“Arcangelo II” (Archangel) by the Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere (*1964) is permeated with references to literature, classical mythology and Christian iconography. Contemporary themes such as universal human suffering, violence and loneliness also resonate. The sculpture was created during the pandemic and draws on the biblical figure of the archangel for the image of a protective companion. Due to its high positioning on a wooden base, the figure seems to hover above us, but is of human, not supernatural body size. It leans forward, creating an unstable pose. Its face, head and almost the entire body are veiled, her identity thus hidden. The only visible detail are the tremendously realistically modelled feet, naked and worn. Full of scratches and bruises, they tell of a rough, merciless visit to earth. The sculpture “Arcangelo II” is an impressive, touching work that addresses existential themes such as humanity, physicality, vulnerability and vitality and adds original and contemporary aspects to the traditional iconography.
Rose’s World III, Rose’s World III, Galery Lelong & Co.
An acclaimed creator of public art, Jaume Plensa produces monumental sculptures in steel, glass, marble, polyester resin, concrete, and bronze. Predominantly producing figurative sculpture, Plensa has created larger-than-life-sized heads constructed of fine, stainless-steel wire mesh so that their surrounding environments are visible through the works, and bronze figures cast from his own body. “Sculpture is not only talking about volumes,” he has said. “It is talking about something deep inside ourselves that without sculpture we cannot describe. We are always with one foot in normal life and one foot in the most amazing abstraction.”
Woman with Shopping by Ron Mueck at Thaddaeus Ropac
Ron Mueck has earned international acclaim for his hyperrealistic sculptures of humans at scales ranging from smaller-than-life to enormous. At the 2001 Venice Biennale, viewers encountered an arresting, massive crouching child, Untitled (Boy) (1999). Another work, Dead Dad (1996-97), depicts a three-foot version of the artist’s father lying palms up on the floor. Whether oversized or miniature, Mueck’s uncannily lifelike sculptures—frozen in situations both mundane and strange—explore universal issues such as loneliness, vulnerability, and death. A former puppeteer and model maker for film and television, Mueck makes his highly detailed sculptures by hand using fiberglass, silicone, and resin.
Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, Eric Baudart delivers a singular and evocative work on the borderline between sculpture and installation. Known for his works made from simple and trivial materials taken out of their context, the artist trained at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris juxtaposes paper and aluminum, polyester resin and steel as grids of possibilities of a diverted reality.
The product of a skillful plastic material equation whose form brilliantly defies reality, ‘conCav’ invites us to question the creative process and the making of images. As the boundaries between the consumer object and its mental projection become blurred, Baudart moves away from a minimalist aesthetic to reveal an unusual space with blurred contours and imposing verticality.
conCav, 2021 Galerie Christophe Gaillard
Spectacular and magnetic, the work reproduced thus reflects Eric Baudart’s obsession with the passage of states of matter and its formal potentialities as much as it begins a reflection on the very essence of painting, a concern at the heart of the thinking of the most influential contemporary artists of recent decades.
Eric Benetto at Christian Berst Artbrut
Deeply impacted by his discovery of Augustin Lesage, Éric Benetto explores the most arduous spiritual paths: monastic life and ascetic practices of the Orthodox hesychasm. His Chinese ink or pencil drawings, on paper, radiographs and other MRI scans are imbued with syncretic mysticism as well as an exceptional modernity.
Julien Des Monstiers, Le Réel, 2022, Galerie Christophe Gaillard
Julien is a young Parisian artist who is widely acknowledged among the Parisian artistic scene. Graduate of the prestigious École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, Julien Des Monstiers plays around with colors, textures, concepts and a forgotten artistic savoir faire, in the hope of placing art in a place where it had once been.
Ugo Schiavi’s “Uprising-Collapse” installation in the Tuileries garden in Paris.
Ugo Schiavi updates his monumental project, produced during the 2018 Nuit Blanche. The work Soulèvement-Effondrement is a casting of the genius of the Republic, from the sculpted group The Triumph of the Republic by Jules Dalou located on the Place de la Nation. This sculptural fragment is here overturned and overgrown in the manner of a contemporary ruin.
What works of art have you enjoy the most at the fair?
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