• Current

  • Past

“All Over”

GALERIE DES GALERIES
40 Boulevard Haussmann, 1st Floor
February 24–May 14

View of “All Over,” 2016.

“All Over” derives its title from Clement Greenberg’s term for the space of AbEx painting, where foreground and background merge into a limitless plane. This group exhibition focuses on the stripe: a simple formal device that can wreak just as much perceptual havoc as a Pollockian drip. Erstwhile Fluxus artist John M. Armleder sets the tone. His thick white-and-gray stripes act as a gallery-encompassing mural, on which nearly all the other works have been overlaid. The exception is a commissioned inflatable column by Hans-Walter Müller, whose floor-to-ceiling cylinder is intersected from within by a lengthwise striped sheet.

The most compelling pieces inject playfulness into the severity of the linear, with vivid uses of color or surprising takes on regimented geometry. Sylvie Fleury’s two canvases together, titled Free Buren, 2012, reverberate with a vaginal-looking swell of lines. (The tongue-in-cheek title riffs on French artist Daniel Buren’s predilection for the straight stripe.) Adjacently, Lisa Beck’s Horizon, 2010, creates more Op-like disruption, with black plastic hemispheres aligned into sequential geometric groupings—half on a white Armleder wall stripe, half on a gray. Philippe Decrauzat is ethereal: His Yves Klein–blue lines gently waft away into white, as though in a disappearing act. Ian Davenport’s Puddle Painting: Swedish Blue, 2009, is achieved by pouring gloss paint onto an inclined plane, which results in subtly wonky marbling. And the precise red, green, and blue moiré lines of the Venezuelan-born Domenico Battista’s When in Rome, 2015, yields an entrancing optical effect—a dizzying riff on the textures of this show.

Sarah Moroz

Noémie Goudal

LE BAL
6, Impasse de La Défense
February 12–May 8

Noémie Goudal, Observatoire VIII (Observatory VIII), 2014, lambda print on Baryta paper, 59 x 47".

At first sight, Noémie Goudal’s photographs appear to depict ambiguous, hard-to-situate spaces that, though placid, are thoroughly uncanny. The French-born artist, who works between Paris and London, presents her first solo exhibition here, titled “Cinquième Corps” (Fifth Element). In the series “In Search of the First Line,” 2014, Goudal documents a group of majestic, cathedral-like arches mysteriously set into concrete industrial buildings. In “Observatoires” (Observatories), 2014, lone staircases and pyramids float like ruins from a long-dead, postapocalyptic civilization. All of these strange and imposing architectural forms, however, are actually flimsy, two-dimensional props. Goudal prints out found images on a large scale (piecing them together on separate sheets of paper), arranges them like theatrical backdrops, then photographs them. The artist is a deft fabulist, and the artifice she manages to construct is slow in revealing itself. It is only through close and careful inspection that we are able to discern the imperfect folds and subtle bulges of her various simulacra.

The hallucinatory qualities manifest in these series also pervade Goudal’s site-specific stereoscopic installation, Study on Perspective II, 2016. Two backlit images, hung at opposite ends of the room, yield a sharp 3-D landscape that pops when the viewer is positioned before an elongated upright mirror. Her analog approach to virtual reality—rich, haunted, beautiful—evokes credibility and incredulity all at once.

Sarah Moroz

“Le Précieux Pouvoir des Pierres” (The Precious Power of Stones)

MUSÉE D'ART MODERNE ET D'ART CONTEMPORAIN | NICE
Promenade des Arts
January 30–May 15

View of “Le Précieux Pouvoir des Pierres” (The Precious Power of Stones), 2016.

There’s a collective fascination with stones and minerals. We’ve seen it in childhood collections of curious rocks, with rituals both meditative and occult, and at the very core of our desire to try to understand what our planet—and even our universe—is made of. This exhibition, “Le Précieux pouvoir des pierres” (The Precious Power of Stones), highlights our protean curiosity. Laurent Grasso’s eerie and undated Studies into the Past—a faux-Renaissance oil painting in which a boulder is depicted hanging like a specter in midair—sets the tone for this group show that deals with materiality and mysticism, science and spirit.

In the first room, Eric Michel’s black-lit fluorite (borrowed from the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Nice) and rectangles of fluorescent lights, Fluorescences, 2015, contrast with Marina Abramović’s more rough-hewn Shoes for Departure, 1991, a pair of oversize amethysts carved, vaguely, into footwear. In the next room, Damián Ortega’s Cinco anillos (Five Rings), 2011, made from fragments of colored glass and red volcanic rock, is suspended in a constellation, its brut, broken minerals scintillating and delicate. In another room, Valentin Souquet’s Amethyst Island, 2011, employs the titular stone, along with resin and wood, for a jagged altarpiece. A flacon, filled with some emerald-green liquid, is balanced upon it like an offering. Pierre-Laurent Cassière’s video Concretus lamento (Lament Concrete), 2015, cloaks the space with echoes recorded from fang-like lithophonic stalactites. Marine Class’s Pierres de rêve (Dream Stones), 2013, turns a multitiered toolbox into a mineralogical treasure chest, the items within gathered from a Greek island. And Alicja Kwade’s pulverized champagne bottles, 412 leere liter bis zum Anfang (412 Empty Liter until Early), 2008, pushes these vessels for extravagance back to some primitive, verdant, and glistening state.

Sarah Moroz