Mara Hoberman

  • 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

  • picks December 03, 2013

    Lee Bul

    Korean artist Lee Bul’s first major European museum exhibition begins in the air. Cast in white polyurethane and suspended across Mudam’s I. M. Pei–designed glass and concrete atrium, two squads of sci-fi species appear frozen in the midst of a celestial ballet or battle. Perhaps a little worse for the wear (variably missing arms, legs, and heads), the hard-bodied, humanoid “Cyborgs,” 1997–2011, face off against the amorphous tentacled “Anagrams,” 1999–2006. Alternately evoking classical Greek marbles and “Star Wars” creatures, these ghostly human-scale beings appear to have arisen from Lee’s

  • Farah Atassi

    Those familiar with Farah Atassi’s work will recognize in her latest group of paintings the strong orthogonal lines that lend themselves well to her signature tiled and bricked interiors. Adhering to an underlying grid, Atassi meticulously uses tape and layers of oil paint to construct eerily unpopulated human-scale spaces. But whereas earlier paintings featured scant domestic objects—for instance, a cluster of chairs or a dangling light fixture—evoking a kitchen or a bathroom setting, recent works show the artist moving toward greater abstraction. Now exploring the grid as a modernist

  • Rolf Julius

    “Landscape” initially seemed a metaphorical or even ironic title for an exhibition of Rolf Julius (1939–2011), who is often pigeonholed as a sound artist and lumped with contemporaries such as John Cage, David Tudor, and Takehisa Kosugi. Employing the term literally, however, the show at Cortex Athletico (whose Bordeaux, France, gallery notably holds part of the late artist’s archives) aimed to rescue his oeuvre from this too narrow frame of reference. Here, rather than focusing on a simplistic cause-and-effect relationship between sound and image, Julius’s works on paper and multimedia sculptures

  • picks October 06, 2013

    Pier Paolo Calzolari

    Nearly two decades after his last solo show in Paris, Pier Paolo Calzolari is making a long-overdue reappearance. The reclusive poveristi’s current exhibition spreads across Kamel Mennour’s two spacious showrooms (christening the gallery’s new location, just a few blocks from the flagship) with a stunning forty-five-year survey.

    At the Saint-André des Arts space, key works from the 1960s and ’70s introduce Calzolari’s essential materials—metals, eggs, leaves, salt, moss, and frost (which he creates using refrigeration units). Senza titolo (Lasciare il posto) (Untitled [Leaving the Place]), 1972,

  • interviews September 20, 2013

    Matt Mullican

    Matt Mullican’s “Collecting for the studio – collecting 1959–2013,” at Galerie Nelson-Freeman in Paris, brings his early and recent works together with items from his personal collection of art and objects. Ranging from prehistoric tools to twentieth-century machinery and from Piranesi etchings to 1950s comic books, Mullican’s collection has never before been presented within the context of an exhibition. Here the artist highlights a few favorite objects and discusses the relationship of the collection and his work. The show is on view until November 9, 2013.

    I’VE DISCUSSED THE IDEA of showing

  • diary September 04, 2013

    Back to the Future

    OFTEN REFERRED to as the fair before la rentrée (France’s official “back to work” date), Art-O-Rama provides a perfect excuse to spend the last weekend of August in sunny Marseille. This year, in addition to being well situated to attract the art crowd returning from fabulous vacation destinations in Provence and the Côte d’Azur, Art-O-Rama benefitted from Marseille’s status as 2013’s European Capital of Culture. The city has enjoyed a fast and furious urban renewal, boasting brand new museums and public monuments, an impressive program of concerts and performances, and pop-up art projects

  • Daniel Firman

    The title of Daniel Firman’s first large museum show, “La Matière Grise” (Gray Matter), was both a reference and a provocation. The artist has used the phrase before, notably in a life-size self-portrait sculpture from 2009 titled Grey Matters, (not in the show), which illustrates the proverbial weight of the world by replacing the artist’s head with a cyclonic jumble of gray industrial and domestic objects. Expanding the title to encompass six years of work, the Lyon survey showed Firman using physical gray matter (namely clay, metal, resin, and painted plaster) to evoke more abstract outputs