Michel Parmentier

Centre National des Arts Plastiques; Galerie Liliane et Michel Durand-Dessert

Works of art obey capricious rules, particularly in matters of content and context. In some cases context is not simply a matter relegated to the periphery, but becomes a central issue to the artwork and obliterates almost all its other properties. Michel Parmentier’s work could very well be considered a case where the original context of the work’s making is primary.

Considered on their own, Parmentier’s paintings and drawings present a number of remarkable formal qualities, but they seem, despite their context, to be timeless and authorless. At the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Parmentier showed paintings consisting of 38-cm.-wide bands in alternating colors. The only variable from one canvas to the other is color: blue, gray, red, black. In all cases, however, it is clear how the alternating bands were made: creases imply that the canvases were painted after having been folded.

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