On show a retrospective devoted to Sean Scully, with more than one hundred paintings, drawings, pastels and photographs. The work of Petrovitch invites one to the land of dreams and the fantastic, a world from out of her imagination, with which one strives to recompose the codes. The subjects addressed by the works of Paolo Grassino repeatedly explore political and social questions with, as a backdrop, a view of the sometimes tenuous boundary that separates humanity from animality. Gennari's works are inhabited by notions of the infinite, the sacred, and cyclic time.
Sean Scully, A retrospective
The Musée d’Art Moderne is hosting a retrospective devoted to
Sean Scully, a painter born in Ireland in 1945 who became an
American citizen in 1981. With more than one hundred
paintings, drawings, pastels and photographs, the exhibition
traces 30 years of the career of this artist who has combined
abstraction with the great pictorial tradition.
From a humble background, he studied in the early 1970s at Newcastle University until, with the help of a grant, he went to the USA and discovered minimalism. He then worked in the geometrical abstraction vein, but with a style of his own, vivid colours, and strict geometry.
In the mid-1970s, feeling that this road was gradually leading him away from people and life, he considerably reduced the chromatic energy of his palette with less vivid colours, striving to attenuate the decorative aspect of his first works. He then concentrated on form and, in the early 1980s, he radically changed strategy: he disorganised the pictorial surface, bringing out the texture, the brush strokes and hollows, and introduced a colour range composed mainly of grey, ochre and brown. His work is an invitation to meditation, and the geometrical language conveys emotion. Thus, for the art critic Donald Kuspit, Sean Scully “restores a poetic dimension to geometric abstraction”.
In parallel with his paintings, he has produced water-colours and photographs, mainly depicting stone walls whose disposition, form, colour and texture inspire his work. However, the artist himself stresses the emotional aspect of his works, which is not limited to just the arrangement of coloured flat surfaces: “I have tried to create a new form of emotionality in abstract painting, to make discoveries and to try new techniques. I have attempted to combine the objective and the subjective, the rational with the emotional”
The exhibition was shown in the Joan Mirò Foundation in Barcelona during the summer of 2007, before being presented in the MACRO Rome in the spring of 2008. Catalogue available: Sean Scully, a retrospective, published by Thames & Hudson, 2007. In parallel with this retrospective, the Musée d’Art Moderne presents three exhibitions by young French and Italian artists: Françoise Pétrovitch, Francesco Gennari and Paolo Grassino.
The work of Françoise Pétrovitch invites one to the land of dreams and the fantastic, a world from out of her imagination, with which one strives to recompose the codes. Using both very traditional media (paper and wash drawing) and very surprising media (ceramics and rough, raw walls), Françoise Pétrovitch has continually questioned the everyday, both past and present. Usually working in a series, she reflects incisively on the world’s major events as well as the little things in life and in her own life. She has designed a very colourful, contrasting exhibition for the Museum’s graphic arts department. She presents a wall drawing, sculptures in enamelled white ceramic, an astonishing installation of more than 200 fragments of suspended equine animals in enamelled black stonewareFrançoise Pétrovitch was born in 1964 in Chambéry, France, and she lives and works in Cachan. Catalogue: Françoise Pétrovitch, published by Un, deux...quatre, with texts by Philippe Piguet and Lorand Hegyi.
The subjects addressed by the works of Paolo Grassino repeatedly explore political and social questions with, as a backdrop, a view of the sometimes tenuous boundary that separates humanity from animality. Paolo Grassino’s very original presentation of the exhibition is conceived as an installation composed of ten pieces, all produced in 2007/2008. Both complex and coherent, the installation explores the subjects of Man and his relationship with the environment, the question of his free will, of his animal identity and of his links with the plant and mineral kingdoms.
The visitor will go through a series of encounters with hybrid beings, confronted with the ambiguity of materials and representations, in order to better highlight relationships – of fragility, mutual influences and interactions – which are never neutral between Man and his environment, whether sociological or natural. Works presented: Gabbia (aluminium), Travasi (cement, resin and aluminium), Madre (wax and wood), Busto (aluminium), Semilibertà (cement, resin and aluminium). These characters and forms haunt the rooms of the museum with a disturbing presence.
Paolo Grassino was born in Italy in 1967. http://www.paolograssino.net/ Catalogue published by Hopefulmonster Court. Galleria Giorgio Persano, Turin ; Galleria Alessandro Bagnai, Florence ; Galleria VM21, Rome.
This young Italian artist is exhibiting for the first time in France. He invites us to explore his very particular world, which is at once dreamlike, metaphysical and organic. The exhibited works – all very recent installations (of which the oldest is a fixed cypress tree, Come se, dating from 2001) – are inhabited by notions of the infinite, the sacred, and cyclic time. They develop a poetry of time and space, from the infinitely small (the worm) to the infinitely large (the heavens).
The artist delight in defying the eternity of the sacred through concrete and organic experimentations, as incarnated by La degenarazione di Parsifal (Natività), an installation that depicts Man’s demiurgic temptation and Nature’s power of regeneration: the worms in flour become butterflies in this construction in degeneration. Francesco Gennari was born in Italy in 1973. Catalogue published by Hopefulmonster Court. Galleria Tucci Russo, Turin ; Galleria Zero, Milan.
Preview: Friday 8 February 2008
Musee D'art Moderne de Saint-Etienne Metropole
La Terrasse, Saint-Etienne
Opening times: Wednesday to Monday: 10am to 6pm non-stop.
Admission: €4.50 / Concession rate: €3.70
Free for children under 12 years and on the first Sunday of every month.