Artist, instructions for use

Artist, instructions for use

The exhibition "The dream of being an artist", presented at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille as part of Lille3000, suggests as a horizon of this dream, which begins here in the Renaissance, a certain deviation of values ​​in contemporary art.

Lille. "& Nbsp; Eldorado, for the artist, is to make a name for oneself, to live from one's art, to be recognized by one's peers, to constitute a benchmark & ​​nbsp;", postulates the exhibition held at the Palais the fine Arts. It is therefore a question of telling “& nbsp; how the artists became artists.” This rhetoric covers an ambivalence: is it a question of dismantling the mechanisms of “& nbsp; a strategy of social elevation & nbsp; ", Or to question the favorable conditions for" & nbsp; to create freely ", according to the terms of this same press release? The distinction is not trivial and should have been established at the outset. But the three commissioners, Bruno Girveau, director of the establishment, Delphine Rousseau, curator, and Régis Cotentin, did not seem to have decided.

In the preamble, the series “& nbsp; Atelier & nbsp;” by Gautier Deblonde invites you to examine the theater of creation. From Ellsworth Kelly's workshop to that of Antony Gormley, each of his photographs is a deserted setting that we detail with attention, and a look a bit voyeuristic since it is allowed. The rest of the course, very didactic, is organized in six thematic parts like as many chapters of a story, each work coming to illustrate the point developed.

The first section deals with the signature. Transgressive assertion of an author's posture in copyist monks of the Middle Ages; monogram authenticating the dry point engravings by Albrecht Dürer; mise en abyme of the notion of posterity in the painter of the ruins, Hubert Robert, who engraves his name "& nbsp; in marble & nbsp;" of a fake Antiquity; pointillist motif blended in a landscape by Georges Seurat, La Grève du bas-butin à Honfleur (1886): the subject alone deserves an exhibition. It ends here with a suggested parallel between the creator's logo and brand logic. As if with Picasso, then Warhol, the artist, by producing value, had dissolved in the market - and even so, it seems difficult to compare these two.

The second part, devoted to the birth of the art ecosystem, slides from the birth of academies to the constitution of the “world of modern art”, from “the band to Manet”. depicts Henri Fantin-Latour in Un atelier aux Batignolles (1870) with a small intellectual circle gathered around Appolinaire and his friends (1909) seen by Marie Laurencin. And extends to the supposed manipulation of art prices by a quartet of American conceptual artists framed in the "usual suspects" style against the background of the Nasdaq curve (Now Art Seemingly Deserves a Quotation) (2007) by Olivier Blanckart. The artist, a puppet ?, questions the cartel of Puppets (2009) by Philippe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Manipulated or manipulative, it seems above all, at the end of this demonstration, to have the choice, faced with the financialization of art, only between a passive complicity or an active participation. The alternative is slim. In an interview published in the catalog, Nathalie Heinich underlines that careerism is suspect in art since artists are expected "to be driven by their only vocation". The sociologist cites, in support, the principle of "& nbsp; the reverse economy & nbsp;" of Pierre Bourdieu, according to which "& nbsp; in the world of art, one does not work to earn money, but we earn money so that we can free up time to create & nbsp; ”.

Me, myself & amp; I is the title of the first monographic work, published in 2008, devoted to the work of Bruno Peinado, bringing together his sketchbooks and using the title of one of his series. It is also the title of the fourth section which forgets, it is a shame, to refer to it, and is interested in the question of the self-portrait. The opportunity to linger in front of Bill Viola's Self Portrait Submerged, or in front of a cibachrome Refiguration / Self-Hybridation No 2 (1998) by Orlan marking the start of his “world tour of beauty standards & nbsp; ”.

The fifth chapter of the exhibition, "From bohemian to star system", features a curiously chilling Gauguin, L'Atelier de Schuffenecker (1889), where the expression of the painter's ingratitude is read, while that Thomas Struth, who was a pupil of Gerhard Richter, delivers a sumptuous portrait of the artist surrounded by his own, The Richter FamilyI, Köln, 2002. The exhibition ends on the notion of self-mockery: to the video of the Dalí's advertisement for Lanvin chocolates, we prefer the evolutionary installation of Gilles Barbier's pawns, Checkers (2015-2019), evoking the chess game played by the delirious “mini-me” resin artist.

While the exhibition tries to avoid the chronological sequence, it does not escape, within each of its thematic parts, historical shortcuts, not necessarily favorable to the critical distance. We also wonder about the projection, as a preamble, of the clip "& nbsp; Picasso Baby & nbsp;", performed in 2013 by rapper Jay-Z at the Pace Gallery in New York. The American singer gives the measure of his megalomania to him in a text shining the common places of art where he compares to "& nbsp; Jean-Michel & nbsp;" (Basquiat) and to a "& nbsp; Pablo & nbsp;" of modern times. It is true that six years later the king of hip-hop took over the Louvre for a shoot in situ. But this is a completely different subject.