Thierry de Cordier

Marian Goodman Gallery | Paris

Although it was a French poet who brought “spleen” to modern aesthetics, the artists of Belgium have made it their personal property. The Baudelairean rancor against life and its emptiness has manifested itself equally, though differently, in the work of Magritte, Michaux, and Broodthaers, and it may be found in its purest form in the work of Thierry De Cordier. In a text written in the third person and signed, enigmatically, with the initials E.B., one reads that this exhibition—De Cordier’s first at the gallery since 1995—refers to an event that took place in 1988. Invited to participate in a summer exhibition of outdoor works in the Tarn River region in southwest France, he installed a sculpture, L’Attrape souffrance (Pain catcher), 1988, in the medieval village of Puycelsi. Like many of his freestanding works, it appears to have been rather repulsive, made of seemingly unclean materials

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2003 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.