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21.9.04

Gallery News in Paris

In an article (Sélection de galeries, September 17) for Le Monde, Geneviève Breerette reviews two new shows in Paris. The first, Les Quatre Saisons by Michelangelo Pistoletto, is at the Galerie de France (54, rue de la Verrerie, in the 4th arrondissement, until October 30). I can't find any pictures, but the reviewer says that the work is four deceptively neoclassical sculptures (my translation):

goddesses in white marble, sculpted similarly. It's not the torso measured according to the canon of antique beauty that we notice first, but the enormous weight, crushing, that each statue has on its shoulders in place of a head. The burden in question is a single or double bust portrait, depending on the season, made of a mysterious material, which is in fact painted polyurethane.
Loss, by Hans Op de Beeck, Galerie les filles du Calvaire, ParisThe other show is called Loss, an installation by Hans Op de Beeck, at the Galerie les filles du Calvaire (17, rue des Filles-du-calvaire, in the 3rd arrondissement) until September 30:
For his first exhibit in Paris, Hans Op de Beeck has made an installation that could be called literary and which may annoy you because of that. The work, titled Loss, is a round basin covered with white waterlilies placed in front of a screen. Images in black and white, somewhat blurry, are accompanied by a text by the artist in which the speaker laments the disappearance of a beloved being: the beloved sister, perhaps, of an incestuous love. Although placed between two excerpts of a Monteverdi madrigal, this sad and faraway song leads us to the threshold of dead Bruges rather than Italy. It seems like the artist has left behind the walkways of everyday life to be reunited with a fin-de-siècle symbolism, not without taking a detour through the surrealists or a stop in the limitless territories of Marcel Broodthaers.
The first thing that I thought of when I saw the four images on the gallery's Web site was that they were pictures of the gloomy forest world of Allemonde, in Maeterlinck and Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. The woman in the video, if her hair were blonde, could easily be Mélisande.

You may like to know that the Le Monde Web site links to a useful resource, ArtXchange, which is a list of all the active galleries in Paris. Nice.

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