Lillian Davies

  • Behjat Sadr, Untitled, ca. 1974, oil on aluminum, painted steel, 78 6⁄8 × 39 3⁄8".

    Behjat Sadr

    In Le temps suspendu (Time Suspended), Mitra Farahani’s 2006 documentary on the Iranian painter Behjat Sadr, the artist explains that “in painting, you suspend time.” Sadr passed away ten years ago at the age of eighty-five, but in this exhibition, her decades-long practice crystallized in nine oil paintings (one supported by steel struts running from floor to ceiling), seven collages, and four photographs. Her canvases often read as abstractions, but they are squarely grounded in the real: in the materiality of the varied surfaces and the viscosity of oil paint.

    As an art student in Italy in

  • Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, how are you from I love you, 2019, print on organic cotton and wooden frames, 8' 1⁄2“ × 12' 9” × 4' 4".

    Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili

    Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili is after “the sensation of losing boundaries.” This feeling emerges, she explains, in the experience of being a new mother: “when you have a newborn and are breastfeeding and your outlines become unstable and it is hard to say where you end and where the world begins.” This state also informs Alexi-Meskhishvili’s relationship to photography. She has, for instance, devised a process in which the limits between photographic media fade: She begins with 4 x 5" negatives and ends with sharp, color-rich, digitally manipulated archival prints. Likewise, her work dissolves

  • Gina Pane, Acqua alta/Pali/Venezia (High Water/Piles/Venice), 1968–70/2019, twelve Duralinox pillars, metal tray, muddy water, painted lettering. Installation view.

    Gina Pane

    In 1963, Gina Pane (1939–1990) graduated from Paris’s École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, where she studied painting and lithography, and quickly became a player in the city’s art scene. This exhibition, “Terre protégée” (Protected Earth), curated by Emma-Charlotte Gobry-Laurencin, featured two paintings from this time, Untitled (no 20), 1962–65, and Untitled (no 31), 1962–67, both modestly sized, portrait-oriented works in oil on canvas. Composed of sharp vertical bands or triangles of bold contrasting colors, separated by paler shades or stripes of white, these works, according to

  • Lucia Laguna, Estúdio no. 52 (Studio no. 52), 2018, acrylic and oil on canvas, 70 7⁄8 × 55 1⁄8".

    Lucia Laguna

    The Brazilian painter Lucia Laguna was once a language teacher. She brings her knowledge of linguistics to the practice of painting, developing the medium’s discursive potential. Her studio, tucked into the hills above Rio de Janeiro, is home to the visual lexicon she deploys in her paintings, her dictionary of images. Laguna has developed a form of conversational collaboration with her studio assistants. Following discussions of subject and color, her collaborators paint the first layer of each small- or large-scale oil or acrylic canvas so that Laguna may formally reply. Davi Baltar and Claudio

  • Santiago de Paoli, Luz con flor (Light with Flower), 2017, oil and dandelion on wood, 11 3⁄8 × 7 1⁄8".

    Santiago de Paoli

    If the first noun in “Peintures et Hotline” (the title of Santiago de Paoli’s first solo exhibition in France) announced the paintings on view, the second referred to a binder of erotic drawings, undisplayed but available for viewing on request. The twenty-one oil paintings—variously on felt, wood, plaster, and ceramic—hung at different heights on the gallery’s white Sheetrock and exposed-masonry perimeter, save for two, Chaussettes à centre libre (Free Center Socks), 2018, which was set leaning against a wall, partially propped up by a stained cork, and Here you are, 2018, which lay

  • Hoda Kashiha, Dream Makes Cloud, 2018, oil, spray paint, and acrylic on canvas, 47 1⁄4 × 39 3⁄8". From “Oil of Pardis.”

    “The Oil of Pardis”

    Organized by Hormoz Hematian, founder of Tehran’s Dastan Gallery and Dastan’s Basement, “The Oil of Pardis” drew from a rich vein of modern and contemporary painting in Iran. The title revealed a love for the country (pardis is Persian for “paradise”) and referred to both Iran’s petroleum industry and the chosen medium of many of the artists exhibited here. Sam Samiee, however, works in acrylic. The youngest of this multigenerational group of artists, Samiee contributed Mithra the Crucifier, Cyclonopedia, 2018, a work that combines images of carbon-fuels infrastructure with Zoroastrian symbolism.

  • View of “Li Shurui,” 2018. Photo: Claire Dorn.

    Li Shurui

    For this exhibition, Li Shurui’s debut solo presentation in Europe, the artist presented ten new paintings and a video, the roughly twenty-four-minute Marriage Certificate, 2018. Her first work in this medium—made with her husband, the musician Li Daiguo—the video weaves together the physical and emotional material of the couple’s relationship with flashes of their creative production. The eight paintings comprising The moment before evaporation, Me Nos. 15 and The moment before evaporation, You Nos. 13, all 2018, were displayed in level rows across large sheets of paper painted with

  • View of “Younès Rahmoun,” 2018. Photo: Livia Saavedra.

    Younès Rahmoun

    Hijra,” the title of Younès Rahmoun’s most recent exhibition, refers to the departure, in the year 622, of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib, the pre-Islamic name of Medina. Hijra—the word means “migration” in Arabic—is an act of faith, an act that looks toward the future. “I think that traveling is a true gift,” the artist said in an interview with curator Jérôme Sans, “whether it is an inner journey or a journey toward the other.” Rahmoun draws strongly on the traditions of Islam in his work, particularly Sufi philosophy. However, it is not only the presence

  • Olympe Racana-Weiler, Citeaux, 2018, oil, acrylic, ink, enamel spray paint, and polyurethane on linen, 70 7/8 x 63".

    Olympe Racana-Weiler

    Olympe Racana-Weiler announces a gut craving, a physical manifestation of desire and ambition, in the title of her first solo exhibition, “I came back from paradise and I’m frankly hungry.” The phrase also alludes to a return from another realm, a passage that might be a kind of metamorphosis, evocative of Ovid’s compendium of transformation myths. In a published conversation with Jim Dine, with whom she works as a studio assistant, Racana-Weiler tells of her own metamorphosis into a painter, and cites the ancient text. In this context, Racana-Weiler also speaks briefly about dancing as a child.

  • Alex Cecchetti, Erotic Cabinet, 2017, sixty-nine mixed-media drawings, oak, glass, 49 1/4 x 59 x 27 1/2".

    Alex Cecchetti

    An ending is a boundary, a limit. But do all stories end? Alex Cecchetti’s exhibition “Tamam Shud,” part of a larger project including a novel and performances, takes its name from the story of a man found dead on a beach in southern Australia seventy years ago. The body was never identified, and his pocket contained only a scrap of paper that read, “Tamám shud,” an Old Persian phrase meaning, “It is the end.” It may have been torn from the last page of the Rubáiyát of the twelfth-century poet Omar Khayyám. That’s the story Cecchetti tells. He also tells the tale that he himself has died.

    The

  • Ida Ekblad, Fantasy on my phone, 2017, plastisol, puff paint, cotton, linen, 62 3/8 x 62 1/8".

    Ida Ekblad

    For years, objects recovered from the streets and sidewalks surrounding the places where Ida Ekblad produces and exhibits her work have found their way into her oeuvre. Here in Paris, her work also opens itself to the perhaps more ephemeral attributes of a certain local form of femininity. In this gallery on the rue du Temple, one found an alluring, exuberant group of six paintings and three sculptures—works sprung from Ekblad’s poem “Step Motherfucker,” the title of which was also the show title. The artist’s rhythmic lines picture a phantasmagoric woman: “She worked in a small art

  • Hassan Sharif, Dictionary, 2015, dictionary pages, glue, cotton ropes, 12' 7 1/2“ x 5' 7” x 2' 1 1/2".

    Hassan Sharif

    Displayed at the top of the stairs leading down to the gallery’s main exhibition space for Hassan Sharif’s “Reading Is Making: Books and Boxes” were copies of three political cartoons that the artist drew in the 1970s. The images speak of the tide of consumerism that began sweeping Sharif’s native United Arab Emirates in the ’60s. In one, a hand reaches up from under a pile of electronic appliances. I'M DROWNING, DROWNING, DROWNING!!! his speech bubble calls out in Arabic. In another, a mustachioed man is pictured on the toilet, surrounded by a discarded mess of books, wearing a Rube Goldberg–type