“Jean Michel Othoniel”

Jean-Michel Othoniel… faces himself

The Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Étienne is currently giving Jean-Michel Othoniel carte blanche for his third solo exhibition at the institution. The artist’s work is also being shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, until 11 November. An encounter… Just how far will Jean-Michel Othoniel go? To mark the 30th birthday of the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Étienne, the artist, a native of this mining town, is presenting an even huger “wave” than the one seen in 2017 at the CRAC de Sète. A deep, intimate meditation on the artist’s future, the exhibition “Face à l’obscurité” (Facing obscurity) resounds like the end of a cycle. An interview devoid of nostalgia, tinged with memories and heady uncertainty.   Can La Grande Vague at Saint-Étienne be seen as an extension of the one presented last year in Sète? The two installations have little in common actually. Here, La Grande Vague presents a type of “matrix”. It’s designed like a somewhat threatening echo point, whose form is more ambiguous and in motion than the one shown in the south of France, which was more like a glass-brick monument. This one is a personal work, linked to my personal history and that of this town. A type of “artist’s folly” that corresponds to no museum logic.   So it’s a piece related to Saint-Étienne… Do you mean that this town has had an impact on your path? Absolutely… The MAMC triggered my artistic vocation. From the age of six years, I went to introductory art lessons at the Maison de la Culture and then attended evening classes at the town’s fine-arts school. From an early age, I became familiar with the collections of this joyful, welcoming, light-filled museum, so far removed from my memories of blackened faces and sad...

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Elmgreen & Dragset present the Galerie Perrotin

Visible for one day only, on 24 September, the work Elmgreen & Dragset présentent la Galerie Perrotin au Grand Palais will be set up on the spot where the the gallery will be holding its stand at the next edition of the FIAC. Elmgreen & Dragset have chosen works by the gallery’s artists (Sophie Calle, Chung Chang-Sup, Bernard Frize, John Henderson, Gregor Hildebrandt, JR, KAWS, Heinz Mack, Takashi Murakami, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Paola Pivi, Claude Rutault and Xavier Veilhan) in black, white and earthy tones – the same shades as at their last exhibition, “The Well Fair”, at the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Indeed, in January this year at the UCCA, the duo launched a fictive contemporary-art fair displaying 88 works which they themselves created. A two-photograph edition will be created, showing the gallery’s stand before the fair’s opening, then after the...

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“Beautiful Dances” marks first permanent sculpture at Versailles in 300 years

Three balletic sculpture fountains — comprised of hand-blown glass orbs and steel pipes — are to be placed on the lakes of Château de Versailles later this summer, marking the site’s first permanent installation in over 300 years. French sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel and horticultural designer Louis Benech won the chance to create their contemporary design following an international competition, held for the restoration of the Palace’s Water Theatre Grove. The piece — entitled “Beautiful Dances” — aims to remain in keeping with the Palace’s history through its manufacture and materials; including traditional glass-blowing and 17th century-style hydraulics. The overall effect of the fountains evoke King Louis XIV’s love of dance; the arabesque forms are to mimic the movement of the King and Queen dancing on the water. Constructed by royal landscaper André Le Nôtre, the Water Theatre Grove — now called the Round Green Grove — has undergone various adaptations and renovations since its creation, between 1671 and 1674. Speaking in a statement, Jean-Michael Othoniel encapsulated the ethos of his work: “I am dialoguing with history […] but also creating a contemporary discourse that will become the next chapter in the history of a legendary location.” This contemporary installation follows other temporary exhibitions to have taken place at Versailles — some having provoked controversy by artists including Jeff Koons and Takashi...

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Jean-Michel Othoniel soon in Versailles

Versailles, 4 April 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Board of the Château de Versailles has announced the selection of French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel along with landscaper Louis Benech for the restoration of the Bosquet du Théâtre d’Eau (Bosket of the Water-Theatre). Lanscaper Louis Benech and artist Jean-Michel Othoniel have been chosen for their contemporary creation project. Works will start as of 2013, and will pay tribute to André Le Nôtre, gardener of King Louis XIV, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his birth. The Bosquet du Théâtre d’Eau, called today the “Rond Vert” (Green Circle), is located in the centre of the Northern fringe of the garden of Versailles, between the Bosquet de l’Etoile (Bosket of the Star) and the Bosquet des Trois Fontaines (Bosket of the Three Fountains). It was created between 1671 and 1674 by Le Nôtre with the help of hydraulic engineers Francine and Denis. The fountains were designed by Le Brun. The Water-Theatre, intended as a discovery bosket , unveiled itself progressively and played with secret and gradual revelations. Modified in 1704 and severely damaged afterwards, the Water-Theatre was destroyed in 1775 and was replaced by turf alleys which earned it the name of “Rond Vert.” Louis Benech and Jean-Michel Othoniel will therefore use the interior room of the Water-Theatre, which is a 120 metre-large square in another 180 metre-large square. The project aims to evoke the spirit of Le Nôtre’s gardens, while taking into account the ecology and specific issues of the space, sustainable development, accessibility, maintenance costs, security and the imperative use of...

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Jean-Michel Othoniel signs books at the book stand of Artcurial on 29 March at 4pm

Paris, 29 March 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel will sign several of his works, notably Un cœur Abstrait, published by Actes Sud\the Monaco project for the arts, Les Nœuds de Janus by Dilecta publishing and Mon petit théâtre de Peau d’Âne, by Courtes et longues publishing. Between 4pm and 6pm Marie Desplechin, Sophie Cavaliero, Frédéric Elkaïm and Claire Pirlot de Corbion will also be attending the event and sign their books as well. Jean-Michel Othoniel is a contemporary artist born in 1964 at Saint-Étienne in France. He currently lives and works in Paris. His  main subjects are metamorphose, sublimations or transmutations. He priviledges everything that can be transformed, changed. He gained recognition after the Documenta IX in Kassel in 1992 where he exhibited a cycle of sculptures made from sulfur. Editions from the artist are available at the Cat-Berro Gallery booth on Art Paris Art Fair, stand H2, in the Design...

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