Mara Hoberman

  • Florian and Michael Quistrebert

    In dialogue with a long history of painters’ attempts to represent light and harness its dematerializing effects—from Vermeer to Monet to Rothko—the latest works by Florian and Michael Quistrebert sparkle and shine, thanks to the iridescent car paints and tiny, battery-powered lightbulbs used in many of them. In contrast to the brothers’ previous muted geometric compositions, their new paintings are characterized by thick gestural strokes and flashy jewel tones. “Hyperdelia,” the first exhibition dedicated to the “Overlight” series begun in 2013, introduced this body of work with a

  • picks July 23, 2015

    Meschac Gaba

    Born in Benin and based in the Netherlands, Meschac Gaba made his first wigs following a residency in New York City. Stimulated by Manhattan’s skyline and hair-braiding salons, Gaba’s series of “Architecture Tresses,” 2005–2006, interpreted landmarks like the Chrysler Building as vertiginous synthetic hairpieces. The fourteen wigs currently on view here represent European monuments and various historical figures.

    Paris is well represented in wig form by five re-creations of iconic buildings, such as Notre-Dame de Paris, 2006, whose bell towers of woven brown braids evoke a woolly horned beast.

  • interviews June 10, 2015

    Philippe Parreno

    Paris-based artist Philippe Parreno’s installation H{N)YPN(Y}OSIS, 2015, is a fluid and infinitely variable composition of audio and visual elements that the artist can individually manipulate using an iPad. Parreno will be on site for the duration of the show, choreographing an ongoing, ever-changing dance featuring videos, sculptures, and live performances. H{N)YPN(Y}OSIS opens at the Park Avenue Armory on June 11 and will run through August 2, 2015.

    UNTIL THIS PROJECT, the tools I had at my disposal to visualize a show were basically computer programs designed for positioning objects within

  • Hervé Télémaque

    With more than seventy works borrowed primarily from French public collections, Hervé Télémaque’s recent retrospective reaffirmed the significant institutional support the Haitian-born artist has received in his adoptive country. Télémaque, who arrived in Paris via New York in 1961, has produced a body of work—paintings, sculptures, collages, drawings, and assemblages—that is as aesthetically diverse as it is thematically consistent. Chronologically tracing the development of Télémaque’s unique lexicon—a blend of island motifs, pop-culture iconography, and art-historical

  • Gyan Panchal

    Broken beehive boxes, a discarded hunting tent, a three-foot-tall wedge of eroded polyurethane: These are among the raw materials of Gyan Panchal’s latest works. Starting with man-made items scavenged from the French countryside near his home in Limousin, Panchal takes care not to efface marks made by humans, animals, chemicals or other forces of nature whose interactions with these once-functional objects predate his own. Via subtle, sometimes almost imperceptible modifications, such as the addition of a layer of dust, some gentle sanding, or a strategic fold, Panchal casts himself in the humble

  • Dora Budor

    Creepy as a scene from a sci-fi blockbuster, Dora Budor’s exhibition “The Architect’s Plan, His Contagion and Sensitive Corridors” invaded the gallery with swaths of synthetic skin, severed cyborg prostheses, and images of smoldering, wreckage-filled landscapes. In fact, it’s all “screen-used” stuff you might have seen at the movies. Budor reclaims the materiality of silicone scars, cyborg body parts, and other substances specifically designed for digital capture, manipulation, and consumption. Removed from their original contexts, these artifacts of imaginary worlds appear significantly less

  • David Malek

    Masquerading as pure abstractions, David Malek’s latest ensemble of bright and glossy acrylic paintings feature either single large shapes or allover geometric patterns. Painted in electric shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow, along with gray, black, and silver, the eight canvases that were on view simultaneously channel the detached cool of 1980s neo-geo paintings and the meditative quality of ancient Indian tantric designs. These apparent Minimalist and mystical connotations are complicated, however, by the fact that Malek’s titles connect each painting to a tangible, real-world subject.

  • picks February 16, 2015

    Emmanuel Van der Meulen

    Created in situ at Villa de Medici in Rome, Emmanuel Van der Meulen’s nearly twelve-foot-long, unstretched canvases hang from a gallery wall like mysterious scrolls. Removed from their original context, the three earth-toned geometric abstractions—part of a series comprising six paintings, entitled “Cosmica Sidera,” 2012—are now nomadic rather than site-specific, narrating their own physical, conceptual, and historical context.

    The intimate gallery setting emphasizes the monumentality of the unfurled canvases while encouraging a closer look at the painted surfaces. Environmental residues such as

  • picks February 11, 2015

    Jacin Giordano

    Testing the limits of conventional painting—both as a medium and a process—Jacin Giordano’s latest works are born of a cyclical, waste-not studio practice. The bulk of the works presented (all 2014) were made with the byproducts of an ongoing series—a single example from which, Cutpainting #52, represents the cornerstone of the show. To create his “Cutpaintings” Giordano layers thick coats of brightly colored acrylics onto wood supports, then sands, cuts, and shreds the paintings to reveal their multicolored strata. Conscious that this additive/reductive process is also potentially wasteful,

  • Daiga Grantina

    “Legal Beast Language,” the title of Daiga Grantina’s first Paris solo show, is a phrase borrowed from The Age of Wire and String, American author Ben Marcus’s 1995 field guide for an alternative universe. This cryptic glossary term is the only explicit reference to Marcus’s book, but a line from the introduction—“by looking at an object we destroy it with our desire, that for accurate vision to occur the thing must be trained to see itself”—provides a useful approach to the Latvian-born, Berlin-based artist’s latest body of work: five tantalizing amalgams of found items and crudely

  • 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