Download Contemporary French art. / 1, Eleven studies by Michael Bishop PDF

By Michael Bishop

Ben Vautier, Niki De Saint Phalle, François Morellet, Louise Bourgeois, Alexandre Hollan, Claude Viallat, Sophie Calle, Bernard Pagès, Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Annette Messager, Gérard Titus-Carmel: 11 significant French artists of the final 40 years or so, tested within the mild in their specialty and their rootedness, the specificities in their differing and from time to time overlapping plastic practices and the swirling and infrequently hugely hybridised conceptions entertained in regard to such practices. hence does research variety from dialogue of the feisty, Fluxus-inspired, free-spirited funkiness of Ben Vautier’s paintings to many of the modes of transcendence of trauma and haunting worry generated by way of the phenomenal gestures of Niki de Saint Phalle and Louise Bourgeois, to the alyrical formalism but imbued with irony and ludicity of François Morellet, via to the serene intensities of Alexandre Hollan’s vies silencieuses, the endless a-signatures of Claude Viallat’s event within the sheer pleasure of a poiein of self-reflexive shade, the powerfully dependent and muscular disarticulations of Bernard Pagès’ sculpture, the good sweep via art’s background implied through Jean-Pierre Pincemin’s chameleon-like gestures, the giant swirling programme of socio-psychological research the humanities of Annette Messager and Sophie Calle provide of their noticeably designated manners, the obsessively serialised oeuvre of Gérard Titus-Carmel permitting a burrowing deep into the opaque common sense of a true although doubtful ‘presence to the realm’

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François Morellet these may have been broadly, symbolically as it were, encouraging, demonstrating that swirling quasi-monochromes with strong brushstrokes constituting form could establish a self-supporting, antianecdotal aesthetic space that only the titles revealed as being lyrical homages. Still, once again, no imitation ensues, the “influence” finally most indirect, emblematic simply of radical new feasibilities. Of other work Morellet tells us drew his attention – many are the artists met in these formative times and I mention only in passing Max Bill, member of the Zürich Concrete Group, the Molnars (“champions of the pur-dur toutes catégories”), Vasarely, all the artist companions of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV), and why forget Morellet’s wife, Danielle, a very fine professional pianist whose sensibilities and competencies one suspects must have impacted upon her husband’s own mathematicised “partitions” –, I shall look, before moving on to a discussion of various general issues and, then, specific major works where the latter act themselves out, at that of Jack Youngerman, of Alexander Rodchenko, of the anonymous artists of the Alhambra – “I have never received, before or after, a shock to compare with it”.

Of course, with major early works such as Femme Maison, the power of female seeing directed towards the feminine has always been in ample evidence. And there can be those revised insights, often, one feels, witty and grinning despite so much else around the gaze into the heart of the malefemale knot: Fillette (1968-69), for example, with its phallic latex over plaster form, the androgynous testicles/breasts, and, not the least that 1982 Robert Mapplethorpe photograph (cf. LBP, 131) showing the artist with Fillette under her arm, this twinned with her tender, at once material and ironically re-empowered appreciation of the need to protect a phallus now understood to be pretty delicate, fragile even.

Of other work Morellet tells us drew his attention – many are the artists met in these formative times and I mention only in passing Max Bill, member of the Zürich Concrete Group, the Molnars (“champions of the pur-dur toutes catégories”), Vasarely, all the artist companions of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV), and why forget Morellet’s wife, Danielle, a very fine professional pianist whose sensibilities and competencies one suspects must have impacted upon her husband’s own mathematicised “partitions” –, I shall look, before moving on to a discussion of various general issues and, then, specific major works where the latter act themselves out, at that of Jack Youngerman, of Alexander Rodchenko, of the anonymous artists of the Alhambra – “I have never received, before or after, a shock to compare with it”.

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