Bloomberg Space

Bertrand Lavier

13 Oct - 02 Dec 2006

© Bertrand Lavier
Empress of India II, 2005
Neon tubes,
196x580 cm
Courtesy the artist and Yvon Lambert, Paris, private collection

Bloomberg SPACE is proud to announce an exhibition of recent works by French artist Bertrand Lavier.
One of the most inventive and influential French artists of his generation, Bertrand Lavier focuses on the convoluted relationship between art and reality - where are the limits of art and how much is the look of art influenced by what we expect of it?
Lavier has said that he likes to devise his exhibitions, “more in the spirit of haute couture rather than ready-to-wear.” For this show at Bloomberg SPACE, he has chosen three recent works.
Superimposition is a distinctive characteristic of Lavier's work, often elevating everyday objects to the level of artworks. This is particularly evident in the Over series where two very particular objects chosen for their uneasy union, are stacked on top of each other. La Bocca (2005)
stacks the iconic lip-shaped sofa (originally produced in 1970) based on Salvador Dali's famous Mae West sofa of 1936 on top of a chest freezer, forcing the idea of hot and cold together.
In filming Mark Rothko’s work Four Darks in Red (1958) on 35mm film, Bertrand Lavier attempts to capture the experience of this painting. Transferred to video and projected the same size, it is both a documentation of the original work and a piece in its own right. It is a provocative piece that takes a popular artist, whose work fulfils prescribed expectations of modern art, and raises questions about value and exchange. Four Darks in Red (2004) continues Lavier’s interest in destabilising categories, and challenging traditional ideas of genre.
Bertrand Lavier has recently remade a number of Frank Stella’s striped works in coloured neon. He regards these works as paintings but in light. The shift in material makes clear reference to advertising, surrendering the art object, in part, to the world of communications and design. Lavier’s Empress of India II (2005) glows with an intensity that appears to leave behind its origin as painting, yet still fulfils Stella’s declared intentions of “what you see is what you see”. With this series, he has refreshed the youthful zeal of a radical artist with electricity and wit.
Bertrand Lavier was born in Châtillon-sur-Seine, France, 1949. He lives and works in Paris and Aignay-le-Duc, near Dijon. His work has been included in both Documenta 1982 and 1987 in Kassel. Lavier has since shown at the Centre Pompidou, ARC/Musée National de la Ville de Paris, Le Consortium in Dijon and in numerous exhibitions all over the world.
Bertrand Lavier at Bloomberg SPACE is part of Paris Calling, a six month celebration of contemporary art from France held in more than twenty galleries, museums and art centres in and around London

Tags: Salvador Dalí, Bertrand Lavier, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella