Christian Boltanksi

Bonner Kunstverein

Traditionally, the French are said to have a special sense of elegance and cultivated style. If so, this may explain why much contemporary French art has had difficulty in finding a response abroad, where its polish has lost out to the more declarative poetry of Italian Painting and the more anarchic power of German work. Christian Boltanski, however, has imparted unsettlingly beautiful depths to elegant appearance, and satisfyingly represents the French spirit. Apart from Jean LeGac, he probably has no match in negotiating the French cultural stream.

This traveling exhibition, originally organized by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, juxtaposed Boltanski’s earlier fictions—photo albums, reconstructions of objects and articles of clothing from childhood, and other allegedly historical traces—with his large-format color photos from the ’80s. Boltanski now makes small, delicate, puppetlike figures

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