Exhibitions to See in Paris: FIAC Lowdown
Exhibition view: Robin Kid, It's All Your Fault, Galerie Templon, Paris (4 September–23 October 2021). Courtesy the artist and Galerie Templon.
For those in Paris during FIAC (21–24 October 2021), explore some of the stand-out exhibitions currently on view at galleries and museums across the French capital.
With their immense scale, and often taking up entire rooms, Richard Serra's sculptures engulf viewers in an immersive experience. One such sculpture takes up Gagosian, rendered in weatherproof steel and measuring four metres high and over 18 metres in length.
In collaboration with the gallery, the Centre Pompidou in Paris will show Serra's films and videos over three days in early 2022.
Marking the opening of Gagosian's new gallery space at 9 Rue de Castiglione, Alexander Clader's Flying Dragon (1975) will be installed on Place Vendôme. Made from sheet metal and painted in the artist's signature shade of red, the sculpture resembles a delicate dragonfly in flight.
The structure was completed by Calder at the age of 78, before he passed away less than a year later.
Alexander Calder: Flying Dragon
Gagosian, 9 Rue de Castiglione
19 October–18 December 2021
Known for his 'mobile' works, a term borrowed from Marcel Duchamp alluding to suspended objects with 'abstract elements' that move in changing harmony, Alexander Calder spent his later life making large-scale outdoor installations, known as his 'stabiles'.
The exhibition at Gagosian will open at the same time as Calder's Flying Dragon installation on Place Vendôme, featuring a maquette of the sculpture, archives documenting its creation, and additional works from 1975.
For Project Phoenix, Prune Nourry blindfolded herself and recreated the busts of eight visually impaired people she invited to pose in her studio. Modelled in clay, then fired using Raku, an ancient Japanese technique in which the burning sculpture is wrapped in ash once removed from the kiln, each sculpture replicates the phoenix's rebirth.
Viewers will be invited to feel their way through the exhibition in darkness, touching the busts as audio recordings of conversations between the artist and her models play in the background.
Dutch multidisciplinary artist Robin Kid's oil-on-canvas paintings collage art historical and socio-political images to comment on the desensitisation of audiences in the information age.
With commentaries on cancel culture and the Black Lives Matter movement, It's All Your Fault will feature painted wall reliefs, installations, and a sculpture measuring over four metres heigh and weighing over a tonne.
Working across sculpture, drawing, and installation, Vietnamese artist Thu Van Tran reflects on the colonial history of French Indochina and the intersections of identity and culture, drawing from history, literature, and architecture.
Featuring an installation and new graphite drawings, Beyond the need for consolation is inspired by an old Vietnamese legend in which 100 black stones turned into silver birds overnight to bring peace to bereaved families.
Marking the 30th anniversary of the death of writer and poet Edmond Jabès, Barthélémy Toguo connects the African writer's work to the Bamiléké people living in West Cameroon through their shared origins and experiences of migration, genocide, and exile.
Curated around the idea of sharing, Partages will feature eight paintings titled Partages I-VIII, borrowed from Jabès' volume: The Book of Shares (1989).
Ernest Pignon-Ernest's stencils, photographs, and sketches intervene in urban spaces to comment on its political climate, as seen in his first works in the 1970s, which denounced the Algerian War, apartheid in South Africa, and the refugee crisis in Europe.
Pignon-Ernest's collages on view at Galerie Lelong & Co. were inspired by Haitian writer, activist, and poet Jacques Stephen Alexis, who, upon returning to Haiti following his forced exile from the Duvalier regime, was tortured and killed.
Alechinsky with Kolar and Balzac features the collaborative works of painter Pierre Alechinsky and visual poet Jirin Kolar, who developed a drawing practice using a typewriter. Calendrier will show 12 acrylic paintings by Alechinsky completed in 2012, placed within panelled collages by Kolar made in 1985.
Traité des excitants modernes by novelist and publisher Honoré de Balzac will accompany the exhibition with 14 illustrations, a series of nine etchings, and updated annexes.
Wang Bing: The Walking Eye
Le Bal, 6 Impasse de la Défense
26 May–14 November 2021
The Walking Eye will feature an immersive installation across 30 sequences of six films dedicated to Chinese director Wang Bing, known for his documentary works addressing the nuances of social and political life in China.
A recipient of the 2017 Golden Leopard, with films shown in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, and Locarno, Wang first began exhibiting his video installations in 2009. A book will accompany the artist's retrospective, providing a reference guide to his visual language.
Harold Ancart's first solo show in Paris will feature small sculptures made from Styrofoam remnants from the artist's studio, cast in concrete and painted over to replicate the basin of swimming pools.
Bathing the viewer in vivid pigments, Ancart's new sculptures resemble relief paintings, their surfaces rendered in distinct shades.
Lafayette Anticipations, Fondation des Galeries Lafayette, 9 Rue du Plâtre
20 October 2021–2 January 2022
Over a decade ago, Martin Margiela announced his transition from fashion to art, working away from the public eye to access 'a wider spectrum with total freedom in creative expression'.
With Zeno X Gallery having recently announced the artist's representation, his works will finally be revealed to the public at their booth at FIAC alongside this exhibition of over 40 artworks, including sculptures, installations, paintings, and film.
The Whisperers continues Tarek Atoui's investigation into sound through a series of listening devices made from plastic, wood, brass, water, and glass, amongst others, exploring the relationship between material and acoustic properties.
Viewers are invited to connect their own music to the installation, which allows it to be experienced anew.
Galerie Chantal Crousel, 2 rue Jean-Baptiste Clément Bagnolet
17 October–20 Novembre 2021
Galerie Chantal Crousel presents a collection of archaeological objects from across the ages, including a Greek sculpture of a woman with a bird perched on her arm from the late 7th century BC, inviting viewers to ask, 'where does the sublime begin?'
Spanning different cultures and geographical locations, the exhibition suggests that the sublime has been here all along.
Danh Vo's work draws from personal and collective histories, notably his experience fleeing from Vietnam to Denmark as a child, addressing the process of adapting to a new culture and the political events that prompted his family's departure.
In 2020, Vo was invited to cultivate a small garden in Nivå, rural Denmark, where the artist planted 35 potato variants in collaboration with Michelin chef Christian F. Puglisi and residents of the town. In addition to sculptures, the exhibition will feature photographs from the project.
Pinault Collection, 2 Rue de Viarmes
19 May–31 December 2021
With found materials including metal, wood, stones, and cigarettes, David Hammon's subversive assemblages borrow from the streets of Harlem to offer pointed critiques addressing race and identity.
David Hammons brings together over 30 works by the artist, from works on paper from the 1960s and 1970s to recent installations, like Oh say you can see (2017), a shredded American flag painted crimson and green.
South Korean painter GaHee Park's first solo exhibition in Paris presents intimate painted scenes depicting potted plants and partial bodies rendered in vivid tones, expanding the artist's exploration of intimacy and sexual repression.
Park's seemingly naïve subjects—including cartoonish figures, comfort animals, and domestic interiors—are permeated with a layer of desire, depicting soft reflections about seeing and being seen, relocating the female gaze as a gentle but grounded observer of lived experience. —[O]