Mara Hoberman

  • View of “Formes Simples” (Simple Shapes), 2014.
    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

  • View of “Izumi Kato,” 2014.
    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

  • Nathan Hylden, Untitled, 2014, acrylic on aluminum, 77 1/2 x 57 1/2".
    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, Pier and Ocean, 2014, thirty-eight blue argon neon tubes, wooden pier (by Tadashi Kawamata). Installation view.

    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

  • View of “DeWain Valentine,” 2014.
    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

  • View of “Fabrice Hyber,” 2014.

    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

  • View of “Guy Limone,” 2014.
    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

  • Alex Katz, Coleman Pond, 1975, oil on aluminum, 94 x 162".
    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,

  • Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni, Bassae Bassae, 2014. 35-mm color film, 9 minutes.
    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, untitled, 2013, watercolor and pencil on paper, 15 3/4 x 11 4/8".

    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, Mes Transports, 2012–13, mixed media, dimensions variable.

    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, Body Double 30, 2013, digital video, color, sound, 2 minutes 29 seconds.

    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