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If you happen to be spending your summer on the Côte d’Azur, Whitewaller Riviera recommends paying a visit to these collections and exhibitions, on view at MAMAC, Venet Foundation, and Peyrassol.
Hyppolyte Hentgen: The Invisible Bikini
Comic books, pinup drawings, animation, and pop art references shine through Hippolyte Hentgen’s MAMAC exhibition, “The Invisible Bikini.” Channeling the stereotypes of the French Riviera, Hentgen’s work brings together an unexpected mix of languages and styles, creating a new type of avant-garde, often reminiscent of works by Claes Oldenburg, Tex Avery, Trina Robbins, and others. On view in MAMAC’s contemporary gallery, visitors will find pieces like B-r-e-e-k—a collage construction of fabric featuring a disfigured pinup form in a scene with other cartoon-like elements.
Adrien Vescovi: Mnemosyne
In MAMAC’s Galerie Des Ponchettes, Adrien Vescovi’s “Mnemosyne” presents a series of landscape essences, created to reflect the locations in which the artist has worked or visited. Viewing art as an alchemical adventure, Vescovi makes his own colors from plant and mineral matter, which he applies to canvases exposed to natural forces like the wind, moon, sun, and oxidation phenomena. Part of Vescovi’s ongoing exploration of organic matter, the exhibition also creates a dialogue on issues of climatic changes, as the environment in which the works are exposed has a direct impact on the final result.
Devil in the flesh: When Op Art electrified the film world
Curated by MAMAC Director, Hélène Guenin, and art historian Pauline Mari, “Devil in the flesh” is an exhibition exploring the 1960s European art movement called “Op Art.” Born out of a quest to democratize art and destabilize perception, Op Art encompasses an oeuvre of optical illusions and works creating disorientating environments that shake the viewers’ perceptions. Op Art quickly took flight, especially in the area of cinema, in which filmmakers began creating extreme experiences like scenes of psychosis and hallucinations. The show includes a selection of nearly 30 films and 150 artworks and documents, all exploring the nature of Op Art, and highlighting the era that brought on a new aesthetic that made use of the fruitful friction between visual arts and cinema.
Claude Viallat: Unleashing Color
In “Unleashing Color,” the Venet Foundation is presenting a series of works by Claude Viallat. Originally shown in 1980 at Bordeaux’s CAPC, the works mark a turning point in Viallat’s career, aiding his reputation as one of the most celebrated colorists of his time. Featuring a selection of 20 paintings on military tarpaulins (from a series which started in the 1970s), the works on view were inspired by the idea of a circus tent. After being gifted a truckload of army surplus tents by CAPC’s Jean-Louis Froment, Viallat painted them white to remove the connotation of the heavy cloth, then proceeding to cover them in color.
Contemporary Art Collection
If you’re looking for something other than a typical museum show, try paying a visit to the beautiful grounds and vineyards of Commanderie de Peyrassol. Believed to be founded in 1204, the agricultural hub and winery—now owned by Philippe Austruy—also features a permanent collection of contemporary art. With works by artists like Dan Graham, Daniel Buren, and Franco Adami on view throughout the grounds, Peyrassol is also home to an art gallery, which was built by architects Charles Berthier and Robert Michel to complement the grounds’ original Templar structures.