ORLAN: New Sculpture and New Photography
Claude Viallat: Recent Works
Anthony Japour (AJ) is an independent curator, private art dealer and owner of AJ Japour Gallery. The gallery deals in contemporary art with a focus on the Chinese Contemporary Art Movement and its relationship to the pillars of Western Contemporary Art. Since 2003, AJ has produced numerous art exhibitions and installations in Miami and South Florida. In addition, the Gallery’s secondary mission is to support organizations dedicated to the health, education, and welfare of children. AJ has served on the Fine Arts Board and the Cultural Arts Council of the City of Miami Beach.
alerie Hélène Lamarque
125 NW 23rd Street, Miami FL 33127
Hélène Lamarque, a gallerist and private art dealer with offices in Paris and Hong Kong opened a public space in Wynwood not far from the museums of Mira & Don Rubell and Martin Z. Marguilies. Originating from Paris and with a classic European education, Lamarque has bold ambitions to help push Miami even further as the cultural destination of the Americas.
While Lamarque’s background and focus is on established French Contemporary Art such as Claude Viallat and ORLAN, Lamarque in an interview with the French Consulate is quoted by saying, “I am wary of the label ‘French contemporary art’ and skeptical about the whole idea of culture. ’Nationalism’ brings us back to the darkest hours of European history. I also believe that our artists are first and foremost international and that they were fed on the history of world art.”
To that end, Lamarque ventured out into Indian Contemporary Art and has been exhibiting and educating the Miami public on emerging artists from India in her Wynwood gallery as well as in the art fairs. Her views ring true for me as I exhibit and educate on the Chinese Contemporary Art Movement and promote artists working with an International vocabulary.
ORLAN, born in 1947 in Sant-Étienne, Loire was rushed in 1978 to have emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. While she was not in pain, she did bring a video crew with her who filmed the operation and began her long career charting a course out of Body representation toward the integration of feminist values and the use of her own body as a medium.
Her approach to making art using the Body as a perpetual point of reference through photography, performance, plastic surgery, installations and sculpture, ameliorates the distinctions between subject and object, medium and place, gender and gender norms, standards of beauty and race, abstraction and representation. Most sensationally, in the 1990’s she underwent nine plastic surgeries, one of which was to place implants generally used as cheek implants on her temples, creating an appearance of a character from the 1960’s television show, Star Trek.
In this exhibition, Lamarque features a new computer made sculpture, Shifting Dress Code, and a series of new three-dimensional photographs entitled Shifting Folds. ORLAN embraces a vast network of cultural references and reconfigures the way Folds define and form the body within the context of the history of sculpture – from the Folds of the Body to the Fold without the Body. As Lamarque states “the exhibition challenges notions of sculpture and its forms, engaging the viewer in a dialogue that redefines the idea of the body. Using modern technology, the artist explores various themes: the sacred, the feminine, body presence and absence. These works exemplify ORLAN’s ability to capture both the sensuality and spirituality of the human body, in just a few folds.”
ORLAN’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions worldwide: in the US (LACMA and MOCA, Los Angeles; PS1, New York), the Venice Biennale (1986, 1993, 1997, 2007 and 2009), in France (Centre Georges Pompidou, Centre National de la Photographie, Palais de Tokyo, and Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris) among many others. ORLAN’s work was also on display in Miami as part of a group exhibition of cutting-edge French Contemporary art at the Patrica & Philip Frost Museum. In 2007, ORLAN was invited as a research scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.
Claude Viallat: Recent Works
Born in 1936, Claude Viallat is one of the major figures of contemporary French painting. He attended the Ecole de Beaux Arts de Montpellier in the South of France (1955-59) and the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris (1962-63). To Lamarque, Viallat is one of the best colorists of the current Western art movement and is the one of the few painters who understands Cezanne and Matisse. As one of the founding members of the artistic movement Support-Surface, Viallat established in the 1970s, including fellow artists such as Bioulès, Cane and Dezeuze during an intense period of experimentation in the south of France installing works in non-institutional settings such as on farms, river bed and a beach. He rejects the limitations of traditional art by refusing the idea of subject and the use of canvases, stretchers or frames [The American artist, Sam Gilliam has a similar viewpoint].
Viallat is known for his emblematic “shape” which evokes both a net or a flat knot. This shape is created with a brush and a stencil and marked all over loose fabric, tents, rugs or curtains, endlessly repeating itself in organic colors; notably, his works are never signed. This form has become Viallat’s trademark and signature.
As the artist explained, “I wanted to break both surface and space …what truly matters is the way in which colors play with the other colors below, how in an intuitive, unintended way, I succeed in organizing the surface with density and intensity.”
According to Lamarque, “by basing the Support-Surface movement Viallat took against Pollock and Pop Art. It is in the eyes of European historians the Rauschenberg painting is of great theoretical and formal importance.”
Viallat exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1982 and later in the decade he represented France at the Venice Biennial in 1988. More recently, Viallat has been shown at Cheim Read in New York City. Viallat’s work is held in many public collections worldwide, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Fondation Cartier, the National Museum of Osaka, the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, and the Kustmuseum Basel, Basel Switzerland. Most recently, Viallat appeared at the Philip & Patricia Frost Museum exhibition entitled Tour de France/Florida curated by Martine Buissart, an independent curator and specialist in French contemporary art and Carol Damian, Director of the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University.