VNH Gallery invited Mai-Thu Perret (a Swiss artist of Vietnamese origin born in 1976) and Olivier Mosset (also Swiss, born in 1944 who currently lives and works in the United States) to dialogue through their works. The result was the exhibition Balthazar (Paris, October 17 – November 23, 2015).
Above image: Mai-Thu Perret, Eyes I, 2015, glazed ceramic, 15.75 x 59.06 inches
Their first collaboration: “Judd’s Reject” (2014) – The artistic recovery of Judd’s abandoned massive container, standing in his studio in Marfa, Texas – reveals their common interest in historical minimalism as well as Duchamp’s notions and reflections (where art’s ability to bring changes and evolution in the status of an object depending on the context) is tangible.
Since 1999, Mai-Thu Perret has been dedicated to an ambitious multi-disciplinary practice encompassing sculpture, painting, video and installation. Much of Perret’s practice anchors a complex oeuvre that uses radical feminist politics, such as a fictional narrative chronicling the lives of a group of radically minded women who turn their backs on the city and move to New Mexico to establish a feminist commune. Olivier Mosset continues his rigorous paintings’ deconstruction and is committed to questioning painting through his affiliation with the B.M.P.T. Mosset’s paintings embody and challenge the notions of “savoir faire,” expertise, originality, and the painting’s alleged uniqueness.
VNH Gallery’s ambition and desire is to highlight the crossroads between the clearly divergent practices of Mai-Thu Perret and Olivier Mosset. Mai-Thu Perret echoes the modern era’s emblematic drive and passion: altering the art’s “self-states” to give the same value to applied arts as one would to a masterpiece, brilliantly illustrated by Bauhaus. A strong spirit of detachment is also characteristic of both artists: they decentralize the authorship of an imaginary community’s artwork, advocating the “expression’s zero degree,” giving a greater importance to the medium and not to the creator.
Olivier Mosset’s large wall painting with red and golden stripes created for the facade will open the exhibition and Balthazar will bear the name of the exhibition. As a symbol of humility, Balthazar, the donkey, will be placed on five large white parallelepiped figures. Olivier Mosset’s picture rails are invitations to contemplate and admire what is usually ordinary and doesn’t catch everyone’s attention. In addition, two towering Mosset monochromes in red and black will face each other, separated by different pieces of red neon by Mai-Thu Perret, evoking an incense blend during la fête du Têt, the Vietnamese New Year. Here, the apparent minimalism calls for specific references of vernacular traditions. Ceramic pieces arranged on the floor and on the wall will continue to crystallize the artisanal and symbolic dimension present in her works.
Text by VHN edited by CFile.
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