Laurent Perbos — Thésaurus de la chose ordinaire
Thésaurus de la chose ordinaire
Past: May 25 → July 20, 2013
For his first solo exhibition at the gallery, Laurent Perbos has created an installation that brings together familiar sculptures and objects — sites of pure contradiction and of paradox. Casts of antique statues, cinder blocks of gleaming gold or even crystalline forms in disproportionate sizes all constitute elements that play with form, symbols and material, to reveal a condition while refuting it simultaneously.
Since the beginning, humour laced with ambiguity has been an indispensable part of Laurent Perbos’ work. For a long time, the artist has been invested in the subject of sports, considered in a playful manner bordering the absurd, without ever abandoning the sense of delight associated with it. Borrowing from manufactured objects to in turn disfigure them or utilizing materials specifically linked with athletics, Perbos has developed a sculptural practice informed primarily by the new realists — including Gerard Deschamps — giving attention to form while adhering to a precise conceptual protocol. A series of recent works (Compositions, 2011) reconstitute a bicycle from real elements of the original vehicle, according to the clean aesthetic of Mondrian. Perbos revisits the process that historically led from figuration to abstraction.
The artist’s choice of forms and materials has allowed him to develop a visual language whose elements delineate his work. In recent years, a new poetic influence is evidenced in his body of works. The installation Oxymore presented at galerie paul frèches constitutes a new step in this process of reconciliation between artwork and language, set against a backdrop of dreamlike narrative. Having brought trees, birds and even antique busts to tears, Laurent Perbos takes up the role of alchemist, transforming substances and subsequently their associated value to embody that of treasures.
Moreover, la chute des éléments suggests an improbable incident, highlighted by the bits of broken glass under which neon colours lie, rendering the entire spectrum of the rainbow. The riddle becomes even more intricate with the statue Niobée. It couples references to antiquity with a multitude of bright colours reminiscent of industry and manufacture. They are mark the colours of the rainbow, like spelling out the letters to a word.
These three new pieces put into practice an established vocabulary by the artist, arranged according to a logic that is his own. Playing with categories and hierarchies, the terms of this index are found from one sculpture to another. His sculptures are objects transformed according to a fluctuating arithmetic, chanting with a certain confidence marked by irony — a story whose plot remains untold.
Perbos was born in 1971 and is a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts of Bordeaux. He currently lives and works in Marseille.
Opening Saturday, May 25, 2013 5 PM → 9 PM