Bianco Bichon, Nero Madonna e altre distruzioni liriche — Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille



Bianco Bichon, Nero Madonna e altre distruzioni liriche
Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille

Past: May 23 → July 1, 2017

Ida tursic wilfried mille fondation ricard paris exposition 2 grid Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille — Fondation Ricard La fondation Ricard accueille jusqu’au 1er juillet Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille, lauréats du prix Ricard en 2009, dans une exposition réjouissante et inattendue qui offre une facette nouvelle de l’œuvre de ce duo dans ce qui peut apparaître comme une véritable fête de la peinture.
Curator: Andrea Viliani

Everything started at the beginning of the 2000s through an accumulation process and an empirical practice in the studio, and yet for Tursic and Mille, doing is primarily a matter of thinking, defining how they produce and think in painting.


Ida tursic wilfried mille2 medium
Vue de l’exposition d’Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille « Bianco Bichon, Nero Madonna e altre distruzioni liriche » Photo : Rebecca Fanuele / Fondation d’entreprise Ricard

In reference to the lecture that concluded Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s 1960-61 course at Collège de France, the artists define this as a true love letter addressed to painting. More particularly, the primacy of perception 1asserted in the French philosopher’s phenomenology seems to have become the everyday material of the artists’ work in the studio, both in their exploration of a language that gets redefined every time in the very act of formulating a new thought, and also in the dynamic relationship between everything that gives rise to their work: consciousness, the world, history and their interpersonal relations. An art of doing (with their hands) and thinking (with their heads). And a kind of painting, which also raises the question of how two people can paint together, with the superimpositions, interpenetrations, complementarities and contradictions that follow from a constitutive division in two. It is a question of proximity, and therefore of reaction, desire: “The fact of having two heads and two right hands can prove very useful, in many situations!”

So it is a theoretical painting practice that determines what must be done through the very fact of thinking of how to do it, accommodating a wide spectrum of possibilities continuously presented by this decision process, which is constantly opened and solicited. By mainly reproducing found images, the question is not “this OR that”, but rather “this AND that”, according to a principle of critical accumulation (discussed and judged case-by-case) and perpetual motion. This means that Tursic and Mille’s paintings do not reflect a particular style, and that they are neither abstract nor figurative, but are at most both at the same time; because every style and every subject is “within reach” as they themselves assert, since: “panting cannot be a gesture set in stone and filed like patent. It must be open to all the propositions its practice generates; painting must be opportunistic and self-conscious.”

Ida tursic wilfried mille5 medium
Vue de l’exposition d’Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille « Bianco Bichon, Nero Madonna e altre distruzioni liriche » Photo : Rebecca Fanuele / Fondation d’entreprise Ricard

Tursic and Mille’s exhibition at Fondation d’entreprise Ricard is yet another revision of these propositions and a new open, continuous love letter to painting itself. Starting with its title, which references the two opposite colors black and white, as well as the coexistence of two subjects, the bichon frise (a breed of dog) and the Madonna (the most classic pictorial subject): the former, moreover, rendered like a painting within a painting and the latter painted and then burned, the residue of a production process that simultaneously proposes and disfigures (alters, eliminates, or at the very least couples, juxtaposes) the image preliminarily chosen.

And then there is the large wall at the entrance, where an image of the studio shows through, followed by a wall covered with dozens of works on paper and canvas: sketches, plans, first attempts, texts and images… which are more reflections on the fact of painting a painting than paintings as such—in other words, the flow of the act of painting instead of the finished work.

A potentiality as cacophonous as it is joyful: an exhibition and its just-as-innumerable possible variants, the latest of which might be almost exclusively a stroke of luck. Like the images on which other versions are superimposed. Or the bodies, faces, objects, landscapes teeming with patches of pure color.

If this is a spirit that connects Tursic and Mille to contemporary painting while at the same time setting them apart from it, it is indeed a mixture between a digital sensibility pushed to the point of paradox (until it becomes objective and palpable) and a reclaiming of the analogue gesture and material that dematerializes in its possible variants, thus generating a succession of oxymorons: a calculated bet, a welcoming and comfortable excess, a generous opportunism, a conscious unconsciousness, a masterful experiment, a curious and fluctuating culture, pleasure without its explanation, without its mystery being revealed. The space-time of the choice where, by connecting the categories of the mysterious and the supernatural, “a thing becomes a work of art”2, as Eric Troncy wrote; a work that gives us the unique chance to really do “the prohibitive experience of art”. A systematic lyrical destruction in which to reconstruct the painting form and bring the enchantment back to the intellectual and perceptive experience of painting.


Ida Tursic (born in 1974 in Belgrade) & Wilfried Mille (born in 1974 in Boulogne-sur-Mer), live and work in Dijon. They are represented by the Alfonso Artiaco, Almine Rech, Max Hetztler and Pietro Spartà galleries. Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille were awarded the Prix Fondation d’entreprise Ricard in 2009

Current exhibitions / upcoming : Oltreprima. La fotografia dipinta nell’arte contemporanea — until April 16th 2017, Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna, Bologna, Italy. La peinture en apnée — March 25th until July 30th 2017, Les Bains du Nord / Frac Bourgogne, Dijon, France.

Andrea Viliani is director of the Museo d’Arte contemporanea DonnaREgina (Madre) in Naples. Formerly director of the Fondazione Galleria Civica de Trente, he was a curator at MAMbo-Museo d’Arte Moderne di Bologna, et one of the curators of Documenta 13 in Kassel and Kabul.


1 Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Le primat de la perception et ses conséquences philosophiques. Preceded by Projet de travail sur la nature de la perception, 1933. [et de] La nature de la perception, 1934 Broché — June 25th 1996.

2 Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille, Decade, 2011. Texte « Cette peinture » par Eric Troncy. Edition Les presses du réel.

Andrea Viliani
  • Opening Monday, May 22, 2017 at 6 PM
08 Paris 8 Zoom in 08 Paris 8 Zoom out

1, cours Paul Ricard

75008 Paris

T. 01 70 93 26 00

Official website


Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Visites commentées le mercredi à 12h30 et le samedi à 12h30 et 16h

Admission fee

Free entrance

The artists

  • Ida Tursic
  • Wilfried Mille