Past: January 14 → March 3, 2012
Mystery, according to Lionel Estève, is the most enviable status for a work of art : anonymous, without a date and of uncertain origin. His graphic design “Myopic and Amnesiac”, at the Centre for Contemporary Art — CAC Brétigny, 2005, which was drawn on the ground, echoes the immense and inexplicable Nasca Lines. For his third exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, Lionel Estève has developed an empirical, sensual environment that comprises 10 to 15 metre long sculptures in acid colours made of fabric, sand and thousands of beads and pins, like a vivarium where strange endemic, playful, ethno-pop serpents join together entwined. A few doors in trompe-l’oeil schematised by over-sized glass door handles and a line on the wall then invent another displacement through an imaginary and inaccessible mental space.
Lionel Estève freely reproduces the panoramic vision of a celestial vault composed of multi-coloured beads — like the fragile moving mobiles he previously showed at the gallery and elsewhere (Art Unlimited/Art Basel, 2005; Hermès Foundation, La Verrière, Brussels, 2011). Underneath this starry sky, a landscape of stones that are half painted with watercolour, evokes the bed of a river and the exhibition space metamorphoses into a Land Art site.
The third room is covered in large drawings with white-on-white geometric patterns. These ghostly fugitive images invoke Kinetic Art as well as De Stijl (Theo van Doesburg, El Lissitzky) through their motifs that are at once dynamic and ethereal.
Beyond the real, the exhibition becomes a space haunted by phobias that are both compelling and contradictory. The enigmatic works of Lionel Estève envelop the visitor with their fantasized secrets recreating a fictional realm close to that of Lewis Carroll or Magritte.
Lionel Estève was born in 1967 in Lyon, France. He lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.