Lillian Davies

  • View of “Enrique Ramírez,” 2014.

    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, Cumulus d’après Canoe of Port des Français de Michel Blondela (1799), 2014, silk-screen, ink, and salt on tinted MDF, 31 1/2 x 46 7/8".

    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, Que voyez-vors? La tempête sur la mer de Galilée. Rembrandt (What Do You See? Storm on the Sea of Galilee. Rembrandt) (detail), 2013, framed C-print, framed text, each 26 3/4 x 39 3/4".

    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

  • View of “Joëlle de La Casinière,” 2013.

    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, The Roads of Devotion 1, 2011, mixed media on paper, 44 x 291⁄2". From the series  “The Roads of Devotion,” 2011.

    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, The light that moves against the wind, 2011, blown-glass lenses filled with water, light, paper, shelves. Installation view.

    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, Probabilité pour que rien ne se passe (Probability That Nothing Will Happen), 2011, wood, metal, glass, sand, 12' 6“ x 6' 3” x 2' 9 7/8".

    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, Assembly Instruction (The Pledge: Alfredo Arias) (detail), 2011, pencil on forty-seven ink-jet prints, dimensions variable.

    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, Être Hévéa (Being a Rubber Tree) (detail), 2011, wood, wax; three boxes, each 90 1/2 x 17 3/4 x 12 1/4".

    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

  • View of “Bruno Peinado,” 2011.

    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, Study Room, 2010, mixed media. Installation view.

    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