Critics’ Picks

Ludivine Caillard, A Red Dress for a Tree, 2008, tree, wool. Installation view, 2009.

Ludivine Caillard, A Red Dress for a Tree, 2008, tree, wool. Installation view, 2009.


Ludivine Caillard

Galerie des Galeries
40 Boulevard Haussmann 1st Floor
January 28–February 28, 2009

Pursuing physical and superficial matters of color, material, and the beauty industry, French artist Ludivine Caillard makes drawings, collages, sculptures, and videos rich with texture and ripe with unapologetically intimate innuendo. Caillard’s 36 Drawings, from the series “112 Drawings,” 2002–2004, introduces her playful range of visual references and foresees the bright palette in her recent sculptures. Installed on an adjacent wall, 11 Collages, 2001–2008, emphasizes Caillard’s sarcastic method of pairing advertising slogans clipped from women’s magazines with her own responses in blue ballpoint pen. In one work, NE PLUS AVOIR PEUR DE VOTRE SILHOUETTE (don’t be afraid of your silhouette) is followed by Caillard’s handwritten quip JE N’AI PLUS PEUR DE MA SILHOUETTE (I am no longer afraid of my silhouette). In another collage, Caillard plants a tube of red lipstick across the face of a model in a purple sequined jacket. The background text reads LANC; certainly, the legendary brand’s marketing department would not approve of Caillard’s revised image. In the sculptures Color Sticks, 2007/2008, and A Red Dress for a Tree, 2008, Caillard presents a more subtle aesthetic. She dressed pieces of wood for both—six polished beams and an uprooted tree—in thick handmade wool knit, leaving the underlying structure visible through the palliative outer layer. During the exhibition’s opening, Romain Lopez and Emilien Châtelain performed a sound track for A Red Dress for a Tree, their pulsing composition testing the curative potential of sound. Caillard’s most recent work, Border Lines, 2009, colonizes a large section of the gallery with a swathe of plush knitted mohair. Tethering three hundred white balls to a tree branch, Caillard references a similar work she made last year at Villa Noailles. However, by extracting the color and reorienting the site—previously the work was red and set afloat on the Mediterranean—Caillard submits to her surroundings, weaving her practice into a space of visual consumption.