PRINT November 1997


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 him, the answer is invariably, “Hybert? Yes, I like his work, but I’m not sure I get exactly what he’s up to. How does the whole thing fit together, and where is he going with it?” Surprising words. Other than a vague feeling of entering a real-life situation or of participating in some exchange, the

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