Bertrand Lavier

Villa Medici

Bertrand Lavier’s crowded universe of objects is taken from an iconographic territory that seems to have no limits. This stimulating survey, curated by Giorgio Verzotti within the historic setting of the Villa Medici, poses questions about genres and artistic languages—and provides responses that are sometimes disorienting, sometimes enlightening. The well-paced installation summarizes all the so-called chantiers (construction sites) . . . thematic types that repeat over time in Lavier’s production, with thirty-three works ranging in date from 1986 to 2008.

Lavier’s chosen strategy is irony. La Bocca/Bosch, 2005—a red sofa shaped like a mouth, placed atop a freezer—welcomed visitors into the Villa’s atrium. Named only by their brands, the objects Lavier displays are mere material, mass-produced. Yet at the same time, they generate a proliferating combination of meanings, always indicating

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