Gyan Panchal

École Municipale des Beaux-Arts/Galerie Edouard Manet

The architect Louis Kahn used to say: “I asked the brick, ‘What do you like, brick?’ And brick said, ‘I like an arch.’” Citing Kahn’s devotion to material as the determinant of form, French sculptor Gyan Panchal likewise conceives structure as a response to its physical constituents. Using both industrial products including polystyrene and glass wool, and organic matter such as oyster shells and wood, Panchal tends to the unique physical demands of each object. In his knowing appropriation of both the natural ingredients often found in Arte Povera and the technical components of Minimalism, Panchal points to transformations of matter as well as of theory. The artist also proposes specific narratives of material, for example hanging a square of nori just below a sheet of black polyethylene. The unusual titles of his pieces, such as this one, nasci (all works 2008), a word El Lissitzky used

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