Exhibition "Under another sun"

Sat16Mar(Mar 16)11:00Sat04May(May 4)19:00Exhibition "Under another sun"In his first solo exhibition in Brazil, Jean-Michel Othoniel (Saint-Etiénne, France, 1964) exhibits a wide range of works that cannot be confined to any category, but which also do not form a retrospective.Simons of Assisi (Lorraine), Alameda Lorena, nº 2050 - Jardim Paulista


What the artist aspires to is to provide a global vision of his multifaceted work. The title Under another sun is both linked to the very luminous works he presents – among them, his paintings of passion flowers that he sees as suns –, but also to his arrival in a new hemisphere, which forces him, like the Brazilian public, to have a new perspective , approaching new suns.

Trust the works to access the wonderful

Since the beginning, in 1988, the year in which his student works – Insuccès photographiques (“Photographic Failures”) – were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in the City of Paris with “photosensitive plates”, the data of a work had already been released. “apart”. Since then, Othoniel has used very varied materials – sulfur, glass, different paints… –, generally in total harmony with places outside of museums where he is also frequently invited to intervene – such as in the Angoulême Cathedral, in the Ideal Palace of the Facteur Cheval , in Brooklyn's botanical gardens, in the garden of Versailles... This little Saint-Exuperian prince, immortal of the French Academy of Fine Arts, born in 1964 in Saint-Etiénne, never hesitated to embrace his appetite for beauty.

Without locking yourself into one category

“The materials are one of the keys to reading my works, they are the visible part of the iceberg; the sequence of meanings is also created through words, texts, obsessions, unsaid things, encounters, losses…” he declared on the occasion of his retrospective My Way, at the Center Pompidou, in 2011. Jean-Michel Othoniel is often where you least wait. He likes to be unique and does not deny his dialogues with the past. A lover of ancient art, classical poetry and gardens, for him the idea of ​​beauty is not necessarily outdated.

“Beauty is what we need to rebuild ourselves. This leads to contemplation. In many other civilizations, Asian ones, for example, beauty is not to blame,” he says. The idea of ​​enchantment and admiration is what the artist placed at the center of his exhibition at Galeria Simões de Assis, and his aesthetic transgressions always lead to a form of re-enchantment.

Glass beads with varied meanings

His “invention” of glass, which is now part of his trademark, stems from his visit to Murano, when he was a resident of the Villa Medici, in Rome. Since then, the public has been able to see her beaded necklaces in places like Venice's Grand Canal in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection; the Collection Pinault at Palazzo Grassi; the Kiosque des Noctambules, in Paris; or in the fountains of Versailles. These necklaces can also be found as minimal, multiple and committed works, which began to be distributed shortly after the death of his friend, the great Cuban-American artist Félix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996). These are the Scar Necklaces, made of small red beads, that Jean Michel always carries with him and distributes around him. Several necklaces are part of the exhibition Under Another Sun – although the gallery had already presented, in June 2021, three of its glass mobiles in the group exhibition Metamorfose – Sublimação e Transmutação.

An invitation to dream

“The work of Félix Gonzalez-Torres marked a change. He was one of the first to make the connection between the minimalism inherited from the 70s and the beauty, the exuberant beauty of the 90s. I am very grateful to him for showing me this path. He was also generous enough to offer his works to visitors to his exhibitions, and it was in honor of this gesture that I created a thousand and one necklaces that I distributed during the exhibition that was held in his memory, and in which I participated”, in says this proselyte, always kind and discreet. Othoniel has a personality that knows how to make us dream, like when he tells us legends, like that of the god Indra, whose necklace, when it exploded, created the stars.

An artist in perpetual experimentation

In 2011, at the Center Pompidou, in the My Way exhibition, Jean-Michel Othoniel proposed a retrospective journey that showed different stages: since 1987, between his research and experiences, as well as his discovery of glass. He explored the boundary between the organic world and the natural world and questioned gender boundaries. Ten years later, the ambitious exhibition Théorème de Narcisse, at the Petit Palais, in Paris, allowed us to once again appreciate the magnitude of the universe of his work. Unlike what he had done in 2020, at the Louvre – when, inspired by the rose painted by Rubens in the painting The Marriage of Marie de Medici and Henry IV (1621-1625), he had invited visitors on a dreamlike tour, launching them into the world of the secret language of flowers and their symbolism –, the works that were exhibited at the Petit Palais were, this time, a dialogue with the architecture and its garden. With subtlety, its golden beads were adapted to the scale and fragility of the trees.

Cross messages

It was engraved in the memory of those who had the privilege of seeing the stairs leading to the Petit Palais with its incredible carpet of blue glass bricks. It was as if it were a river that, like a promise of happiness, flowed towards a great garden of Eden. These blue bricks, which were also in the ground floor exhibition room, in the form of either a carpet or altars, were, for the artist, a manual for getting out of the crisis. The title Precious Stone Wall was chosen in honor of the uprising of the homosexual community that took place in 1969, in New York, against police violence, and the exhibition Under Another Sun presents an example of these bricks. For Jean-Michel Othoniel, brick is also the material used by the poor in India and found along the roads. He sees them as the hope of the human dream of building your own home. At the Petit Palais, these bricks were fragile and reflective. They are a dream in brick form. Some are presented at Galeria Simões de Assis, such as Wonder Block (2023) and Oracle (2023).

A polycephalic artist

Dreamy, without a doubt; poet, certainly; but also hands-on. Through the glass, a polycephalic artist with a big heart, with the glow of happiness that he wants to share: “Coming to take over my life, the works followed my path of liberation and regaining happiness: they are now more autonomous and free” . Under another Sun is, for the artist, a way of questioning himself, and of setting himself under the sun of the Brazilian hemisphere.

Exhibition | Under another sun
From March 16th to May 04th
Monday to Friday from 10:19 to 10:15, Saturday from XNUMX:XNUMX to XNUMX:XNUMX


March 16, 2024 11:00 - May 4, 2024 19:00(GMT-03:00)


Simons of Assisi (Lorraine)

Alameda Lorena, nº 2050 - Jardim Paulista

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