Two ultra-sexual dolls reclining on a lemon-yellow Triumph (Sarah Lucas at Sadie Coles HQ in London), aluminum molded women littering the stand of Layr Gallery in Vienna (six human-scale sculptures by Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Prix Marcel Duchamp 2021), giant aluminum daisies (at Perrotin) shining like Urs Fischer’s Wave installed on Place Vendôme by Gagosian…. For its second edition (still reduced to 154 galleries by the restricted spaces of the Grand Palais Ephémère), the Paris + by Art Basel fair was not lacking in glitz. Between the classics (Rothko at Pace Gallery) and the stars of the market (Olafur Eliasson at Neugerriemschneider in Berlin), here are the works we spotted.
Audrey, a magnificent video by Ange Leccia shown at Jousse Entreprise (Paris) in a moving face-to-face with Jean-Luc Vilmouth (1952-2015). Produced in 2018, this twelve-minute video shows the pure, diaphanous face of a young woman lying down, crossed by a play of transparencies and explosions of bombs igniting a broken desert landscape filmed in a hypnotic aerial tracking shot. A disturbing superimposition of beauty and horror, blatantly true and topical…
Hanging on the stand of Galerie Jérôme Poggi (Paris), a fantastic painting by Djamel Tatah (Untitled, 2020). A large canvas measuring 2 m x 2 m, painted in oil and wax, it catches the eye as if sucked in by the emptiness represented on a large, bluish monochrome page. As if falling from the sky, a silhouette of a man dressed all in black emerges – or lies – in its corner. A troubling pictorial plunge into the immensity of solitude?
At Zeno X Gallery (Antwerp), a beautiful portrait of the back showing, in close-up, an incredibly realistic head of hair. A sensual black and white photograph by Dirk Braeckman. Untitled and encircled by a steel frame, like all the Belgian photographer’s works, it seduced us with its pictoriality. Indeed, Dirk Braeckman’s highly materialistic use of the photographic medium makes him akin to a painter: reworking his shots with chemistry or by hand, incising, sometimes darning, cropping and rephotographing, he transforms his photographs into paintings. Feminine cops, interior spaces and landscapes, from powdering to transparency or highlighting, their tactility, carried by an infinite variety of grays, gives them all their flavour.
The tradition of still life, and more precisely of trompe-l’œil, is invoked by English painter James White, whose Galerie Zander (Cologne) presented a painting of larger-than-life whisky glasses.
A painting of larger-than-life whisky glasses. Ingeniously rendering the slightest reflections of faceted surfaces in prodigious gradations of white and black, the artist traps us in our everyday mirages.
Equally impressive are Anne Himhoff’s faux-mirrors, revealing blurred portraits painted in oil on canvas (Untitled (Sihana), 2023, at Galerie Buchholz, Berlin).
In the same hyperrealist but more graphic register, Tomasz Kręcicki, presented in the emerging galleries sector by Galeria Stereo (Warsaw), subverts the laws of the genre by enlarging everyday objects (fingers, pencils, pills…) inordinately, which he painstakingly reproduces on large canvases with sanitised backgrounds.
On the portrait side, Paul P. is on show at Greene Naftali (New York) and Xinyi Cheng at Balice Hertling (Paris). Xinyi Cheng is a rising figure in Chinese figurative art, whose thirty-odd paintings we saw at Lafayette Anticipations in 2022.
AT OFF FAIRS :
AT ASIA NOW
A fascinating moving painting entitled “The Lakes” (2022) by Yang Yongliang represented by Galerie Paris – B. In this video, similar to a 7-minute sequence shot, we see the flow of a waterfall and the passage of clouds around a high mountain which, on close examination, turns out to be a vertiginous pile of skyscrapers. Inspired by shanshui, the classical Chinese painting of mountains and waters, the artist born in Shanghai in 1980 sets out to depict in this digital landscape not the immutability of nature, but the cycle, inherent in our modernity, of construction and demolition perpetuated before our very eyes…
À PARIS INTERNATIONALE
Mingjun Luo à la Galerie 1000 plateaus (Chengdu, Chine)