Exil & Yayoi Kusama

February 7, 2010By Heidi EllisonArchive

Paris Update Art Notes


Less than a week remains to see these two worthwhile art exhibitions.

“Exil,” at the Réfectoire des Cordeliers (15, rue de l’École-de-Médecine, 75006 Paris; free admission) through Jan. 12, is

“L’An 2000” (1998) by Joseph Wanano

a show of works by artists classified under the umbrella term “Art Brut,” now referred to as “Outsider” artists in English. “Exil” offers a fine selection, beautifully presented in the former refectory of a convent, of the work of artists with mental or physical disabilities who have passed through Paris’s medical facilities. Standouts include the brilliantly colored abstract paintings of Ouali Ikni, the graphics paintings and sculptures of Ariane Khalfa-Diallo and the moody paintings of Corine Paolacci,but there are many other discoveries to be made. These artist may be “outsiders,” but they are no less artists for all that.

Yayoi Kusama, whose work is on show at the Centre Pompidou through Jan. 9, may have achieved renown, but she, too, remains something of an outsider. The 82-year-old artist has done it all in

“Eyes of Mine” (2010). Courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio, Tokyo

her long career – painting, sculpture, collage, installations, performance art and more – and continues to work in her studio near the Tokyo mental hospital where she has chosen to live. Her colorful work sometimes calls to mind Louise Bourgeois, but she goes her own way. Her light installations are especially entrancing, but nearly everything in this retrospective is fascinating. Heidi Ellison


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