Mara Hoberman

  • Seth Price

    Seth Price’s latest works explore the conceptual and visual construction of the standard business envelope, a motif the artist has examined across various media in recent years. The two new groups of work, part of an ongoing project called Folklore U.S., build on his contribution to Documenta 13 in 2012—a venture that included fashions inspired by the patterns printed on the interiors of confidential mailers (a collaboration with menswear designer Tim Hamilton) and large-scale soft-sculpture envelopes. In this show, “Animation Studio,” Price returned to a more traditional presentation of

  • picks December 31, 2014

    Julie Beaufils

    Paris-born, LA-based artist Julie Beaufils’s solo debut fills this gallery with seven large paintings characterized by light brushstrokes and a muted palette. Using swaths of ochre, rose, and slate, Beaufils depicts male and female figures alone or together in various states of repose. In many cases, the works represent multiple scenes within a single composition, with canvases divided into sketchily painted boxes evoking comic-book thought bubbles, cinematic split screens, or computer pop-up windows.

    Though pictorially sparse, Beaufils’s canvases are rife with sentiment, predominately lust and

  • Jules de Balincourt

    Jules de Balincourt’s exhibition of twenty new paintings reprised his signature naive-style landscapes and portraits in oil on wood. But new to the French-born, US-raised and -based artist’s characteristically dystopian and politically critical oeuvre was a sense of wishful optimism. Rendered in a cheery sun-drenched palette of coral pinks, seafoam greens, turquoise blues, and sandy yellows, de Balincourt’s latest suite of peopled urban and pastoral scenes blend memory and fantasy into pleasantly absurd alternative realities.

    True to their surf-inspired hues, a number of the paintings that were

  • interviews October 20, 2014

    Jean-Michel Othoniel

    Installed over the summer of 2014 as part of a major renovation of one of Versailles’s gardens, the three sculptures in Jean-Michel Othoniel’s Les Belles Danses (The Beautiful Dances), 2014, evoke King Louis XIV dancing on water. To realize the works, the Paris-based artist set up a makeshift studio in a vaulted ceiling chamber that once housed the Sun King’s apothecary. Othoniel is the first contemporary artist to make a permanent mark on the royal grounds as well as Versailles’s first artist-in-residence in over 300 years. The work will be previewed during FIAC this month before the grand

  • picks October 16, 2014

    Louidgi Beltrame

    Seven colorful American Apparel sweatshirts, arms splayed on bamboo sticks like hipster scarecrows, greet visitors to Louidgi Beltrame’s latest exhibition. Reminiscent of Hélio Oiticica’s “Penetrável” series, this circular cluster, Bizarre Innovation Style, 2014, invites the viewer to weave through and appreciate the sweatshirts’ silk-screened photographs of Peruvian ceramic vessels once used by Nazca shamans to mix psychotropic concoctions. This unexpected mash-up of contemporary and ancient cultures is equal parts Pop art and anthropological display. Curiously, this work, as well as Second

  • Analia Saban

    Analia Saban’s two recent suites of work, both from 2014, blend techniques and materials traditionally considered exclusive to either painting or sculpture. Belonging to neither practice entirely, they comment on both.Big Bang Series (in Ten Steps), for example, which spanned the gallery’s front wall, puts sculptural materials on top of a standard painting support. The work consists of ten twenty-by-twenty-six-inch canvases, each coated with a thick layer of cement and inlaid with fragments of black marble. Taken in sequence, these objects demonstrate several simultaneous progressions. In the

  • picks August 25, 2014

    “Formes Simples”

    Dividing its broad conceit across seventeen thematic subsections, “Formes Simples” (Simple Shapes) juxtaposes artworks and artifacts whose provenances span approximately five thousand years and thirty countries based on their formal similarities. The first room of the exhibition, however, showcases works related by their formlessness. Diverse examples of art informel, to use French art critic Michel Tapié’s 1952 coinage, include a gloppy cement sculpture by Anish Kapoor (untitled, 2013), a barely figurative terra-cotta study for Auguste Rodin’s famous portrait-sculpture of Balzac (Balzac, robe

  • picks July 11, 2014

    Izumi Kato

    Having exhibited widely in his native Japan since the early 2000s, Izumi Kato makes his Paris debut with a large selection of recent paintings, drawings, and sculptures that describe a parallel universe populated by humanoid figures with masklike faces and flippers as limbs that tend to sprout exotic plants, stylized wings, or additional heads instead of hands and feet.

    Influenced by art from ancient Egypt and Japan’s Jōmon period, Kato’s wide-eyed childish figures also relate to Japanese Pop art, appearing like naively drawn manga characters. Kato’s paintings, which he makes using his fingers

  • picks July 08, 2014

    Nathan Hylden

    Nathan Hylden’s latest suite of large-scale painted and silk-screened (though not always in that order) aluminum panels pays homage to the artist’s own Los Angeles workspace. Joining a long line of artists who have treated their studios as subjects—from Vermeer to Matisse to Bruce Nauman, to name just a few—Hylden describes his creative environment in a limited palette of white, black, and blue on silvery light-reflective supports. Juxtaposing images of quotidian elements (wall, camera, chair) with fat, gestural brushstrokes and solid blocks of spray paint, Hylden’s studio-scapes invite literal

  • François Morellet

    Spread across Kamel Mennour’s two Left Bank galleries, “François Morellet, c’est n’importe quoi?” (François Morellet, Does It Make Any Sense?) showcased a variety of emblematic works—including three-dimensional assemblages of white-painted canvas squares; linear, site-specific wall drawings made with black adhesive tape; and a glowing blue-neon installation that filled a whole room—all made during the past five years. The show’s surprise highlight, however, was works dating back to the very beginning of the artist’s six-decade career. Tucked into a carpeted alcove in the rue Saint-André

  • picks May 21, 2014

    DeWain Valentine

    DeWain Valentine’s first exhibition in Paris marks only the second European solo show for the seventy-eight-year-old Los Angeles–based artist best known for his large-scale glass and plastic sculptures. The current Valentine miniretrospective features nine cast polyester resin works made between 1969 and 1975, all of which feel surprisingly fresh, in part because many have never been shown before, but also because their smooth, shiny surfaces look as if they were made yesterday, rather than over forty years ago.

    While Valentine’s translucent sculptures initially appear simple, their complex

  • Fabrice Hyber

    Fabrice Hyber’s recent exhibition was perversely titled “Interdit aux Enfants” (Children Not Allowed), though it was in fact designed specifically for children, or at least conceived with their small size and big imaginations in mind. Known for his quirky “Prototypes d’Objets en Fonctionnement” (Prototypes of Functioning Objects), 1991–, Hyber here complemented new POFs, mostly modified versions of earlier designs that have been scaled into child-friendly formats, with energetic diagrammatic paintings. Transforming the gallery into an informal classroom-cum-laboratory, with charts and annotations

  • picks April 28, 2014

    Guy Limone

    Shortly after finishing his studies at the École des Beaux Arts d’Aix-en-Provence in 1985, Guy Limone made his first installation using the hand-painted model-train-set figurines that have become one of his signature materials. Affixed directly to a white wall in a circular formation, Seul 1% des français rêve de devenir premier ministre (Only 1 percent of the French dream of becoming prime minister), 1987, launched the artist’s ongoing series of “Statisiques.” This work is also the point of origin for his current mid-career retrospective, which focuses on this particular subset of Limone’s

  • picks April 22, 2014

    Alex Katz

    Boasting one hundred–odd portraits from the past forty-five years, Alex Katz’s first major retrospective in France opens with the atypical series “Women in Jackets,” 1996. Spanning the gallery’s long entry hall, ten oil-on-aluminum cutouts suggest a row of smartly dressed gallerygoers. Freed from the fictive background of the picture plane, these women greet the viewer in “real space.” Confounding the cutouts’ immediacy, however, their flatness is reinforced by uniform cropping at midforehead and midthigh in accordance with an unyielding (if invisible) rectangular frame. Throughout the show,

  • picks April 12, 2014

    Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni

    Whether working with 35-mm film or state-of-the-art digital video technology, Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni play with temporal conventions of filmmaking. Referencing the past, present, and future, the eleven works included in “The Unmanned”—the artist duo’s first institutional show—establish an eerie alternate reality wherein humanity is barely present and automated technology reigns supreme.

    The exhibition opens with Untitled (La Vallée von uexküll), 2009/2014, an ongoing series of digitally filmed desert sunsets. Made using progressively higher-definition cameras, each video is screened on

  • Anne-Marie Schneider

    Treating her drawing practice like a visual diary, Anne-Marie Schneider uses combinations of watercolor, acrylic, ink, and pencil to routinely document current events, scenes from daily life, and her own mental state. Here a selection of sixty works on paper plus four paintings, all dated between 2009 and 2013, offered an intimate, if fragmented, glimpse into the artist’s quotidian experience. Characteristic of Schneider’s oeuvre, which also includes sculpture and animation, the simple forms and playful color palette of her drawings—manifested here mainly as purple and red stick figures

  • Annette Messager

    Spread across the gallery floor in an archipelagic formation, Annette Messager’s installation of twenty-one sculptures arrayed on small padded dollies, Mes Transports, 2012–13, conjured the gory aftermath of a mysterious disaster. Reprising some of the artist’s signature motifs, including dead animals, human body parts, and children’s toys, this work evokes a scene of emergency triage with nightmarish casualties on makeshift gurneys. The strange amalgams of limbs, shoes, birds, dogs, and architectural wreckage—covered with the kind of matte black foil typically used to mask theatrical

  • Brice Dellsperger

    One-upping Hollywood clichés of voyeurism, transvestism, and bloodlust, Brice Dellsperger’s employs conceptual and visual mirroring, looping, and duplication in his videos for maximum camp appeal. The artist’s series “Body Double,” 1995–, includes some thirty-odd re-created scenes from cult movies by the likes of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, David Lynch, and, most frequently, Brian De Palma. The recent presentation of six works from the series (four starring the artist himself in multiple roles) was a self-referential fun house of sorts—wherein a mirror, multiple projections, and a double-sided

  • picks January 02, 2014

    Sophie Calle

    Visualizing the invisible is a recurrent theme in Sophie Calle’s photo-based oeuvre—from photographs based on descriptions of beauty provided by people who were born blind to portraits of those who have lost their sight suddenly. Calle’s current exhibition, “Dérobés,” challenges the viewer to see vanished artworks. The photograph/text pairings in the series “What Do You See,” 2013, conjure paintings by Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, and Govert Flinck that were among the thirteen artworks stolen from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. Focusing on that museum’s “Dutch Room,” Calle’s

  • picks December 12, 2013

    “Decorum: Tapis et tapisseries d’artistes”

    The largest-ever textiles exhibition at Paris’s Musée d’Art Moderne brings together over one hundred woven works in the form of wall hangings, floor coverings, and freestanding sculptures from the Middle Ages to the present day. Rife with surprising anachronistic comparisons, the exhibition’s thematically organized sections point to the recent resurgence of weaving among contemporary artists while underscoring the historic importance of tapestry.

    In the section titled “The Painterly,” two tapestries designed by Pablo Picasso are hung in the company of a sixteenth-century Flemish tapestry. Picasso