Hubert Renard — Catalogue raisonné, 1969-1998

Exhibition

Publishing, installation, painting, photography

Hubert Renard
Catalogue raisonné, 1969-1998

Ends in about 1 month: June 3 → July 24, 2021

We are pleased to announce Hubert Renard’s second exhibition at the gallery, on the occasion of the publication of Hubert Renard — Catalogue raisonné, 1969-1998 prefaced by Alain Farfall, produced and published by us.

The work of Hubert Renard is ubiquitous in the sense that it exists simultaneously at different moments in time, in the different periods in which it is inscribed, but also through the different facets of his person and the reflection it sets up. Like Schrodinger’s cat, his work is both dead and alive, in progress and yet finished, and the presence of the artist himself is often manifested… by his absence.

In a sense, one could say that it is based on the classical aesthetic bases of “re-presentation”, constantly playing on the trouble of the disappearance and appearance of its subject, where the artist, the work and its model are confused.

The exhibition will present an iconic work by Hubert Renard, La Chaise, listed as number 181 in the catalogue raisonné. The work is here constituted in part by its own disappearance. This mythical chair disappeared under mysterious circumstance; so it is its reconstitution that will be showed, carried out by the restorer of art furniture, Cloé Beaugrand, according to the archives of Hubert Renard.

The exhibition will also present Le Cadre de 100 × 80 cm (listed as number 043 in the catalogue raisonné), reconstructed according to the same principle by the restorer, as well as a series of works about the different iterations of the artist’s portrait as a young Mexican.

Introductory note by Alain Farfall, the author

“Hubert Renard focuses his attention on the artwork’s condition of being in the world, starting from its material structure and its constants, producing varied projects on the work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility. He then turned to the manipulation of the press, the use of photography and brings together various autonomous artworks to create installations within the museum space, which became his trademark, so to speak. Whether he is exploring or questioning, Hubert Renard is constantly weighing up the stereotypes surrounding the artist and the artefact, the commentator and the viewer, the institution and the alternative space.

At the opposite extreme from Une monographie’s fertile disorder, the catalogue raisonné’s chronological order and nominal approach mean that this publication should not be seen as a faithful emanation of Renard’s gesture in book form. Taken separately from the rest of his work, the artworks here crystallise succession, direction and structural and chronological developments. The artist’s career becomes an enumeration of specific objects, step by step. However, as we shall see, the peculiarities of the catalogue raisonné not only reveal the characteristics of the artist’s work, but constitute an unprecedented analysis, an extraordinary review, confirming not only that this exploratory tool was necessary to his work, but that it in fact constitutes an essential reference framework.

But what is a catalogue raisonné? It is the presentation of the work of an artist, by categorising their complete works rather than telling the story of their evolution, in a synchronic, not diachronic mode. An inventory of their work, used by professionals in the art world: museum curators and their assistants, cultural administrators, historians, gallery owners and commissioning officers, collectors, critics, agents, restorers, patrons, teachers, experts, documentarians and all of their interns.
Generally speaking, the catalogue raisonné may be useful to any fan of an artist’s work, providing them with a complete and organised overview, or to provide some access to pieces that are often scattered around the world, sometimes inaccessible because they are stored in private collections, or because they have never left the artist’s studio or been reproduced anywhere, to discover detailed information or significant anecdotes. However, it should be noted that the catalogue raisonné has met with only limited success among the general public, and it is a good idea to ask why that is."