Marco Maggi — La Révolte du Détail


Drawing, installation

Marco Maggi
La Révolte du Détail

Past: September 4 → October 30, 2021

Xippas Paris is pleased to announce the third personal exhibition by Marco Maggi: La Révolte du Détail (“The Revolt of the Detail”). The exhibition will present 12 newly produced works including two floor installations.

With the eye of a sculptor and the precision of a surgeon, Marco Maggi has gained international recognition by creating abstract and detailed drawings using common materials (paper, plexiglas, aluminium foil…), pencils and a razor sharp blade.

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Marco Maggi, La révolte du détail, exhibition view, Xippas Paris, September 4 — October 30, 2021. Photo: Frédéric Lanternier

The result of his analogue and meticulous craft is both cryptic and mesmerising. On a formal level, by engraving shapes or cutting them out, the artist adds a third dimension to his drawings and composes as a sculptor would, using light, shade as well as negative and positive space. On a semantic level, with a detailed grammar, Marco Maggi depicts a world driven by minute elements. However, although the greater picture of his works seems to reveal systemic patterns or comprehensive plans (reminiscent of models for electrical circuits, IT architecture or urban maps) Maggi’s bottom-up vision of our world is one that resists notions of order and predictability. His details are seen as fundamental protagonists, continuously and randomly shaping our environment (physical, biological, technical, social, etc.).

In this sense The Revolt of the Detail should not be understood as the revolt of a system against another but rather as a characteristic disposition to resist any order. The two floor installations illustrate this idea. The first one (Detailing Stairs) starts the exhibition in a dialogue with the entrance to the gallery. Made with reams of paper arranged in a staircase manner and cut-out on the surface, the installation presents details as structural elements contributing to the durability of an architecture. This notion of immobility and sustainability is then challenged by the second installation (Mobile Quotes) located in the lower exhibition space. Composed of tiny pieces of coloured paper scattered on the floor, the installation is subject to the passage of visitors and favours the idea of movement and of ephemeral qualities. Its discovery is made by descending a staircase and looking to the ground, as if the visitor had to «zoom in» from a macro vision to a micro one in order to discover the contradiction between these two installations.

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Marco Maggi, La révolte du détail, exhibition view, Xippas Paris, September 4 — October 30, 2021. Photo: Frédéric Lanternier

The works seen on the walls (Detailing Red, Detailing White, Detailing Black, etc.) also create confusion. Incredibly complex, they interact with the installation on the ground and offer several readings. Are these satellite views of an archaeological site, cosmological representations or, on the contrary, are we facing the surface of a microscopic and technological reality?

There lies the singularity of Marco Maggi’s work who playfully revisits the history of abstraction while taking a critical look at our societies, obsessed with the mastery of details. In this sense, Detailing your Portrait, which reflects the exhibition room on its convex surface like a safety mirror, could serve as a warning: omnipresent, details are the fundamental protagonists of our environment, but their actions always escape our attempts to control.

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Marco Maggi, Detailing Your Portrait, 2020 Drypoint on convex mirror — Diameter : 66 cm Photo: Frédéric Lanternier; Courtesy of the artist and Xippas

Marco Maggi was born 1957 in Montevideo, Uruguay. He works and lives in New York City. He represented Uruguay for the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. His artworks are now part of many prestigious collections including the MoMA, the Whitney Museum and the Drawing Center (New York), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C) and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis).

  • Opening Saturday, September 4, 2021 3 PM → 8 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

108, rue Vieille du Temple

75003 Paris

T. 01 40 27 05 55 — F. 01 40 27 07 16

Saint-Sébastien – Froissart

Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday, 10 AM – 1 PM / 2 PM – 7 PM
Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM

The artist

  • Marco Maggi