reviews

  • François Morellet

    Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

    The exhibition “Blow-up 1952–2007: Quand j’étais petit je ne faisais pas grand” (When I Was Little I Didn’t Work Big) featured eleven paintings by François Morellet from 1952 and their copies, made in 2006, four times larger in height and width. The original works present flat fields of color in geometric patterns that could extend infinitely beyond the paintings; they represent Morellet’s idea of allover painting and demonstrate the importance he placed on making visible a system rather than on creating a composition. Made with industrial oil paint on plywood, the works are small (several are

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  • Yinka Shonibare

    Musée du quai Branly

    If any dispute has defined the short life of the Musée du Quai Branly, it has been the standoff between beauty and ritual, aesthetics and ethnography. Should sacred, functional, and ceremonial objects from the civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, already removed from their native lands as a result of colonialism, suffer a further decontextualization and dilution of aura beneath Jean Nouvel’s seductive architecture and interior design? The museum’s president, Stéphane Martin, has called the museum a “neutral environment” with “no aesthetic or philosophical line.”

    It’s hard to

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  • Davide Balula

    galerie frank elbaz | Paris

    Atomic clocks, first developed in 1949 in the United States, regulate universal time according to the resonance of atoms. The frequency of these fundamental particles, often of cesium or rubidium, creates a simple motion analogous to that of a sonic wave—a correlation that anticipates French artist Davide Balula’s coupling of sound and time. At the entrance to his exhibition “De la place pour le sable” (Room for Sand), Balula unhinges the standard measure of speed and duration by setting the hands of each of the twelve clocks in Les Humeurs, 2007, at dramatically different speeds. Launching a

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