Lefebvre & Fils Gallery and Patrick Letovsky are pleased to present "Le Musée Imaginaire" from June 23rd to July 31st, which brings together works by Polly Apfelbaum, Jean-Marie Appriou, Lynda Benglis, Katinka Bock, Elizabeth Jaeger, Jennie Jieun Lee, Andrew Lord, Calvin Marcus, Michaela Meise, Claudia & Julia Müller, Carissa Rodriguez, Thomas Schütte, Arlene Shechet and Ulrika Strömbäck. The opening will take place on June 23rd from 6pm to 9pm.
Borrowing its symbolic title from the famous essay by André Malraux, this exhibition intends to bear witness to recent developments in contemporary ceramics.
This presupposes a complex and skilful creative process that makes it even more attractive for the artists exposed. Arlene Shechet pays particular attention to the clay modelling process. The process is difficult and unpredictable as gravity affects the material: developing each sculpture is therefore a perpetual oscillation between creation and destruction.
As fissures sometimes appear, drying and baking times also mean that the final result is unpredictable. Chance or accidental aspects surely determine the fascination that the artists - particularly Jean-Marie Appriou - have about the process of transforming materials. Its appeal is also affected by the plasticity of ceramics - a tactile and corporeal material - which is excellent for use in experimental expression. Kneading the paste is an activity that for Jennie Jieun Lee allows the mind to wander or for Lynda Benglis encourages freedom of action.
Polly Apfelbaum works in the same way a painter does, giving priority to the glazing process and colour creation; while others, such as Thomas Schütte and Elizabeth Jaeger, work with it like a sculptor. Between painting and sculpture - as with Calvin Marcus - the ceramic is in itself a source of reflection that promotes extensive aesthetic and artistic research. It can be simultaneously surface and volume, or there can be a dialogue between the interior and exterior in accordance with an almost dialectic architecture, in particular in Ulrika Strömbäck's works.
Often creating a distinction between conceptual art and plastic art, nowadays, contemporary art is recognising ceramic works as sculptures. In fact, this exhibition highlights the sterility of this opposition by putting works clearly influenced by ancient and traditional modelling - in line with ceramics by Pablo Picasso - alongside others such as those by Michaela Meise or Claudia & Julia Müller, developing a reflection on the nature of art itself - like Lucio Fontana with his Concetto spaziale range in 3D and terracotta.
Katinka Bock's elementary and conceptual structures, focus on the notions of time and space, causing viewers to think about them as subjects of aesthetic and philosophical contemplation. As for Carissa Rodriguez, she breathes life into her sculptures, which have a critical and engaging impact. The process of making ceramic pots studded with razor blades declares them, in fact, to be works of art because they no longer have any function. This series, La Collectionneuse, is also a reflection on the film of the same name, directed by Éric Rohmer in 1967.
In this Musée Imaginaire there is a dialogue between artists on a variety of practices. It demonstrates the extent of formal and conceptual possibilities of ceramics in the contemporary domain, encouraging this medium to be considered not only as an artisanal and domestic practice, but also as an art in its own right.