It is this and other formal breakthroughs that Josh Sperling builds upon as well as extends in his conceptualization of two signature forms, “squiggles” and “double bubbles.” Defying conventional definitions, the “squiggles” and “double bubbles” are painted sculptur- al forms. In order to make these hybrid forms, the artist has developed a meticulous process that culminates in canvas stretched over a precisely stepped plywood support in the shape of a curving or wavy line (squiggle) or two circles that seem to be stretching apart (double bubble). The result is a joyful possibility. Having freed his lines from the painting’s physical limitations, Sperling uses his “squiggles” to “draw” on the wall. In the case of the “double bubbles”, he fits them together with single circular forms to form tondos. By freeing the “squiggles” (wavy and curling lines) from the physical limitations of a painting, whatever its shape, and attaching them directly to the wall, Sperling transforms the entire gallery space into an immersive experience.
Flowers for Books is composed of intimately scaled still life paintings that, at first sight, fulfill the promise of the title. Books, magazines and vases of cut flowers occupy his still lifes. A series of portraits, painted from life with different sitters, introduce a presence among the inanimate artifacts. Delhomme places the sitter in the semi-abstract decor of the bare studio. Flowers, books and models manifest themselves in the pictorial landscape of Jean-Philippe Delhomme that is more concept than real space. The studio is a mental space that Delhomme can control, but only to a certain degree until the sitter for a portrait looks back at him. Flowers for Books could be interpreted as the metaphor of the painter’s gaze encountering the model's eyes looking back at him, the tenuous expression and fragile equilibrium of a portrait from life. Painting without didactic intention but candor and faith in representation that eschews any form of justification. Between the risk of missing and the triumph of catching the right moment, Delhomme paintings manifest the renewed potential of classical genres.
Rico’s exhibition title, Of Beauty and Consolation, is a direct quotation from a Dutch television series of the same title, created and hosted by journalist Wim Kayzer, who interviewed 26 philosophers and thinkers, scientists, artists, musicians, writers, and other learned celebrities, and asked them a question: “What makes life worth living?” Rico also asks big questions as such, though not verbally, but visually through his work, through each of the objects he uses, and the implied relationships these objects have with each other and with the viewers. The entirety of the exhibition, consisting of 13 works of art, can be considered in fractal terms where the structure of the whole is also found in the structure of each piece.
The artist’s aim is ambitious: to give the viewer a chance to remove themselves from the cultural hierarchies that generate mutually exclusive levels of interpretation. We have not learned to view a Renaissance painting in the same way we view a cigarette advertisement. It seems natural to us to attribute different interpretations to a scene pulled from a TV series versus one from a family photo album. We tend to view a rock album differently than a clipping from Daily News. The multiple ways of approaching the images around us mostly lead us to establish ontological hierarchies between, for example, classical painting and advertising, or between journalism and a personal diary.
By creating a series of paintings that flatten hierarchy — in which a death metal band socializes with a Picasso, or the McDonald’s family greets George Washington — MADSAKI creates a universe in which all mutual exclusion evaporates.
Perrotin hosted on Spring 2021 the first exhibition by Alain Jacquet upon representation of the Estate. This major presentation, spanning several decades of the artist’s carrer, is displayed on all three gallery spaces in Marais and was conceived in close association with the family of the artist. Alain Jacquet (1939-2008) emerged as a contemporary artist during the remarkable boom in image reproduction techniques. Spanning from his first abstract canvases to his mechanically generated paintings (via silkscreen printing or computer), he continuously experimented with techniques throughout his career yielding an impressive oeuvre of various forms and media. Guided by diverse principles, Jacquet demonstrated an incredible capacity for ingenuity with the examination between abstraction and figuration; the ‘latent image’ within both collective and individual memory; and the appropriation of images from contemporary popular culture and iconic works showcased in museums. From his debut in 1961 working in dialogue with American pop artists to the Mec'Art period, through his Braille and Visions de la Terre series—which anticipated appropriationist art and simulationism. Today, his work echoes a new generation of artists for whom images do not constitute a redoubling of the world but the environment in which for whom images do not constitute a redoubling of the world instead, but one's surrounding environment. Producing variation within repetition, Alain Jacquet presents the viewer with the copies of copies of a world saturated with signs : Such is the horizon that Alain Jacquet proposes to us.
Perrotin Shanghai presented The Other Side (From Right-to- Left or the Reverse), an exhibition of 17 new paintings by French artist Bernard Frize. The logical untangling encouraged by Frize’s work is comparable to the reasoned unscrambling required by puzzle games. Play, or recreation, is made measurable and challenging based on a modality of criss- crossing rules, such as to never lose contact with the canvas while painting, to never retouch the results and, in some occasions, to avoid traveling through the same point thrice. Frize delights in mathematical problems and chess diagrams, which partly inform the schema within his works. Through mediums like wet resin and methods including relay painting, chance intervenes in Frize’s engineered schemes. In an attempt to demystify the act of painting as quotidian and accessible, Frize picked up the paintbrush again in 1976. The result is a series of smallformat paintings comprised of countless fine, discontinuous brushstrokes. Interwoven in a myriad of colors, they become vibrant monochromes when viewed from a distance.
Within this context, Chemin Vert presents the principal elements of the artist’s oeuvre to the Japanese audience: one pillar being the statuary and the representation of bodies in space. The show also introduces the artist’s most recent foray into marquetry and a selection of new drawings made during the Covid-19 confinement. Through a variety of approaches to represent the human form, whether by digitally blurring the silhouette or by reducing it to facets, Xavier Veilhan furthers his study of perspective and perception. Titled Chemin Vert (Green Path) - a name derived from a street near the artist’s atelier and lending the show a poetic, semi-abstract location – the exhibition presents a visual forest of the artist’s expressions wherein the viewer is offered the opportunity to both encounter and question his own perceptive tendencies and discover new ways of observing.
The exhibition, Grasso’s first solo presentation with Perrotin in Hong Kong, is titled after his latest investigation into the idea of exploring the contemporary world anew. From this immense survey, Grasso composed Artificialis, an intricate collage of moving images and visualizations depicting scenes of expeditions and engineering ventures that blur the distinction between the natural and the artificial. In parallel to Artificialis, Grasso developed Future Herbarium, a body of painted and sculpted flowers executed in the manner of nineteenth-century herbariums, shaped by observations of different species of flowers that mutated after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. A second room features new works from Grasso’s emblematic series, Studies into the Past, which he initiated in 2009, reconstituting methods and imagery used by the Italian and Flemish Andrea Mantegna and Hans Memling.
A zero hour, at least in science fiction and religion, is a punctuating moment: one where not just the clock, but our paradigms, are reset. In the popular genre of disaster literature (and film), resetting the clock is a hallmark of world building.
Zero Hour here is a paced show of large paintings by Zach Harris, his third with Perrotin and his first with the gallery in New York. The paintings hang level, unevenly distributed across the walls of a former fabric wholesale building, like portals. From afar, their eclectic shapes catch the eye; they are eccentric windows. Made on panel, with occasional carvings and linen inserts, the pieces often play with light and depth perception. Each one is elaborately framed, though saying that would be separating the frame from the image, which is inaccurate; they are frames within frames, images within images, in infinite regress.
After a 5 year hiatus, Kato returns to New York with an ambitious exhibition of new mixed-media sculptures, installation, and paintings. Many of his sculptures, which are formed from various materials including wood, soft vinyl, and textiles, incorporate disembodied parts — a second head with a missing mouth stacked atop another, for example, or a smaller twin humanoid held in the hand. While his creatures are creations in their own right, there are vaguely familiar associations to be made, such as wide-eyed figures and semi-recognizable bodily shapes. Many of the materials the artist chooses to work with, including stones and textiles (which are often sourced from local markets in the place where each project is to be exhibited), have historic precedent in folk art traditions, fusing a backward glance with futuristic overtones. Kato is alert to his medium’s seductive powers. The instant back and forth between commonplace and uncanny sharpens the experience if these works.