Pascaline Cuvelier

  • Issey Miyake

    The pleated, gossamer synthetic that remains Issey Miyake’s trademark is not just a token of the designer’s interest in advanced technological research; that Miyake also intends it as homage to the great designer Fortuny indicates his enthusiasm for the creative work of others. Show organizer Hervé Chandès hopes to emphasize less the familiar pioneer of destructured Japanese fashion (the “lab technician” closely associated with the engineers and inventors of new fibers) than the maverick artist and collaborator. The show highlights Miyake’s work with contemporary artists, including Yasumasa



    On the elevated Métro leading to Thomas Hirschhorn’s studio in the working-class neighborhood of Barbès (where he has lived since leaving his native Switzerland in 1984), blurred images flash before my eyes as I tick off the stops on the outskirts of Paris. Pigalle, Anvers, Barbès—they all bring to mind the immigrant neighborhoods where populations in exile gather. Coming to France from Africa, Asia, and the Antilles, they’ve found a way to integrate themselves in the urban milieu, or at least to get by, if barely.

    In the great chaos of his installations, Hirschhorn draws on this

  • Christian Boltanski

    In an attempt to avoid the totalizing view that comes with a retrospective, Christian Boltanski has opted instead for a show that sticks to the last ten years of his work—a period that’s seen him reach the pinnacle of the French art scene. Curator Béatrice Parent is orchestrating this shadowy, hushed display through the installation of eight large works comprising photos, old clothing, and abandoned objects—at once discreet and monumental—that revolve around the torments of memory. Like all of Boltanski’s work, the whole is taken in bit by bit, bathed in a dimly lit atmosphere that is at once

  • Max Ernst: Sculptures, Houses, and Landscapes

    Everyone’s pretty familiar with Max Ernst by now, right? Curators Werner Spies and Fabrice Hergott hope to offer a new perspective by playing down Ernst the painter in favor of Ernst the sculptor in a show organized around the artist’s numerous residencies (and the impact of changing surroundings on his sculptural forms). What unifies the work is Ernst’s good humor in pieces made during sojourns at the poet Paul Eluard’s in Eaubonne, at Giacometti’s home in Maloja, at his own home in Saint-Martin d’Ardèche, or even during stays on Long Island or amid the sandstone canyons of Sedona, Arizona. In

  • Biennale de l’Image

    It’s a common complaint today that media bombardment has stripped the image of all meaning. For some of the youngest participants in this first edition of the Biennale de l’Image (curator Régis Durand, director of the Centre Nationale de Photographie, has selected an international group of artists largely under thirty-five), image saturation is apparently a given; whether working in video, on computers, or with a camera, they take the image as medium rather than message—a decision as second nature to them as acrylic was for Color Field painters. A new type of art may emerge from this strategy,

  • Tell Me a Story: Narration in Contemporary Painting and Photography

    Curators Yves Aupetitallot and Alessandra Galasso have assembled artists they see as turning to painting and photography as a way of fighting the “impasse of the still image.” Centered on the notion of image-making as pictorial writing, or what Aupetitallot calls a “visualized narration,” the focus in “Tell Me a Story” is on a generation of artists whose work has a novelistic or story-like quality, from Karen Kilimnik and Raymond Pettibon to Xavier Veilhan and Jeff Wall. This show of twenty artists highlights in particular the influence of cinematography and video on contemporary painting and

  • Gabriel Orozco

    We all remember Gabriel Orozco’s redimensioning of the Citröen DS, its width shrunk in half, reflecting the irony and uneasiness of the functional object. Or the skull at Documenta; the computer-generated prints juxtaposing geometric patterns and images of cricket matches; or the entropic scenes shot in Mexico. All of his work seems to involve, as Angeline Sherf, co-curator (with Laurence Bossé) of this project, puts it, a “vibration of everyday things,” which the artist transforms into “plays of meanings in what he captures from a suggested but absent presence.” Orozco takes the notion of formal

  • “Visions du Nord”

    For some time, the art of Scandinavia has enjoyed only a marginal appreciation in the heart of Europe. This large survey of work from the five countries of Northern Europe (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland) should go a ways toward correcting that. The survey begins with patriarchs Edvard Munch and August Strindberg and winds its way to young artists working today. Highlights include Per Kirkeby’s monumental paintings, an installation by the Icelandic singer Bjork and Englishman Jeremy Deller, and an interactive video by the Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier, as well as stills from an

  • Arman

    Forget the monumental sculptures—the piled-up suitcases and clocks in Paris or those tanks stuck in concrete in Beirut. The highlight of this retrospective is the work of the young Arman, the innovative cofounder of Nouveaux Réalisme. An obsessive “accumulator,” the artist gave his combines of ordinary objects—whether pieces of cars, coffee grinders, musical instruments, or even garbage—an emotional weight previously reserved for sculpture. Included in the show, curated by Daniel Abadie, is Sandwich Combo, a piece from the new “Jumbo” series, featuring motorcycles crammed into a piano sawed in

  • the swing left

    IT WAS ALMOST LIKE a fairy tale, it happened so quickly. One day France was on the right, and the president of the republic was feeling peevish. The prime minister was getting on his nerves. How could he get rid of him? Hold early elections. Next morning, to everyone’s surprise, France was on the left, as was the new prime minister, Lionel Jospin. Although the French are notoriously fickle when it comes to choosing their leaders, in reality it was neither fairy tale nor whimsy that prompted the swing left but the cumulative effects of a series of workers’ protests, the government’s continued


    VALUING AN ARTIST AND UNDERSTANDING THE WORK are two very different things. It’s like when you’re in love: there’s a charm at work, but what? It is irrefutable that the French are smitten with the thirty-six-year-old Fabrice Hybert and, ever since he took the prize for best pavilion at this summer’s Venice Biennale, the rest of the art world has been, too. He’s been showing work for about ten years, and is considered one of the leading figures of a new generation of artists whose work is characterized by its openness to the world beyond the studio. Yet when you ask in-the-know art types about

  • “Amours”

    We all know the cliché that l’amour is the true passion of the French. Now the Fondation Cartier, in a seductive exhibition of work by some fifty artists, has set out to examine love in all its art-historical variety. “Amours” brings together work ranging from drawings by Ingres and sensuous scenes by Watteau and Fragonard to graffitied walls captured by Brassai and images of provocative tattoos, along with more contemporary examples of the art of love, including work by Douglas Gordon and Gary Hill. One highlight is André Labarthe’s film incorporating love scenes from the history of cinema.

  • César: Retrospective

    If the last Venice Biennale enthroned César as the patriarch of French sculpture, this full-scale retrospective curated by Jeu de Paume director Daniel Abadie inaugurates the era of his consecration. Those frightened by the early ’60s César, scion of the nouveaux réalistes who merrily threw old car bodies into compactors to make scrap-metal cubes, or disgusted by the late ’60s César, maker of soft and erotic inflated plastic forms, will be comforted by the artist’s “Bestiary,” sculptures from the ’50s of hairy beasts much closer to the work of Picasso, Julio González, or Germaine Richier. June

  • Chéri Samba

    The work of Chéri Samba imparts a satirical, even grotesque edge to issues like AIDS and political corruption. The Zairean artist’s paintings, centered here predominantly around the theme of “lovers,” issue from what might be dubbed an Afro-pessimistic perspective. One comes away from curator Philippe Garcia de la Rosa’s lush survey of thirty-eight works struck especially by Samba’s skill at integrating text and painting, charging his images with a delightful and lively sense of orality. May 13-Aug. 18


    AFTER TWENTY YEARS of generating innumerable mutant objects that could be the artifacts of a strange archaeological excavation, Bertrand Lavier (logician of the real) is at the top of the French artistic heap, one of a Gang of Four that includes Daniel Buren (the pioneer of repetition), Annette Messager (the putterer-inventer), and Christian Boltanski (the despairing soul). What makes Lavier’s work distinctive is the symbiotic relationship he establishes between two objects that should never even have met: the household appliance and the artwork. The former, a car, for example, becomes the latter

  • “L'Empreinte”

    Are there ramifications for the story of modern art when artists still rely on indexical techniques as old as hand imprinting on the walls of Lascaux? Art historian Georges Didi-Huberman and POMPIDOU curator Didier Semin pose the question in this examination of a variety of construction methods linked to the “imprint”—rubbing, molding, pressing, printing, stamping, contact, tracing, and photograms—in the work of some one hundred artists from throughout the century. Contra the impression that art has become increasingly dematerialized

  • Pascaline Cuvelier


    With multiple offerings by young and not-so-young English artists culled from Britain’s famous artist-run independent spaces, this fall’s “LIFE/LIVE,” at the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, proved that you can risk showing brand-new work next to its more established cousins. While shows like this are often mounted by small, brave galleries, museums usually get cold feet. So thanks to curators Laurence Bossé and Hans-Ulrich Obrist for choosing artists who uncompromisingly and humorously excavate the present, often piecing together their creations from minimal means. With

  • New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Venice, Turin, Paris, Cologne, Berlin, Stockholm, Liverpool, London, Brisbane


    This fall, Dada finally gets its due as a stateside movement. Curated by Dada scholar Francis M. Naumann with staffer Beth Venn, the WHITNEY’s show will include Duchamp’s Bride Stripped Bare. . . , as well as more than 200 objects by American and European artists associated with the movement on this side of the Atlantic. Along with the usual suspects—Francis Picabia, Man Ray, and, lately, Florine Stettheimer—you’ll also get to see works like Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (feathers and a champagne glass) and a partial

  • Pascaline Cuvelier


    The worst calamity that can befall a living artist is to be accorded a retrospective. Suddenly the artist finds herself at her own funeral—eulogized for her accomplishments as the remains of her artistic production lie in state. Kind of rough. ANNETTE MESSAGER, at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, managed to elude this trap. Presenting her work under the ironic title of “Faire Parade” (Showing off), she disregarded chronology, mixing her various periods and styles. Usually those who exhibit here view this churchlike space as an opportunity to exercise their egos, but