Marie Denis — Lucy


Installation, sculpture, mixed media

Marie Denis

Past: April 6 → May 11, 2013

For “Lucy”, her third solo show at Alberta Pane Gallery, Marie Denis has chosen to present new large format sculptures. But who is Lucy? Our ancestor, of course, that Australopithecus afarensis, the first woman, the first lady… On this occasion the gallery will turn into a place of birth, of origins, of a beginning. It is also a metaphor for an impossible acquaintance, for the difficulty — impossibility even? — to transfer any knowledge of reality. A reality transformed into knowledge, on which Marie Denis has focused before in some sort of curiosity chambers — exhibition designs that could so suitably be described by the term “Wunderkammer”, i.e. “Chamber of Wonders”. Contrary to the exuberance of these previous exhibitions, the gallery now presents a return to “primary”, or “primal”, pieces, touching the origin of things, of life. The sculptures of Marie Denis lead us to the very soul of objects (for Marie Denis, every object has a soul) that is disclosed by her creations’ sheer force. L’œuf gigogne* (The Nesting Egg) in its exaggerated dimensions is made from acacia, lime tree and walnut; it appears as a symbol of birth and every source of life, but also as a pure sculpture of exceptional beauty. Le cheval (The Horse) is an animist piece that wakes our forgotten primal instincts. Les cigarettes russes (The Russian Cigarettes) is the output of a botanist’s work, materialising and reifying plants. Nue, (La grappe de raisin*) empty without any grapes, is a biomorphic sculpture that evokes an ancient and primitive way of life. Marie Denis holds a peculiar interest in the vegetal and mineral world; she has a great sense of materiality and of the materiel to which she introduces a second meaning, a new life.

Marie Denis is fascinated by crafts and everyday objects that she transforms, transmutes and modifies, according to her own universe and her personal pantheon. To deconstruct, shatter, and recreate; the artist ceaselessly reinvents herself, ever searching to sublimate the matter’s creative potential. From a baby’s sponge to “Les galets de René”, she reinvents the object and works with its basic constituents. In this new exhibition, Marie Denis presents her personal definition of a sculpture that is at the same time personal, poetic and truly contemporary.

A critical text by Leo Lecci accompanies the exhibition.

(Leo Lecci is professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Genoa and the author of numerous critical texts on the art of the 19th and 20th century, that have been published in books and journals worldwide. He has recently contributed to “The History of 20th Century Art”, edited in several volumes by Skira ed. in English and Italian language.)

*"Aide à la création 2011" for the sculpture L’œuf gigogne (The Nesting Egg), made in collaboration with Kamila Régent and the cabinetmaker Antonni Kruczek. Nue (La grappe de raisin) was made in collaboration with Kamila Régent, Isabelle des Ligneris and cabinetmaker/sculptor Andrzej Wrona.
  • Opening Saturday, April 6, 2013 5 PM → 9 PM
Alberta Pane Gallery Gallery
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The artist