“Musée d’art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Étienne”

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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MAM Saint-Étienne welcomes a retrospective of Jannis Kounellis

From 11 October 2014 until 15 February 2015, the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Étienne, France, is to show a retrospective dedicated to Jannis Kounellis. Jannis Kounellis (born 1936) is a Greek artist based in Rome, who is associated with the Arte Povera movement. After studying art in Athens, he left his home country to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. His first exhibitions consisted soley of paintings using numbers, letters and words on canvas, evoking the imagery of advertising. It was only in the 1960s that the artist started to introduce objects into his work; gradually distancing himself from the canvas by replacing it with doors and windows, or sometimes creating his work directly on the walls themselves; even his own body became a work of art. Arte Povera is an Italian movement which began in 1967 when artists started attacking the government. Arte Povera, which translates as ‘poor art’, was coined by curator Germano Celant; the concept is to take objects belonging to the everyday and place them in parallel with nature and industry. Other artists who have contributed to the movement include Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Mario Merz, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone and Michelangelo Pistoletto....

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