press release

This exhibition of Tour de France/Florida: Contemporary Artists from France in Florida’s Private Collections, presented by The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU and in collaboration with the Consulate General of France and the France-Florida Foundation for the Arts, is born from a desire to measure the presence of French art, diffused yet significant in private collections of the region. The elaboration phase of the exhibition demonstrated the abundance of collections in Florida and the generosity of the collectors. Together these artists demonstrate a number of interesting perspectives as it showcases artists of international renown, like Christian Boltanski and Sophie Calle; artists not well recognized in Florida, outside of the circle of well-versed collectors, like Jean-Pierre Khazem and Denise A. Aubertin, and young artists like Gyan Panchal. Also lending to the exhibitions perspective are works from The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, which relies on the articulation between visual arts and writing. This exhibition opens on November 9th, 2011 from 6 pm to 9 pm during Target Wednesday After Hours at The Frost Art Museum at FIU located at 10975 SW 17 Street, Miami, FL 33199.

In France, there has long been this exploration of surfaces for innovative effects. Once the artists of the nineteenth century decided to rebel against the strict rules of the Academy and devise new approaches to the application of paint on canvas, the series of “isms” began and the rest is art history. Using completely different approaches to mixed media assemblages, other artists experiment with materials old and new for provocative combinations that address similar issues of memory and nostalgia. Annette Messager’s work often involves fragments and obsessive accumulations of objects with drawings, photographs, and traditionally feminine materials and techniques. This repetitive process of accumulation is practiced by Hervé Télémaque as he manipulates the photographic process into objects that take them completely away from their original two-dimensional origins. His use of collage and assemblages made from common everyday objects inform work that marks a conversion from two-dimensions into a bas-relief aesthetic. Johan Creten takes the idea of accumulation to obsession as he transforms a human torso covered with glazed stoneware, fragile but dangerous, to allude to the complexity of the universe as he imagines it. He is fascinated by woman and her hidden powers.

Claude Viallat, one of France’s most distinguished teachers and artists, initiated the group that became the “Support/Surfaces” movement in 1969, of great significance to this exhibition, where surfaces and their conditions for the application of paint and other materials are essential. His paintings on freely hanging fabrics feature repeating patterns of simple color abstractions. Undoubtedly, throughout the exhibition, the boundaries that may have once existed between materials have been blurred. Artists incorporate a diversity of media in remarkable ways. Paintings take on new meanings with surfaces that range from the almost ephemeral to brashly abstract, while sculptors use materials that range from traditional metals now monumental abstractions by Bernar Venet to line drawings suspended in space by Dominique Labauvie.

This Tour de France continues the voyage across the Atlantic into Florida with a new perspective of the future.

Tour de France / Florida
Contemporary Artists from France in Florida's Private Collections

Künstler: Denise A. Aubertin, Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Johan Creten, Jean-Pierre Khazem, Dominique Labauvie, Gyan Panchal, Herve Telemaque, Bernar Venet, Claude Viallat ...