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Earlier this month, a group exhibition opened at Galerie Perrotin in Paris with work by Harold Ancart, Kristin Baker, Mark Barrow, Nina Beier, Anna Betbeze, Mark Flood, Thilo Heinzmann, John Henderson, Scott Lyall, Jayson Musson, Renaud Regnery, and Pae White, taking over the three exhibition spaces (through April 13). A large majority of the works on view were especially conceived for the exhibition, which focuses on the artists’ process.
About her practice, artist Betbeze said, “I am always simultaneously making and unmaking, from the original object being destroyed, a brand new one emerges.” Her words depict the inherent essence of this exhibition, embodying a renewal of materials, each artist playing with dematerialization. The show successfully proves that social and technological changes are definitely influencing and strengthening hybridism in contemporary, abstract painting.
In Betbeze’s works, she crushes the surface of wool pieces with colored acids, then burns and cuts it. Unlike most artists who prefer to create an indestructible piece, she prefers playing with destruction, as a site of transformation, showing an unstable state.
The Danish artist Beier transforms the mundane – scarves become paintings in Untitled, carpets turn into sculptures in Bookmarks. White makes pieces of rough tapestries, measuring around 13 by 9 feet. She concocts various trompe l’oeil experimentations, altering the different surfaces, making it smooth and shiny in Spearmint to Peppermint, to vaporous in Milan Hazy 1 and Milan Hazy 2. Everyday items are turned into artworks, ascertaining that everything can be modified, that nothing is fixed.
The works of Henderson are examples of perfect substitution of materials. Though they look like paintings, they are in fact aluminum, bronze, and brass casts, inspired by his discarded paintings. The catalogue for the show states, “While the original paintings are subsequently destroyed, the casts remain as an afterimage, a conflation of Henderson’s own studio labor and the outsourced labor of the foundry workers.”
The same could be said about On some faraway beach by Musson. The use of Coogi sweater patterns gives the impression of gazing upon abstract expressionist paintings, but also unleashes an organic and nostalgic sensation.
Colors and perspectives define the works of Baker, Regnery, Lyall, Barrow, and Heinzmann. In Baker’s works, especially in Hand-off-Man, Succinct conduit, the mix and accumulation of colors seems to refer to an overexposure to images today. Our mind is at peace, however, when we contemplate the installation Nudes by Lyall, which brings together all of our cognitive senses. Regnery forces us to consider old unfulfilled dreams, whereas Heinzmann and Barrow are looking for a new pictorial vocabulary.
Untitled (departure & arrival), three installations by Ancart, recalls wallpaper popular in the 1970s, inviting us to travel back in time.
Flood’s works are fascinating – he plays with painting, producing an infinite space where creation and medium have no limit. Intricate, delicate, and free of irony, the beauty of his works appears when people lose their sense of perception.