Lillian Davies

  • Jordi Colomer, Papamóvil, 2005, still from a color video, 1 minute 10 seconds.
    picks December 15, 2008

    Jordi Colomer

    Using the camera as a means to investigate sculptural and architectural forms, Jordi Colomer tugs at the fabric of urban life. In this exhibition of new and recent works, he transforms the gallery space, intensifying the scenarios embedded within his still and moving images. Colomer infuses the galleries with a visceral aesthetic: His films are projected onto wooden panels, and a motley collection of beat-up chairs is arranged against the wall of almost every room. In his installation Anarchitekton, 2002–2004, four projected films and maquettes offer a lo-fi mimicry that strikes at the constructed

  • Heidi Wood, Authentic New Mexico 1, 2007, ink-jet print, 9 1/8 x 20 1/6".
    picks December 06, 2008

    Heidi Wood

    Heidi Wood embraces the visual efficiency of abstract geometric painting through a strategic application of shapes and colors. By rotating a selection of her new and recent paintings and photographs during each week of this exhibition’s nine-week run, Wood insists that nothing is final in her practice. The general palette of these works is derived from the women’s autumn/winter 2008 collections featured at Galeries Lafayette, one of Paris’s premier department stores. Wood also gathers the eerily familiar yet enigmatic shapes in her paintings from popular iconography—street signs, souvenirs,

  • Melik Ohanian, Trouble Time(s), 2007, sanded glass, 70 13/16 x 70 13/16".
    picks November 17, 2008

    Melik Ohanian

    Though Le Plateau is just one of the fifteen sites for French artist Melik Ohanian’s exhibition “From the Voice to the Hand,” the photographs, sculptures, and installations he has selected for this space nonetheless provide several key insights into the project as a whole. Betraying Ohanian’s concern with language, history, and time, five new and recent works are conceptually linked to the full project, installed at a range of venues in and around Paris, including a school, a swimming-pool compound, and the recently inaugurated Museum of Immigration. Reversing the visitor’s usual experience of

  • Left: FIAC artistic director Jennifer Flay with Martin Bethenod, general commissioner of FIAC. Right: Marc Jacobs, Sadie Coles director Pauline Daly, and artist Richard Prince. (Except where noted, all photos: Lillian Davies)
    diary October 29, 2008

    Palais Intrigue


    MY FIAC WEEK COMMENCED with a cold and rainy morning tour of the Tuileries sculpture installations led by fair directors Jennifer Flay and Martin Bethenod. Yet in spite of the cheerless weather, the fair itself opened with excitement last Tuesday afternoon in the Cour Carrée du Louvre. As VIP crowds pushed into the tent at 4 PM, someone shouted, “It’s better than Frieze—everything is sold!” I ran into the Rubells outside Frank Elbaz’s booth, where Mera Rubell gave accolades to the emerging Parisian scene; the globe-trotting collectors didn’t seem put off by the economic crisis: “The financial

  • Amal Kenawy, The Journey (detail), 2005, cast wax, sequins, hair, satin pillow, butterflies, and curtains, dimensions variable.
    picks October 23, 2008

    Amal Kenawy

    Egyptian artist Amal Kenawy presents visceral self-portraits and surreal narratives to explore conventional representations of the female body. An artistic descendant of Frida Kahlo, Kenawy creates drawings, sculptures, videos, and installations that feature her face or figure, often tangled in nightmarish or dreamlike scenarios. Concerned with the spectacle of the female form as well as the spectacular, the installation Blue, 2008, features a fountain of water set in the middle of the gallery. Spraying in front of the projected slides and video that compose Blue, the water visually and aurally

  • View of “Epistrophy,” 2008. Foreground, from left: Sphere IV, Sphere III, Sphere V, Sphere VII, Sphere II, all 2008. On rear wall: Everything Is Everything (detail), 2008.
    picks October 17, 2008

    Timo Nasseri

    Born and based in Berlin, Timo Nasseri channels his mother’s German background and his father’s Iranian heritage in his latest series of sculptures and drawings. Nasseri appropriates the Muqarnas, an arrangement of small pointed niches long common to of Islamic and Persian architecture, and aligns it with German existentialist thought. Rather than place his two inherited cultures in opposition, he develops the elegant design feature through an internally produced logic. Nasseri’s wall drawing Everything Is Everything (all works 2008) repeats the basic geometry of the Muqarnas structure to create

  • Gyan Panchal

    The architect Louis Kahn used to say: “I asked the brick, ‘What do you like, brick?’ And brick said, ‘I like an arch.’” Citing Kahn’s devotion to material as the determinant of form, French sculptor Gyan Panchal likewise conceives structure as a response to its physical constituents. Using both industrial products including polystyrene and glass wool, and organic matter such as oyster shells and wood, Panchal tends to the unique physical demands of each object. In his knowing appropriation of both the natural ingredients often found in Arte Povera and the technical components of Minimalism,

  • Left: “Printemps de Septembre” president Marie-Thérèse Perrin with curator Christian Bernard. Right: Snowdrop. (All photos: Lillian Davies)
    diary September 30, 2008

    Report Carte


    “They all know Martin Parr, so they get it.” DJ Guillaume Sorge was responding to my inquiry about how Jeremy Deller’s Folk Archive, an expansive collection of British “folk” art that opened last Thursday at the Palais de Tokyo, would translate across the English Channel. How would the eternally sophisticated Parisians read photos of, for example, Tom Harrington MBE, Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling champion, dressed in his floral embroidered briefs and undershirt? But as I approached the museum early Thursday evening, Peter Clare was already cheerfully leading Snowdrop, his life-size

  • View of Huang Yong Ping, “Frolic,” 2008.
    picks September 04, 2008

    Huang Yong Ping

    For “Frolic,” his first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom, Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping draws the title from the name of a ship involved in the opium trade between China and Britain’s colonies in India. During the height of this trade, during the middle of the nineteenth century, the UK and China became embroiled in what became known as the Opium Wars. While the British supported the exportation of opium to China as a way to balance the trade deficit with the tea-, silk-, and porcelain-rich country, the Chinese attempted to disable the largely British- and American-run drug traffic.

  • Untitled, 2008, mastic, fiberglass, and metalized paint, dimensions variable.
    picks August 04, 2008

    Hubert Duprat

    Fluent in a range of materials and forms, French sculptor Hubert Duprat presents his first solo exhibition in three years, a group of new sculptures expressly produced for the distinct spaces of Aldo Rossi’s naval-inspired architecture. The work retains an atmosphere of spontaneity and experimentation in its engagement with a variety of unstable materials: pyrite, magnetite, and modeling paste. The complexity of Duprat's sculptures (all but one untitled, 2008) is ambitious, but they remain holistic, as the artist maintains an acute sense of light and the ephemeral even as he approaches monumental

  • View of “Tatiana Trouvé: Four Between Two and Three.”
    picks July 11, 2008

    Tatiana Trouvé

    A tightly bound presentation of new work by Italian artist Tatiana Trouvé, presented on the occasion of her winning the 2007 Prix Marcel Duchamp, thrusts the fourth, temporal dimension between her three-dimensional sculptures and two-dimensional graphite drawings on paper: On each end of the gallery, black sand pours from a tiny hole in the wall onto the floor, slowly building an iridescent cone. Several gaps cut into the museum’s walls allow a look into the hidden and empty structural spaces of Renzo Piano’s Pompidou Center, a building notable for the exposure of its internal mechanics. Within

  • View of “Time Between Spaces.” (Photo: Didier Barroso)
    picks June 27, 2008

    Jonathan Monk

    Facilitating an unprecedented partnership between two historically distinct institutions, Jonathan Monk’s Parisian museum debut is a clever presentation of the artist’s playful manipulations of time and space. Smartly curated selections of Monk’s new and recent work are installed in strikingly similar spaces at the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, bridging an array of spatial, temporal—not to mention social—divisions between the two establishments. Commissioned by Monk from an atelier in China, Before a Bigger Splash, 2006, is a near copy of David Hockney’s iconic