Xavier Girard

  • Markus Raetz

    The work of the Swiss artist Markus Raetz shows traces both of the fantastic, in the German tradition, and of Conceptual art. A body of work at least unique would arise from this combination; add to this Raetz’s admiration for the Swiss poet Robert Walser, and it becomes difficult to speak of him without seriously revising one’s categories. Until recently his work was almost entirely ignored in France, though it is well known to a broader European public. Raetz’s first exhibition in Paris, then, was of considerable interest.

    Here, Raetz showed recent work. The visitor was greeted by a large wood

  • Monique Frydman

    At first, Monique Frydman’s work was somewhat reminiscent of Bram Van Velde’s. But in 1967 the Parisian avant-garde, and the political situation of the time, set her in a new direction. While a generation of artists led by Claude Viallat, Louis Cane, and others began a return to abstract painting, Frydman traveled to Cuba and, during the spring of 1968, to Prague. She began to use personal recollections in a way that most “radical” artists had specifically put aside. Completely isolated from the “individual mythologies” of the early ’70s, her work possessed a quality of the hand; these were

  • Bernard Pages

    Bernard Pagès belongs to the generation of Claude Viallat, Louis Cane, and Jean-Pierre Pincemin. An exhibition of the New Realists in 1967 was the point of departure for his current work; the geometric qualities he had borrowed from Constantin Brancusi and the abstract lyrical sculpture of the postwar period gave way to an occupation with the rural terrain of his childhood. Pagès systematically made use of its mining materials: branches, bricks, cord, wire, corrugated iron, pipes, boards, and metal rods (a relationship to Arte Povera has since been seen here). Out of these media were created

  • Roland Barthes

    In January 1981, the graphic exercises of Roland Barthes were shown at Nancy. Now, the Musée des Sables d’Olonne presents about a hundred “drawings,” executed between 1971 and 1976. The title, “Roland Barthes, 1915–1980: Drawings,” is, above all, a proper name. It denotes less the semiologist, essayist, critic, and director of studies at the Collège de France, than the writer. The word “drawings” is there to simplify things. “Semiography” would have been better; unlike “drawing,” or “painting,” semiography does not denote a body of work. Tracing and graphic writing to no purpose, for the sheer

  • Robert Barry

    Robert Barry’s exhibition consisted of works on paper, in series and as several isolated pieces. Pieces of paper at first seem painted uniformly in red, yellow, or blue, but on approaching the work one can distinguish words, and the recurrent image of a tree. The words, finely printed, are distributed over the entire surface of the paper, following untraced vertical and horizontal lines. The arrangement of the words varies from piece to piece; it seems that they have been made to function together in many spatial formulations, by an indeterminate program. In the unified space of the paper, they

  • Don Hazlitt

    Don Hazlitt’s cutout relief paintings are small, portable worlds that you can hold in your hand. They are arrayed along the walls of the gallery, bristling with spikes and bizarre protruberances, offering themselves in their masonry of papier-mâché, cardboard, and other materials. The colors are in outrageously bad taste; these acidic reds, pistachio greens, and lemon yellows are as reprehensible as the color additives in ice cream. The paintings’ declension of color is doubtful and their fleshiness is fake. Gone is the spiritual distinction of the great chromatic walls of “all over”; Hazlitt