Monica Majoli — Pam
Past: March 21 → May 10, 2014
Pam is an exhibition comprising four paintings done by the same person over a period of twenty years. Three recent portraits call to mind the technique Monica Majoli has been developing in her Black Mirrors series since 2008, in the form of photographs of her lovers as seen in the black mirrors lining a room in her Los Angeles home. Here, however, the visual interference is much less pronounced — so much so that the artist does not see these works as part of that series. For her this return to oils is also a return to a face she associates with the history of European painting. The three portraits are accompanied by a mythical work in oils painted in 1992 and included in her first Air de Paris exhibition in 1995. This painting on a pentagonal panel shows the artist with Pam in her room as it then was.
Majoli explains that she wanted to check that an image could “hold” this shape which — like certain details in the picture itself — suggests a birdcage. She identified Pam with a bird after discovering a stuffed bird pecking at a beetle in André Breton’s collection. In bringing these paintings together for her fourth solo exhibition at Air de Paris, she intensifies the distancing of the artist from her subject, revealing different perceptual prisms in a combination of extreme subjectivity and conscious detachment. Most of all she is reasserting her work’s affinity with a personal, domestic history and an ambivalence — the exhaustion/permanence of desire — which her pictures succeed neither in resolving nor truly revivifying, precisely because they share its fetishes.
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