Mara Hoberman

  • Victor Brauner

    IN THE CATALOGUE for the Victor Brauner retrospective at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, director Fabrice Hergott describes an institutional mission “to draw the public’s attention to the existence of work by nearly forgotten great artists.” Brauner—whose first and last major retrospective was in 1972 at the Musée National d’Art Moderne—certainly fits this bill, having been all but written off as a minor Surrealist. As reintroduced by curator Sophie Krebs (with assistance from Jeanne Brun, Nadia Chalbi, and Camille

  • Daniel Buren and Philippe Parreno

    In 1985 Pontus Hultén founded the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques (Institute for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts), an alternative art school in Paris modeled after the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College. Daniel Buren was among IHEAP’s original faculty, and Philippe Parreno was one of his students. In the years since, Parreno has often cited Buren’s influence, and Buren included Parreno in an exhibition he curated in 2007. Their work has been shown together on several occasions, and as of 2016 they are both represented by Kamel Mennour. But the recent show at the gallery’s newest

  • picks March 24, 2021

    Pierre Seinturier

    Working with thinned oils, Pierre Seinturier paints moody scenes whose semitransparent muted greens, browns, and blues recall Charles Burchfield’s watercolors. But whereas Burchfield’s American landscapes are mostly devoid of people, Seinturier’s Americana-infused settings typically feature at least one figure who is simultaneously mundane and suspicious. Across the sixteen paintings on view (all 2021), this sense of ambiguity is enhanced by low light (Seinturier has a penchant for dawn, dusk, and shadows cast by tree canopies), voyeuristic perspectives, and zinger titles that yield more questions

  • Oscar Murillo

    Since March 2020, amid worldwide Covid-19 shelter-in-place orders, Oscar Murillo has been working out of an improvised studio in his hometown of La Paila, Colombia. But if the pandemic abruptly disrupted the artist’s otherwise peripatetic practice, the paintings it inspired feel far from confined. Murillo’s latest works, part of an ongoing series titled “manifestation,” 2018–, flout lockdown doom and gloom with their energetic gestures, vibrant colors, and monumental scale. Exuding painterly confidence with the majesty of Joan Mitchell’s landscapes and the urgency of Jean Dubuffet’s scratch

  • picks February 06, 2021

    Laurent Le Deunff

    Under a slanted glass roof in the gallery's back room, Laurent Le Deunff has created an enchanting woodland scene with real dirt, leaves, moss, and birch and willow saplings for his exhibition “The Mystery of Sculpting Cats.” Punctuating this loamy terrain, seven animal heads (bear, owl, snail, dolphin, hippopotamus, beaver, and seahorse) on pedestals suggest something between totem poles, a pet cemetery, and kitschy garden décor. Le Deunff made these works using a nineteenth-century decorative technique known as rocaille, whereby concrete is carved to look like wood. For an artist who has worked

  • picks December 28, 2020

    Linus Bill + Adrien Horni

    “GIFs,” 2020, Linus Bill and Adrien Horni’s latest work, is both a product and critique of our collective digital dependence, a reliance that has taken on complex new forms under lockdown. Created on smartphones, the artists’ “moving paintings” flicker across LED displays whose proportions and verticality suggest supersized and ultraluminous touch screens.

    Reclaiming passive solitary screen time in the name of creative collaboration, Bill + Horni set a goal back in early 2020 to produce and share five GIFs daily. For months they traded files via WhatsApp, composing colorful collages of [could

  • Elsa Guillaume

    As its taxonomic title indicated, Elsa Guillaume’s recent show “Tritonades & coelacanthe” (Tritons & Coelacanth) was teeming with prehistoric-looking newts and fish. The artist’s interest in these species lies in their relationship to the evolutionary aquatic-to-terrestrial migration made by vertebrates millions of years ago. The coelacanth (once thought to have gone extinct before being rediscovered in the mid-twentieth century) is a transitional organism that links lobe-finned fish to tetrapods. Tritons, commonly known as newts, migrate from water to land over the course of their lifetimes.

  • Niele Toroni

    STILL A CARRIER OF THE PAINTING VIRUS. These words, handwritten by Niele Toroni and posted near the gallery’s reception desk, greeted visitors to the artist’s recent exhibition “Un tout de différences” (A Set of Differences). The show featured the same monochrome imprints the artist has been making for more than fifty years, and the works were all titled, as usual, with blunt descriptiveness (e.g., Empreintes de pinceau N°50 à intervalles réguliers de 30 cm [Brush Impressions No. 50 at Regular Intervals of 30 cm]). Yet the familiar marks looked quite different post-Covid-19. Developed by Toroni

  • picks September 21, 2020

    Piero Gilardi

    Piero Gilardi is best known for the polyurethane “Nature Carpets” he has made since the mid-1960s. Depicting realistic landscapes such as seashores, agricultural fields, and woodlands, these rugs vary widely in size, format, and orientation. Of the fifteen such works on view here, two five-foot squares—Temporale e pesche cadute (Thunderstorm and Fallen Peaches) and Greto di torrente (Riverbed) (both 1967), a peach-littered lawn and a stony creek, respectively—are displayed on the floor. The remainder, which includes five smaller tondos produced while the artist was in coronavirus confinement in

  • Jean-Charles de Quillacq

    Having opened just days after Paris ended its strict two-month coronavirus lockdown, Jean-Charles de Quillacq’s exhibition “Autofonction” (Auto-function) inevitably adopted a pandemic-related subtext. A last-minute addition to the show, Momie (Mummy), 2020—a braided loaf of bread, baked by the artist and posed on the gallery floor—was a direct response to the global health crisis, nodding to the uptick in home baking during confinement. It was a reminder of socially distant behavior, which is one way to describe the artist’s studio practice. For de Quillacq, artmaking is an erotic experience

  • Zhenya Machneva

    Zhenya Machneva uses a Finnish Varpapuu floor loom and colorful cotton, linen, and synthetic yarns to create detailed renderings of machinery she has observed and covertly photographed in derelict factories or abandoned industrial ports in and around her native Saint Petersburg—still Leningrad when she was born there in 1988. The artist’s interest in such sites is both personal and political. Having long admired factories from afar, Machneva first stepped inside one in 2012 to visit her grandfather at the now defunct Krasnaya Zarya (Red Dawn) telephone factory. She was struck by what she perceived

  • slant May 12, 2020

    Letter from Paris

    THE LOUVRE was the first to go. On March 1, the world’s most-attended art museum (averaging 15,000 visitors per day) went dark after some three hundred staff members walked out over concerns about the transmission of Covid-19. Although this initial closure lasted only three days, by March 14, the museum had announced it was shuttering again—this time indefinitely, in accordance with the government-ordered nationwide shutdown of all nonessential businesses in France.

    After more than eight weeks of lockdown, France is poised to begin loosening its strict stay-at-home orders. Starting Monday May