1982 - 2007
May 8th - June 5th
Opening party: May 8th., 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Gallery Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:30am to 7:00pm or by appointments
Born in France in 1949, Bertrand Lavier has acquired a prominent position in the international contemporary art scene. Influenced by Duchamp and the Nouveaux Réalistes movement, his witty artworks disturb the common perception and conception of art. They reassess the spectator's visual and intellectual education and aspire to question the process through which mundane objects can be transformed into authentic artworks. The artists reveals all the stages of the transition between life and art, he shows how an institution, an exhibition place, a pedestal, the act of painting are different factors in the same process. His objects covered with paint, his repainted mirrors and tableaux d'ameublements (upholstery paintings) instigate a reconsideration of the relationship between art and reality.
It is in this spirit that this exhibition will cover a large array of Bertrand Lavier's esthétique du détournement (diversion aesthetics) from 1982 to 2007.
In Rouge Ferrari (1994-2004), Lavier chose to juxtapose on one canvas with two different shades of a particular red that is commonly know as 'Ferrari Red'. The work features two variations, one from 1994, the other from 2004, of the same cult red of the famous Italian car maker. The artist wanted to emphasis that the everlasting character of any symbol is an illusion, which is constantly subjected to change. Lavier thrives to demonstrate through humour the instability of what is judged as constant. The comparison of these two reds, which the eye and the mind confuse, shows the conflicting relationship between art, reality and language.
Pastel Furnitures / Sanyo (1988) disturbs the classical notion of transposition. To transpose in the tradition of picture is to apply paint on a plane surface. When applying colour on objects, Lavier does not transpose but superpose. It is this reformulated principle that the artist will develop in his series of superposed objects: he puts painted objects on top of each other. The work is to be read as a microcosm: a Sanyo refrigerator and Pastel Furnitures chair.
Pacific Blue Picasso (2005) is a direct reference to sport and cars. Passionate about both, Lavier has introduced cars as objects very early on in his work. The work is a fragment of a car; the module of a Citroen Picasso front-wing. The mobile object decomposed becomes a painting, an immobile art object.
Visby is a 'tableau d'ameublement' (upholstery painting); a length of patterned textile stretched as a canvas, on which Lavier has painted in acrylic copying the pattern of the textile. Depending on the distance to the painting, the spectator cannot discern the difference between decoration and painting. If one stands close to the piece, the painting element triumphs while the decorative aspect of it disappears, yet the further one stands from the work, the more decorative it becomes.
Walt Disney Productions was initially a drawing published in 1947 in a Disney comic, 'Mickey at the Modern Art Museum'. The publication date appears in the work's caption as well as a more recent date that corresponds to the moment Lavier took the drawing and enlarged it through photography to the size the work is supposed to have in real life. By isolating an image that already exists and by reproducing it in another scale, it projects the visitor in another dimension, half-way between the reality and the fiction imagined by Disney.
Bertrand Lavier has been exhibited extensively in numerous prestigious institutions and exhibitions worldwide, including the eighth Documenta in 1987 in Kassel, Germany, the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Pompidou Centre and the Louvre Museum in Paris, Japan's National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Bass Museum in Miami, the Tate Gallery in London, the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1985, the seventh Lyon Biennale in 2003 and the Venice Biennale in 1976, 1993 and 1997.
Bertrand Lavier - 1982 - 2007 Press Release as pdf-File 298 KB
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