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Irving Penn 
The Spilled Cream, New York 
1980 
Platinum-palladium print mounted to
aluminum, print made 1981 
Image 11.5 x 19.25 in 
Paper and mount 16 x 24 in 
© The Irving Penn Foundation 
Courtesy of Thaddaeus Ropac.

Irving Penn, Fiona Rae, and More Must See Paris Shows

In Paris this week for couture week? Be sure to save time for visiting these top exhibitions, on view at galleries like Gagosian, Perrotin, and Thaddaeus Ropac.

“Blanc sur Blanc”
Gagosian Paris
Now—March 7
Gagosian’s exhibition “Blanc sur Blanc” finds unexpected substance in achromatic creations, inspired by Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist paintings, which offer a revolutionary view of the color (or lack thereof) white. The group exhibition featuring the works of artists like Theaster Gates, Diego Giacometti, Setsuko, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Rachel Whiteread includes examples of employing achromatism as a means of suggesting states of emptiness, effacement, and endless potential. Featured are works like Lucio Fontana’s slashed canvas Concetto Spaziale, Attese (Spatial Concept, Waiting), the sculpture by Jean (Hans) Arp L’Ami du petit doigt (Friend of the little finger), and Whiteread’s LEAN, in which a construction of cardboard boxes cast in plaster of paris solidifies negative space in order to memorialize it.

Fiona Rae
Gouache and watercolour on paper
2019
16.5 x 22 in
Photography by Antony Makinson at Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris/Brussels.

Daniel Arsham: Paris, 3020
Perrotin
Now—March 21
Daniel Arsham’s exhibition “Paris, 3020” features a suite of large-scale sculptures based on iconic classical works like the Venus de Milo and Michelangelo’s Moses, referencing the passing of time and continuing his investigations of objecthood. Arsham was given unprecedented access to the 200-year-old French molding atelier, the Réunion des Musêes Nationaux – Grand Palais, where he spent the past year studying and using molds and scans of legendary works from the collection of the Musée du Louvre and other European art institutions. Using hydrostone, the artist produced perfect replicas of the original works, and then hand-chiseled erosions in each piece, making them appear as though they’ve aged and decomposed over centuries.

Peter Saul and Sally Saul
Almine Rech
Now—February 29
Now on view at Almine Rech are two exhibitions by husband and wife Sally Saul and Peter Saul. Sally’s first solo show with Almine Rech, “Hideout,” features a series of never-before-exhibited ceramics works, centered around her new character of the same name. Featuring the artist’s signature colorful and figurative creations, the show includes large-scale pieces like Framing and Dog Fight, which are reminiscent of characters from an animated movie, as well as the surrealistic scene Couple, which reflects a joyous relationship between two lovers.

Jean (Hans) Arp
L’ami du petit doigt
1963
Plaster
3 15/16 x 9 7/16 x 5 1/8 inches
© Adagp, Paris, 2020
Photo by Zarko Vijatovic
Courtesy of Gagosian.

And by Peter Saul, the gallery is presenting “Art History is Wrong.” With a distinctive, boisterous pop style that brings together elements of surrealism, cartoon culture, and abstract expressionism, Peter Saul’s work features a collection of characters and references ranging from vulgar jokes to Superman, Mickey Mouse, refrigerators, and Ronald Reagan. Describing himself as an outsider and a rebel, Peter’s gaze often paints the world as a lavishly chaotic mess.

Fiona Rae: ABSTRACTS
Galerie Nathalie Obadia
Now—March 7
Fiona Rae’s “ABSTRACTS” is a series of new paintings on canvas and works on paper, titled as clarification that the works are not representative of anything but themselves. The exhibition features more intimate paintings in watercolor and gouache, which have informed the larger-scale oil and acrylic works, offering a rare look into the artist’s process. Through a selection of rainbow-hued compositions of organic and gestural marks, Rae creates her own abstract-pop universe with a touch of whimsy, reminding us of the playful and quirky worlds of Dr. Seuss, Philip Guston, or Takashi Murakami.

Peter Saul
He Forgot Something
2019
Acrylic on canvas
43 1/2 x 39 1/2 inches
© PeterSaul –
Photo by Matt Kroening
Courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech.

Irving Penn: Still Life
Thaddaeus Ropac Paris
Now—February 29
“Still Life” is a selection of photographs by the late Irving Penn taken throughout six decades in New York and during his travels. Penn was known for composing his still lifes with a painterly approach, often creating lavish spreads of food and everyday objects. The artist developed his own distinctive, innovative approach to photography, by working with large-format cameras, making his own prints, and using platinum-palladium and gelatin silver prints to obtain a certain texture. Penn began working as a photographer in 1943, at the suggestion of Vogue’s Alexander Liberman, his work appearing on the cover of the publication that same year. Featured in the show are well known works like his Cigarettes, Flowers, and Street Material series.

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