), a chromatically neutral rainbow fashioned from a band of stainless steel some fifty feet long, marks the passage from the mirrored

  • Enrique Ramírez

    For his first solo exhibition in France, “Cartografías para navegantes de tierra” (Cartographies for Navigators of the Earth), Enrique Ramírez, a Chilean artist based in Santiago and Paris, presented work that navigates the vast distances in between. Nearly all the works featured Ramírez’s writing—prayerlike Spanish prose—often set to the rhythm of waves.

    La invención de América (The Invention of America), 2013, a Dacron sail made by the artist’s father and a separately framed text, functioned as a central icon. Inverting the worn triangular piece of material and containing it within

  • Julien Crépieux

    A choreographed lightness radiated from Julien Crépieux’s “Corpusculum Flotans.” The exhibition title, suggesting small, floating bodies, shares that of a 2005 video work by the artist—a short meditation on passing clouds that is also a record of the eye looking toward the sky. Here, again, in a body of new work, Crépieux showed his concern with movement, not only in the visible world but in the mechanisms of its reception: the eye, the lens, and the captured image. Working in video, installation, and, increasingly, the two-dimensional techniques of collage and photography, Crépieux

  • Sophie Calle

    “What do you see?” To staff and visitors of Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where more than a dozen objects and works of art were stolen in March 1990, Sophie Calle recently posed this simple question. Gardner’s will stipulates that the arrangement of works in her namesake museum’s galleries never be altered, so for several years after the theft, patches of bare, silk-covered walls punctuated the collection. As early as one year after the theft, Calle included remembrances of works missing from this Boston institution in her series “Last Seen,” 1991. A few years later, the museum rehung

  • Joëlle de La Casinière

    For Joëlle de La Casinière’s first exhibition in the French capital since the early 1980s, thirty-five “tablotins”—the nomadic artist’s term for her small-scale image-and-text-infused single-sheet collages that make up the pages of her “impossible book”—were accompanied by works for radio and television that she produced with the collective she co-founded in 1972, Montfaucon Research Center. According to the artist, each tablotin provides a “cacophony of information,” defying narrative. Over the past forty years, de La Casinière has produced more than four hundred of them, filling each

  • Bayrol Jimenez

    In early 2012, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris opened “Resisting the Present: Mexico 2000/2012,” an unexpected selection of work by young Mexican artists that narrowly, although knowingly and playfully, skirted clichéd representations of the country. A skewed idea of Mexico has become commonplace in France, particularly in the wake of the trial of Florence Cassez, a Frenchwoman accused of complicity with a Mexican kidnapping gang. The exhibition included a large-scale wall drawing in mostly red acrylic by Bayrol Jimenez (based in Oaxaca, Mexico, he was a resident at La Cité

  • Mark Geffriaud

    Mark Geffriaud triggered an explosion of references with the extremely long title of his exhibition, which, in its abbreviated version, reads, “All that is said is true, all the time, all the time . . . on October 26th.” Its opening lines were appropriated from a poem by musician and performance artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, to which Geffriaud appended the announcement of the French release date of Marie Losier’s 2011 film about him, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, which documents P-Orridge’s and his second wife Lady Jaye’s manipulation of their bodies in order to become a single “

  • Guillaume Leblon

    Covering the floor of this private foundation’s neat L-shaped space with twenty smooth sheets of fine, sand-colored linen, Guillaume Leblon, for the first time, positioned his sculptures in relation to a traditional painterly platform. The presentation of seven new and recent works, united by this common backdrop as a single textured and permeable composition, echoes the construction of the exhibition’s title work, Black Apple Falls, 2009–11. For this sculpture, punctuated by a darkened piece of fruit suspended from the ceiling by a thick piece of rope, Leblon arranged a series of objects across

  • Alexandre Singh

    The 2006 film based on British novelist Christopher Priest’s book The Prestige (1995) identifies three key moments of a magic trick: the pledge, when an object is presented; the “turn,” when that object is “disappeared”; and the prestige, the moment it reappears—the quarter drawn from a child’s ear, the rabbit pulled out of a hat. Palais de Tokyo director Marc-Olivier Wahler asked artist Alexandre Singh, versed in storytelling and performance, to consider the first of these, the magician’s pledge, for the September 2011 issue of the institution’s magazine, PALAIS/. Granted carte blanche,

  • Thu Van Tran

    La Tache, the French translation of Philip Roth’s novel The Human Stain (2000), a gripping confrontation of race, religion, academia, and the Vietnam War in late-twentieth-century America, provided the title and starting point for Vietnamese-born artist Thu Van Tran’s exhibition of sculpture, drawing, and installation. Addressing French colonialism, the Catholic Church’s mission in Southeast Asia, the rubber trade, and the Vietnam War, as well as American Minimalism, Tran introduced a myriad of moral and political conflicts similar to those engaged by Roth. Tran did not distill her concerns into

  • Bruno Peinado

    Half a century after the beginnings of Pop art, French artist Bruno Peinado has reenergized the punchy midcentury aesthetic, complicating it with visual play and verbal pun. In an interview with Patrice Joly, published in the catalogue accompanying “Casino Incaos,” Peinado’s exhibition last year at Casino Luxembourg, the artist is clear that he “was interested in Pop not because [he] wanted to make neo-Pop Art, but because the world was displaying this great interest in the notion of popular culture.” In the original French version of their conversation, Peinado refers to la notion du populaire

  • Abraham Cruzvillegas

    “I’m very interested in the idea of what happens in the border, in the space in between. What happens when you cross the street? Or when you cross the périphérique?” Having lived in Paris from 2005 through 2008, Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas recently returned to that city to examine its borders and his own identity in relation to them. La petite ceinture, the “little belt” made of nineteenth-century train tracks that encircled the city just inside its nineteenth-century fortifications, still marks the boundary of central Paris. The system of defensive walls, built in response to France’s

  • Louise Hervé and Chloé Maillet

    The Drachenhöhle, or Dragon’s Cave, near the village of Mixnitz in southeastern Austria reportedly takes its name from the large bones found there, formerly thought to be dragons’ bones. Artifacts in the deep sediment at the bottom of the cave suggest a human presence dating back to 29,000 bc. In their exhibition “The Dragon’s Cave or the Burying,” Louise Hervé and Chloé Maillet channeled the legends surrounding the site, as well as its archaeological and museological treatment, through installations, films, a typed manuscript, and a performance.

    The presentation devices of the earliest museums

  • Dove Allouche

    Black smokers, discovered in 1977, bring the deep ocean floor alive. At the bottom of ocean basins, often near sites of volcanic or tectonic activity, these hydrothermal vents emit geothermally heated seawater. The sulfide-rich water jets create chimney-like structures around each superheated plume, supporting a rich ecosystem of hyperthermophiles (the environment can be about 230 degrees Fahrenheit) that survive on chemosynthesis (converting sulfides into energy). French artist Dove Allouche’s eponymous exhibition used photographs of black smokers taken on pioneering oceanographic missions to

  • Dynastry

    Calling on forty emerging artists with ties to France, the Palais de Tokyo and the neighboring Musée d’Art Moderne collaborate to create an exhibition in stereo: The curators have selected two related works by each artist, splitting the pairs between the main spaces of each institution. Expect previously unseen material by artists such as Benoît Maire and the collaborative team of Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni, all of whom have appeared in the Palais’s Module exhibitions, as well as new and recent work by a diverse selection of artists including

  • Marcelline Delbecq

    Galerie Xippas’s project space, La Chambre, is a room between floors, its proportions nearly those of a perfect cube. Separated from the main gallery by a rope divider and a flight of stairs, the space offers an intimate yet theatrical setting that resonates with French artist Marcelline Delbecq’s work. Inspired by Diane Arbus, Delbecq began her practice in photography but later turned toward voice-based performance and what she describes as “narrative cinematography.” Her interest in cinema, she says, arises not necessarily from a romance with the moving image but rather from a love of screenplays

  • picks February 18, 2010

    Stephan Crasneanscki

    Echoing the impulse of his well-known Soundwalks, in this exhibition the New York–based artist Stephan Crasneanscki presents ten photographic diptychs––images of the Mediterranean Sea and its eastern coastlines––that follow Ulysses’s epic voyage. The story of Ulysses’s odyssey was, for most of history, transmitted by voice, by sound––a medium that resonates with Crasneanscki’s larger practice. However, here the artist’s images, although of a journey many times told, are silent and still, artifacts of a grander narrative that is impossible to re-create.

    Some of Crasneanscki’s photographs, all from

  • picks February 03, 2010

    Grégory Derenne

    Grégory Derenne’s interior landscapes––figurative paintings of television soundstages, art galleries, and shop fronts––balance photorealism with an exaggerated sense of light and darkness. Typically working from his own photographs, Derenne builds his compositions atop a base of black paint, punctuating his canvases with strokes of bright white, pale blue, pink, or yellow––points of light that melt across his carefully constructed spaces. Like Degas, who consistently pulled his viewpoint of the theater stage back into the shadows, seemingly peeking out from behind the curtains at the ballerinas,

  • picks January 20, 2010

    Laure Tixier

    Recalling what she refers to as children’s “first imagined architectures”—the archetypal constructions conceived under blankets or with a quilt thrown over a table—French artist Laure Tixier mines a psychological space through the language of design and domestic crafts. Her project began with delicate sketches on paper depicting a variety of iconic structures, such as castles, cabins, and Le Corbusier–esque dwellings. Tixier separates her imagined architectures from context, landscape, and inhabitants, placing each structure in the center of a sheet of warm-hued, textured paper. In her exhibition