For its third season, Galerie Da-End has invited over thirty artists to create a contemporary “cabinet de curiosités” with a floral theme. These flowers which blossom in this distinctive place, seem to probe our ability to rethink mankind and above all, to explore its less appealing side. In this case specifically to "extract beauty from evil". So Flowers in their thousands then, but these ones do not always evoke the spring.
Markus Åkesson - Kunihiro Akinaga - Rica Arai Nobuyoshi Asai - Fabienne Auzolle - Marcel•la Barceló - Laétitia Bourget - Marcos Carrasquer Miguel Chevalier - Kim - Ellen Ehk - Josette Exandier - Vincent Floderer - Lucy Glendinning Yoshifumi Hayashi - Pascal Haudressy - Orié Inoué Toshimasa Kikuchi - Ken Kitano - Cédric Laquièze Philippe Lemaire - Pascal Maugein - Daïdo Moriyama - Jérémie Page - Jean-Luc Parant Pascal Pillard - Brann Renaud - Cendrine Rovini Xiao Fan Ru - Satoshi Saïkusa - Marco Sanges Jim Skull - Daria Surovtseva - Hideo Takashima Hideki Tokushigue - Jojo Wang - Galerie SL Alexandre Bernand - Judith Schoffel - Maison Lemarié Man is projected in everything and the flower is the means of expressing distress.
On the walls of this gallery-dwelling, hang as clouds, drawings and canvases, as well as collages, entomological boxes, and as many personified plants as life stories. An animated vanitas displays a bunch of bluebells, which ceaselessly perishes and regenerates. Elsewhere, a myriad of colourful flowers covers the emaciated body of an individual with bulging eyes, whilst a skull decorated with green foliage is reminiscent of reminds us the destiny await living beings.These are the contemporary memento mori. There are also flower portraits, by famous Japanese photographers who might be less well-known in this still life exercise. There is a photo of a rose at the point of its ephemeral perfect beauty or the out of focus photo of a mysteriously highlighted anemone. Or, another of a flower made of bones, which as soon as it is created and committed grasped into memory returns to the earth.
This last, complex work, not only alludes to flowers but tackles the universal question of the fragility of life as a whole as do other dispersed works, which are uncovered like treasures. Here, a glass tree and its burgeoning fetus glint in the spring sunshine. Further on there is a wax sculpture, which seems to be more alive than the human being. Then there are porcelain or terracotta sculptures which, as if to better preserve their fragility and beauty, nestle on the cabinet shelves. At the back of this dark garden, a hot and bright greenhouse appears to be suspended in the sky, brimming with an endless sea of flowers made from tanned hide. The incongruity is striking.
This exhibition which leads us on a voyage through the intricacies of the human mind, also takes us on a journey around the world of plants to the heart of distant countries. Foremost to the Land of the Rising Sun where ikebana, the art of flower arranging, symbolises the linear harmony between the sky, the earth and mankind.
Then on to other places, to more ancient times, towards these countries where headdresses with golden flowers evoke love whilst murderous weapons adorned with a thousand petals evoke war.
Today in this gallery, which looks like a house abandoned by time, a world has been recreated, a world in which Da-End stakes its claim. Or rather an interspace, where men and acquaintances cross paths, where art combines with the most artisanal techniques (or is it the opposite?). And what can be said about technology, about this digital stereolithographic sculpture, other than they are part of this interspace, this introduction of a new flower aesthetic, which offers a future depiction? Meanwhile the sculpture projection of an atomic dandelion reminds us of our constantly changing system. For a while, in the long grass of this Paradise Lost, the paths is unclear. At the heart of our plant-filled poetic cabinet, the flowers encourage visitors to cross various temporalities and to transcend the boundaries of reality, the imagination or the virtual.
In fine, in every nook and cranny of this obscure but delectable place, we are confronted by secret and inaccessible worlds, by questions provoked by the mysteries of life and the world, by as many voyages as artists with complex personalities, concealing none of their demons in their works. The flowers that they have created gracefully converse in the classic setting of this House of Wonders, which captivated the curious as well as fantasists in former times and, as proved here, continues to draw enthusiasm and questioning.
The exhibition is part of the ʻJe sème à tout vent. Onze galeries parisiennes en fleurʼ (I sow to all winds Eleven blossomed parisian galleries) itinerary proposed by David Rosenberg.
Galerie 1900-2000, A2Z Art Gallery, Galerie Alberta Pane, Arsenic galerie, Galerie Da-End, Galerie Martine & Thibault de la Châtre, Galerie Christophe Gaillard, L'Inlassable Galerie, Galerie de Nobele, Galerie Ilan Engel, Galerie Odile Ouizeman.
17 rue Guénégaud
Paris 75006 France
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