Etienne Martin — Plâtres & Fils de fer
Plâtres & Fils de fer
Past: January 30 → April 2, 2016
The Bernard Bouche Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Etienne-Martin, from Saturday, January 30. This exhibition will include ancient works, most of them never shown and the theme of the exhibition will be plaster, by far the artist’s favourite material. This exhibition is about sculpture, about sculptural impasto — it is especially about the série de Têtes, charged and overloaded with plaster, which with hindsight, are highly surprising. It is a research on light and on the circulation of air in the sculpture. Later on, the wire becomes associated with the work of plaster, which accentuates the line in the space, as it can be seen in the nude studies or in Nageuse celeste as well as in Etienne-Martin’s first Demeures (Dwellings). The wire becomes an intrinsic part of his work Demeures and of other works from the early 1950s, for instance, Without title, a kind of mesh-wired staircase, taken between two powerful hands of plaster or another work called Étude pour une Demeure (his native home in Loriol), a strange sculpture-habitats, from 1957, most probably designed to be visited “in the imagination” by the spectator.
Étienne-Martin (1913-1995) is one of the major artists of the second half of the XXth century. A former member of the Academie Ranson and the ’Témoignage’ group in Lyon, he became influenced by the teachings of Gurjieff and other schools of esoteric thought. He was close to the writer Henri-Pierre Roché and the founders of the Oppède group, set up by Bernard Zehrfuss. In the 1960s, Étienne-Martin won the attention of art critics as different as Michel Tapié, Michel Ragon and Alain Jouffroy, as well as Harald Szeemann, an ardent defender, who made the artist a key figure in the section “Individual Mythologies” at Documenta 5 in Kassel in 1972. Etienne-Martin’s work is extensively represented in the state museums of France, including the Pompidou Centre and the Museum of Modern Art City of Paris.
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