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The summer art scene in Paris is off to a great start. Here you’ll find a list of “musts” to check out while you’re in the city this June.
“Critical Dictionary” at Gagosian
“Critical Dictionary” is an homage to Georges Bataille, whose eponymous Critical Dictionary (1929–30) manifested his belief that all words and images were subject to unending conflicts and variations according to their context. This concept is brought to life through the juxtaposition of different styles and time periods—focusing primarily on the relationship created between sculpture and painting, and the ways in which proximity often gives objects new meaning. “Critical Dictionary” includes work by artists like Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Bourgeois, Anish Kapoor, and René Magritte.
Zao Wou-Ki at Musée D’art Moderne
Now–January 6, 2019
“L’espace est silence” (Space is Silence), the first major Zao Wou-Ki exhibition in Paris in 15 years, is devoted to appreciating the late artist’s work, as well as inviting viewers to ponder the question of large-format paintings. This 40-piece exhibition includes some of the artist’s better known pieces, like Traversée des apparences (1956), in addition to some works that have never been shown before. Zao’s style was influenced by nature, poetry, and music, as well as French, American, and (in his later work) Chinese modern art.
Fabrice Gygi at Galerie Chantal Crousel
Fabrice Gygi’s “D-Concept” is a series of large watercolor works on paper and two sculptures in Corten steel, which explore the complexities of lines and the rejection of curves. The exhibition highlights the deep-rooted power of an object in its most minimal form and embodies his search for harmony through a style attesting to great tension and self-control.
“Union des Artistes Modernes” at the Centre Pompidou
The “Union des Artistes Modernes (UAM)” brings together jewelry, architecture, graphic art, painting, and many more mediums. UAM was founded in 1929 as a movement in opposition to the conservatism that prevailed at the time. The exhibition at the Centre Pompidou contains works ranging from the turn of the 19th century up through the late 1950s, including a new interpretation of the Modern French movement, which reconstructs the history of UAM.
John M Armleder at Almine Rech Paris
Almine Rech presents a series of murals and “Furniture Sculptures” by John M Armleder, as well as his latest series of “Puddles Paintings.” Created by spilling various materials (acrylic paint, varnish, powder, glitter, etc.) onto a canvas, these “Puddles Paintings” follow two rules: first, there is no artistic mastery in the pouring of the substances. Second, the mixing of the different materials will cause changes in the chemical properties of the materials. The outcome of Armleder’s technique is a “cultural pudding” of references and is reminiscent of artists like Eugène Leroy and Larry Poons.
Adrian Ghenie at Thaddaeus Ropac
Adrian Ghenie’s exhibition of new works, “Jungles in Paris,” is now on view at Thaddaeus Ropac. Inspired by the 2005 Henri Rousseau Tate Modern exhibition of the same name, “Jungles in Paris” portrays the juxtaposition of the exotic and untethered environment of a jungle with the sophistication of urban Paris. Ghenie’s show features a collection of collages, charcoal drawings, and a series of vividly colored paintings, which express an uneasy tension between nature and the toxic footprint of humankind.
Iván Argote at Galerie Perrotin
“Deep Affection” is Iván Argote’s sociological study of our relationships with history and the other, which is shared with his audience through a series of sculptures, photographs, text, films, and illustrations. Argote uses perfect antipodes Neiva, Colombia and Palembang, Indonesia to engage viewers in a dialogue discussing the ways in which we look at one another. Apart of “Deep Affection” is Argote’s film, As far as we could get, a work visually linking the two cities with a narrative that scrutinizes hegemonic historical narratives.