Matière Grise


Ceramic, painting, sculpture

Matière Grise

Past: June 10 → July 20, 2017

“_A colour solely exists through our eyes_”, Michel Pastoureau and Dominique Simonnet, Les couleurs expliquées en images, 2016

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to announce Matière Grise (Grey Matter), a group show with works by Glenn Brown, André Butzer, Jérémy Demester, Günther Förg, Loris Gréaud, Raymond Hains, Liz Larner, Navid Nuur,* Albert Oehlen*, Charline von Heyl and Edmund de Waal.

Matière Grise presents works in a variety of materials exploring various shades of grey that demonstrate the strong potential of this achromatic colour.

Changeable and mysterious, grey can express both a presence and an absence. The colour also allows for a variety of usages and interpretations. The relationship artists have to grey in their work can often disclose much about their sensibilities and intention.

Western art history for a while almost left grey aside despite the recourse to grisaille in ancient times. With regard to social representation, grey was seen at the end of the Middle Ages as the opposite of black and symbolised hope and happiness. The hue later often bore negative connotation in popular vernacular use, whether it be solitude, melancholy or sorrow.

Modern and contemporary art explore grey with closer attention. Early cubism investigates a fairly reduced palette with colours such as grey and brown for instance. Artists such as Joseph Beuys, Jasper Johns, Gerhard Richter or Albert Oehlen later extended this search.

Grey has a strong power of suggestion and also refers to positive references such as wisdom and knowledge. Goethe even considered grey as the origin of all other colours. It can actually be obtained not only from white and black but also from a mix of primary colours whose respective combination will determine the specific tone. Akin to black, grey absorbs light and thus emphasizes all the other colours around. It conveys a sense of harmony.

The neutrality that exudes from the use of grey allows for an experiment of forms but also a play with materials. We do not focus on colour but rather on materials and the works take on a new and deeper meaning.

04 Beaubourg Zoom in 04 Beaubourg Zoom out

46 & 57, rue du Temple

75004 Paris

T. 01 57 40 60 80

Official website

Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday, 10 AM – 6 PM
Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM

Venue schedule

The artists

  • Loris Gréaud
  • Raymond Hains
  • Günther Förg
  • Albert Oehlen
  • Charline von Heyl
  • Glenn Brown
  • André Butzer
  • Navid Nuur
  • Edmund De Waal
  • Liz Larner

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