Gitane à la Guitare

February 7, 2010By Heidi EllisonArchive

Paris Update Art Notes



“L’Aimable Surprise,” by Bastien Aubry and Dimitri Broquard.

As if Paris didn’t have enough museums and galleries, there are also many little-known art spaces hidden away in the suburbs just waiting to be discovered. Last week I visited one of them, the Maison d’Art Bernard Anthonioz, in Nogent sur Marne, to see “Gitane à la Guitare,” an exhibition of works by a team of Swiss artists, Bastien Aubry and Dimitri Broquard. The duo’s origins as graphic artists are evident in this show of conceptual pieces created especially for the unusual gallery, which is attached to a retirement home for artists with an enormous park. Aubry and Broquard found their inspiration in the archives of the home, where they came across the effects of a former resident whose work was “very 19th century.” This was the basis for their tongue-in-cheek “deconstruction of the myth of the artist,” using modern techniques and materials to interpret and distort the clichés of traditional art-making. A good example is “L’Aimable Surprise,” a giant sculpture (pictured above) made of polystyrene and digitally printed with outsized blow-ups of motifs from the artist’s works, rendering the realistic abstract and replacing heavy, “noble” materials with cheap, lightweight, ephemeral ones. This piece is exhibited in an elegant, high-ceilinged space with a 17th-century decor. To get to the Maison Bernard Anthonioz (16 Rue Charles VII, 94130 Nogent-sur-Marne; tel. 01 48 71 90 07), take the Métro to Château de Vincennes, then the 114 bus to the Sous-Préfecture Jules Ferry stop. Heidi Ellison


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