Lillian Davies

  • 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

  • Stephan Crasneanscki, Troie (Troy), 2009, two color photographs, 31 x 61" overall. From the series “Le Syndrome d’Ulysse” (The Ulysses Syndrome), 2009.
    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

  • Grégory Derenne, Plato 1, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 45 x 57 1/2".
    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,

  • Laure Tixier, Plaid House VI, 2009, felt,  71 x 71 1/2 x 74".
    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

  • Samuel Richardot

    For his first solo exhibition at a public institution, French painter Samuel Richardot continued the exploration of his chosen medium and its methods and forms. He employs a range of mark-making strategies—meticulously stenciling shapes with the help of paper cutouts, allowing paint to drip or bleed, or confronting the canvas with turpentine or flame. Often, Richardot references a sound, smell, or tactile impression in the shapes that he gathers in his paintings, thus proposing a synesthetic relationship between image and experience. Here he also exposed the process-oriented nature of his art

  • Saâdane Afif, Vice de Forme: In Search of Melodies, 2009, mixed media. Installation view.
    picks November 08, 2009

    Saâdane Afif

    To advertise the climactic event of Vice de Forme: In Search of Melodies, 2009—a sculptural, linguistic, and musical evolution—French artist Saâdane Afif created a graphic poster, an editioned work in its own right, with graphic designer deValence for display at the gallery and at FIAC. White and pink lettering announced composer-pianist Louis-Philippe Scoufras’s performance of a list of songs, including “Screw You!” and “Lovesong.” The background graphics featured three black forms: a rectangle, a square, and a circle, an allusion to the sculpture that was the starting point of Afif’s project.

  • Left: Printemps de Septembre exhibitions organizer Jean-Max Colard and Marc Vaudey, bureau chief of the National Center for Visual Arts. Right: Artist Amy O’Neill and Printemps de Septembre artistic director Christian Bernard. (All photos: Lillian Davies)
    diary October 01, 2009

    Home Grown

    Toulouse, France

    A FIRM REJOINDER to charges of the French art scene’s insularity, the nineteenth annual Printemps de Septembre has thoroughly taken over the city of Toulouse. This year’s expansive edition, headed for the second (and last) time by MAMCO director Christian Bernard, occupies more than thirty venues across four other additional towns. What Printemps organizer Jean-Max Colard described as “a small, local affair” that (until two years ago) involved just eight or nine venues is now a full-blown cosmopolitan project.

    Bernard used poetic language to introduce his “festival of exhibitions” to a crowd of

  • Meredyth Sparks, Extraction, 2009, digital print, digital scan, aluminum foil, glitter, 44 3/4 x 45".
    picks October 01, 2009

    Meredyth Sparks

    Referencing the work of Kazimir Malevich in much the same way she previously sampled images of 1970s cultural icons, Meredyth Sparks, in her latest exhibition, “Everything We Have Loved Is Lost,” continues to pursue the gaps between the original and its repetition. For “Extraction,” 2009, a series of colorful, sparkling works, Sparks uses glitter, aluminum foil, and digital scans of these materials to create geometric surfaces alive with light and texture. In one work, the artist has attached her reference image––a gathering of women wearing short white dresses––to the bottom corner of the large

  • Aurélien Froment

    Using a system of visual and linguistic associations, magician Benoît Rosemont dazzles spectators with illusion and feats of memory. Aurélien Froment has performed with Rosemont, participating in his magic act, and for this exhibition, the artist channeled the magician’s mnemonic strategies and spectacles. Froment’s Les Paravents (The Folding Screens; all works 2009), made of wood covered in raw linen, formed the show’s physical and conceptual backdrop. Devoid of pigment and, apart from one color photograph, imageless, three of the folding screen’s panels are fixed within the structure’s metal

  • Left: Artist Boris Mikhailov and dealer Suzanne Tarasiève. Right: Artist Jessica Warboys and dealer Denis Gaudel. (All photos: Lillian Davies)
    diary September 11, 2009

    Belleville Rendezvous


    TAKING LINE 2 of the Paris metro east to Belleville Wednesday afternoon, I started my tour of the galleries in the popular nineteenth and twentieth arrondissements with a visit to Suzanne Tarasiève’s Loft 19. Tarasiève chose to open her second space in Belleville “because the area is so international.” “A living space,” as she describes it, Loft 19 consists of a gallery, a library, two artists’ residences, and Tarasieve’s own apartment. Ukrainian artist Boris Mikhailov was lounging on one of the sofas, discussing his series “Yesterday’s Sandwich”: layered photographs of street scenes, nudes,