Art market Magazine June 2013

 
THE MAGAZINE 
 
EXHIBITIONS 
 
The being and the…
THE MAGAZINE

EXHIBITIONS

The being and the neon 4 VIDEO
SEE THE

he only stable thing is movement, always and everywhere," said Jean Tinguely. "Dynamo", an ambitious
exhibition at the Grand Palais directed by the masterly hand of its curator, Serge Lemoine, is a major event. For this is the first time since the 1967 exhibition "Lumière et Mouvement" (light and motion), at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, that a major French establishment is focusing on the optical and kinetic arts, with their pioneers and followers, from the 20th century to the present day. "A far cry from trivia, fashions and events, the idea behind this venture was to unite the generations, forge links between them and bring countries and continents together to show the lines of force in a movement expressed with so much energy, constancy and vitality right up to the present," writes Lemoine in his introduction to the catalogue. This book, incidentally, cannot transmit the true visual scope of the exhibition, as the works are designed to be walked through, experienced and even touched. So you yourself need to live through this odyssey and the playful, jubilatory sensation that unfolds, and be willing to lose your bearings – or be overwhelmed by the resulting dizziness. The visual experience starts with Fujiko Nakaya's installation in the Square Jean-Perrin fountain, transformed into an

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"Dynamo. A century of life and motion in art, 1913-2013", Grand Palais, Avenue du Général-Eisenhower, Paris 75008, www.grandpalais.fr - Until 22 July. Catalogue 368 pp., published by RMN-Grand Palais, 2013. Price: €45. www.grandpalais.fr

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ocean of mists. Inside, it opens with John Armleder's six-metre installation from 2004, "Voltes III", where the light moves sideways from neon to neon. The work sets the tone for the exhibition: it's impossible to look at it for a long time, or the retina goes frantic. Often this art of visual confusion is highly – and deliberately – disturbing to the viewer, in the way that suspects are interrogated with a light shone into their eyes. This instability is all part of the adventure. "The decisive action consisted not of representing light and movement any more, as futuristic artists were the last to do, but to use light itself and integrate motion into the very concept of the work," says Lemoine, talking about the one hundred and forty-two artists featured: a number meaning that the exhibition oscillates between anthology and exhaustiveness, even though Olafur Eliasson was unable to participate. A number of names have monograph exhibitions in Paris, like Julio Le Parc and Jesús Rafael Soto: the sign of a real reappraisal of what is closer to a trend or a "dynamic" than a movement. After a section dedicated to contemporaries – Jeppe Hein, François Morellet, Carsten Höller and Ann Veronica Janssens (whose coloured artificial fog seems somewhat toned-down), the circuit endeavours to order the abundance of the post-1945 decades a little by focusing on practices and effects. One feat is to have reconstructed the maze of the GRAV (visual art research group), shown for the first time at the third Paris biennial in 1963, half a century ago. Here visitors are immersed in this labyrinth of cells with sets of revolving mirrors or psychedelic wallpaper, and emerge alive, but not unscathed... "The human eye is our starting point," as the GRAV said in their 1961 tract. "Dynamo" is also an occasion to reassess work that is

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GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL I N° 26


EXHIBITIONS

THE MAGAZINE

sometimes rooted in the Seventies. Some works have aged, like Heinz Mark's "Lichtgitter" (1964) or John Tremblay's somewhat facile deformed targets.
It's a pity we are unable to touch some of the works by Yacoov Agam or Paul Talmann, as viewers/players were originally intended to intervene… At the end, "Dynamo" briefly touches on the role of pioneers like Moholy-Nagy, Rodtchenko, Kupka, Calder and the

Swedish artist Viking Eggeling, whose very short film, "Diagonal Symphony", had already sketched out future problematic issues in 1921. Should Yayoi Kusama's mirror installation (2000-2011) have been included? It seemed rather superfluous after so many other examples. But apart from a few reservations, the exhibition is a success, and a fine tribute to a movement that too often focuses only on Vasarely. Alexandre Crochet

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© Adagp, Paris 2013

Jesús Rafael Soto, "Blue Penetrable BBL", 1999, metal, PVC, 400 x 450 x 600 cm, Paris, published by Avila, 2007, Avila/Atelier Soto collection.

N° 26 I GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL

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