Critics’ Picks

View of “All Over,” 2016.

View of “All Over,” 2016.


“All Over”

Galerie des Galeries
40 Boulevard Haussmann 1st Floor
February 24–May 14, 2016

“All Over” derives its title from Clement Greenberg’s term for the space of AbEx painting, where foreground and background merge into a limitless plane. This group exhibition focuses on the stripe: a simple formal device that can wreak just as much perceptual havoc as a Pollockian drip. Erstwhile Fluxus artist John M. Armleder sets the tone. His thick white-and-gray stripes act as a gallery-encompassing mural, on which nearly all the other works have been overlaid. The exception is a commissioned inflatable column by Hans-Walter Müller, whose floor-to-ceiling cylinder is intersected from within by a lengthwise striped sheet.

The most compelling pieces inject playfulness into the severity of the linear, with vivid uses of color or surprising takes on regimented geometry. Sylvie Fleury’s two canvases together, titled Free Buren, 2012, reverberate with a vaginal-looking swell of lines. (The tongue-in-cheek title riffs on French artist Daniel Buren’s predilection for the straight stripe.) Adjacently, Lisa Beck’s Horizon, 2010, creates more Op-like disruption, with black plastic hemispheres aligned into sequential geometric groupings—half on a white Armleder wall stripe, half on a gray. Philippe Decrauzat is ethereal: His Yves Klein–blue lines gently waft away into white, as though in a disappearing act. Ian Davenport’s Puddle Painting: Swedish Blue, 2009, is achieved by pouring gloss paint onto an inclined plane, which results in subtly wonky marbling. And the precise red, green, and blue moiré lines of the Venezuelan-born Domenico Battista’s When in Rome, 2015, yields an entrancing optical effect—a dizzying riff on the textures of this show.