October 23 - October 26, 2008
FIAC 2008
Stand C5 Grand Palais, Paris

exhibition release


FIAC 2008

Valérie BELIN
Fabrice HYBER
Jean-Pierre RAYNAUD

The gallery’s 2008 project comes in the form of a thematic exhibition, concentrating on 7 artists who illustrate East/West, North/South, Orient/Occident, or political, social and cultural divides in such a way that when they are expressed through artistic creativity, they can be overstepped to obtain a universal value linked to the status that only applies to works of art.

The booth is based on the presentation of three very important pieces of work, both in terms of size and meaning:
- a historic wall painting, created in 1987/1988, but never displayed until now, by the artist A.R. Penck, of East German origin, marked by his unsettled childhood in the ruins of Dresden at the time of World War Two, and being obliged to conceal his artistic creativity afterwards when faced with East German censorship. His art aims to define a universal plastic language around the concepts of “Standart”, “Weltbild”, etc.
- The Conspiracy Paintings, a group of 10 canvasses by the atemporal American-Irish duo McDermott & McGough. Displayed at their exhibition at the Ostend Museum in 1997/98, done in the style of caricature etchings from the 1920´s, they denounce the partisan approach of the media, historians, or specialised “experts” to several fundamental problems that trouble our contemporary society: medical theories and heresy, AIDS, circumcision, homosexuality, the church and cults, illicit traffic and corruption of the political system, links between art and post war politics...
- a spectacular installation of Drapeaux by Jean-Pierre Raynaud. Created in 1999, entitled Soviet Union and consisting of 9 flags mounted on stretchers, this work particularly illustrates the apolitical status that an object transposed in art acquires, like the flag in this case, which is treated as a painting, for its sole pictorial value.

Photography is without a doubt the aid that best expresses the alchemic property of causing a historical, political or socio-cultural topic to emerge, outside of its specific and immediate field of expression, in order to pour it into the universal melting pot that is art. This is the case of:
- spectacular new photography by the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, large format photographs of Middle Eastern men and women of all ages, set off by Farsi calligraphy in ink. These photographs respond to the aesthetic criteria peculiar to the cultural and religious origins of the artist with physical beauty criteria specific to traditionalist societies, and texts that not everyone is able to understand: however, her work, presented in museums all over the world creates a lot of interest everywhere it is displayed.
- very colourful photographs of mixed race women by the French photographer Valérie Belin, whose work always plays on the limit between a true or deceptive reality of its subjects. Here, the experienced eye of the artist on the overdone aestheticism of which these girls are a daily proof transforms their faces into pre-Raphaelite photographs.
- “engaged works” by Pierre and Gilles. The easily recognizable work of this duo is often likened to their idealised, glamour or underground photographs, which transform obvious reality into pictorial fiction. Yet, alongside idyllic subjects, Pierre and Gilles create work that conveys an obvious political or social message, with the pacifist and benevolent spirit that is characteristic of them, such as the recent David et Jonathan, displayed last summer at Jeu de Paume, where a naked couple of men, consisting of a Muslim and a Jew, embraced tenderly.

As the gallery is also centred on sculpture, some spectacular figures will be supporting this topic:
- a rare sculpture by Keith Haring, one of the most well known American artists, who used his work to transmit real activist messages, especially from 1985 onwards, to warn of the dangers of AIDS, which he suffered from.
- a sculpture from the Statuary series by Jeff Koons, whose works always transmit a social message in spite of their paradoxically smooth aspect, as we can see in the large exhibition Jeff Koons Versailles from the 10th of September onwards at the Palace of Versailles.
- spectacular new matchheads by the Scottish David Mach, whose Silverback gorilla and the sculpture It takes two (2 sumos holding a container) registered immense success at the last two FIAC. This time, his brilliance transforms Lenin and Che into playful and admirable icons.

Alongside these works, brand new paintings by Fabrice Hyber will also be displayed, bearers of the numerous thoughts of this protean French artist, whose creativity always unfolds like a giant rhizome, constantly liaising with its economic and socio-cultural environment… A glimpse of the Du pur Hyber exhibition which will take place at the gallery at the same time, between the 9th of September and the 27th of October.

The idea of this exhibition is therefore to demonstrate that beyond their nationality or the place where they live, their culture of origin and the content of their chosen subject, today’s artists are the main defenders of a universal spirit, which encompasses all cultures, whilst respecting their differences, and which is aimed at all those that want to be interested in it....That spirit is Art!

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