Mâkhi Xenakis, Métamorphoses — Kazuo Yuhara, Oxygène naissant


Drawing, sculpture

Mâkhi Xenakis, Métamorphoses
Kazuo Yuhara, Oxygène naissant

Past: October 10, 2012 → January 15, 2013

Both these artists revive torpid energies, neglected and trivialized materials. Of neither the same sex, nor the same generation nor culture, yet Kazuo Yuhara and Mâkhi Xenakis, aside from sharing the same predilection for working on paper, have the same desire of stimulating the world’s aura with an astonishing economy of means. They believe in the stunning power of the “nearly nothing.” An anecdote: Kazuo Yuhara recounts how, one day, he had the feeling the blocks of stone before which he found himself could shake, take life, by his simple mental apprehension. Just as we have all dreamed at one time or another to Watch inert objects come to life or, better yet, animate them ourselves by sheer force of mind.

For her part, Mâkhi Xenakis says she sees herself in the black dung beetles tirelessly pushing before them a ball that contains all the treasures that cross their path. Here are two artists who identify with the stones lying on the ground, or with the animals crawling across it— a posture of humility.

Kazuo Yuhara sees his mission is a way that may seem quite foreign to our expectations. He does not create in the sense that that term is commonly understood, making an object ex nihilo destined for pleasure or admiration; he makes what is already there vibrate, merely intervening, like little nudges that mark a presence and propagate waves in space.

So go his large rolled papers tinted with Sumi ink. A Vacuum, which slides across the sheet, is not synonymous with absence. It holds rather the seeds of all possibilities, all the projections of meaning that these media welcome, lest it not allow the rustling of distant and erased voices: Knowledge, wisdom, spirituality, prayer, and calligraphy. One is reminded of Borge’s Fictions, of that infinite assembly of book capturing all that has been or could be. A sort of magnetic field of thought.

With a very rich and multifaceted journey, which combines writing, theater.

history and of course the arts, Mâkhi Xenakis had the privilege of being a creator extremely close to Louise Bourgeois. Her influence, combined with a project for the Manufacture des Gobelins on the subject of weaving, and the revelation of the myth of Arachne, lead her towards the development of hybrid creatures “the metamorphoses”. There are assimilated the faces of spiders, beetles, jellyfish and stingrays.

Opening a text on her Folles d’enfer (Mad Women of Hell) a collection of exceptional sculptures presented at the Salpêtrière in 2004, Mâkhi Xenakis explained:

“I have the impression that I have always tried to speak about us, the human, of life.”

This impression proved itself admirably several years later. Her line, her penciled blacks and mauves, with their sober sensuality, bring out effects that give animal organisms a style, a volume close to fabric, minerals, fruit and jewelry. Mostly, however, it gives the feeling of snatching fossils from oblivion and reintegrating them in to the flux of time and its metamorphoses.

The works of Kazuo Yuhara Mâkhi and Xenakis are, more generally, beacons in the dark. Here are two artists who take parsimonious and extremely delicate care to save things from inexistence. Our civilization is one of permanent waste, of throwing away. We pile up higher and higher obscene amounts of garbage, and the more we produce, the more we want to push away what we’ve made, to send it into limbo. Nothing but ruined, swallowed, mortified material! The approach of these two magnificent creators is counter to this hopeless waste.

To borrow an image from the surrealist writer André Breton, both are the authors of a work “as beautiful as nascent oxygen,” a gas that, in its purest form, is suffocating, but which remains the principle of life.

Taïss Gallery Gallery
Map Map
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

14, rue Debelleyme

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 76 91 57 — F. 01 42 76 91 57


Filles du Calvaire
Saint-Sébastien – Froissart

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment

The artists

  • Mâkhi Xenakis
  • Kazuo Yuhara