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Must See Paris: Bernard Frize, Alex Katz, Kehinde Wiley, and More

In Paris this week for the couture shows and high jewelry presentations? If you’ve got a moment to spare, make sure to check out these exhibitions, in spaces like Gagosian, Centre Pompidou, and Almine Rech.

Ellen Gallagher
Gagosian Paris
Now—July 27
In Ellen Gallagher’s first solo exhibition in Paris, Gagosian gallery presents a selection of works demonstrating the artist’s unique visual language fusing mediums like film, music, collage, and poetry. Creating pieces that redress the tensions between reality and fantasy, Gallagher’s practice uses a process of accretion, erasure, and extraction of works by other artists—like her 2019 work Ecstatic Draught of Fishes, which she made by subverting Peter Paul Ruben’s The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, which inspired Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault that, later, became the starting point for J. M. W. Turner’s 1840 painting Slave Ship. Other works on view include pieces from the series Negroes Battling in a Cave (referring to magazines like Ebony) and Watery Ecstatic.

Leelee Kimmel: Nuwar
Almine Rech Paris
Now—July 27
Presented by Almine Rech Paris, Leelee Kimmel’s exhibition “Nuwar” is a collection of works that investigate concepts like inner and outer space, Ur-ancient and chthonic natures, and juxtaposes ideas like terseness versus volubility. Through a series of pitch-black canvases, colorful, cunning, and even fearsome shapes emerge in acid and neon hues, transforming before the viewers eyes. Even after a second glance, the viewer wonders if what they’re seeing is a turtle or a hand grenade; an explorer or an alien?

Bernard Frize: Without remorse
Centre Pompidou
Now—August 26
Filling the entirety of the Centre Pompidou’s Gallery 3 space, a major exhibition of works by Bernard Frize marks the artist’s first exhibition in France in over 15 years. Including nearly 60 artworks created from 1977 to the present-day, “Without remorse” features a six-theme itinerary—including with unreason, without effort, with system, without system, with mastery, and without stopping—presented paradoxically without hierarchy. Frize is best known for his conceptual and serial abstract paintings, which are created using a “formal policy” of guidelines that the artist has created for himself to remove all elements of a creative ego.

Bernard Frize: Now or Never
Perrotin Paris
Now—August 14
Coinciding with the show at the Centre Pompidou, Perrotin Paris has also presented an exhibition of works by French painter Bernard Frize. Marking 25 years of collaboration between the artist and the gallery, “Now or Never” features a range of new and existing works that represent the artist’s paradoxical goal of creating art that presents a difficulty or antagonism, making the viewer take a second look in an effort to decipher its subject—which, ultimately, is what the viewer perceives it to be. Included in the exhibition are pieces like Ledz and Perma, which both feature a meticulously-sequenced intertwining and overlapping colorful lines and boxes.

Alex Katz: Red Dancers
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris Marais
Now—July 18
Artist Alex Katz has been inspired by the medium of dance since the 1960s as a result of a longstanding artistic partnership with the late dancer and choreographer Paul Taylor. In his new exhibition “Red Dancers,” the works on view at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac include a series of new paintings and works on paper, all pertaining to the gestures and movements of dance. In the paintings, a red background (reminiscent of the his famous work The Red Smile) creates what the artist describes as the “immediate sensation you see before you focus,” while cropped in views of the dancers’ bodies create a personal and immersive experience, quite different from what one might see when watching a performance from 50 feet away

Kehinde Wiley: Tahiti
Galerie Templon
Now—July 20
Galerie Templon is presenting an exhibition of new works by Kehinde Wiley, created during a year spent in Tahiti. Focusing on Māhū community, a traditional Polynesian classification of people of a third gender, Wiley has created a series of vibrant portraits that capture the beautiful transgender women of Tahiti, who—once highly respected—were banned upon the arrival of Catholic and Protestant missionaries. “Tahiti” joins Wiley’s expansive body of work, questioning western art-historical portraiture, and has followed him through explorations of Western Africa, Northern America, and Southern Asia.

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Minjung Kim

THE SPRING ARTIST ISSUE
2023

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On May 1 in New York, 1-54 New York opens for the first time in Chelsea’s sweeping Starrett-Lehigh Building, on view through May 4.
Whitewall takes you to Frieze Los Angeles 2024, highlighting some of our favorite presentations, like those by Perrotin, Lisson, and more.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.