press release

Opening night Friday 20 February 6-9pm On the evening of the opening, a free shuttle will leave Paris (Place de la République, Metro République, exit Rue du Temple) at 7:00pm. Return to Paris: 9:30pm. No reservation required, seating subject to availability.

“On the Surface of the Infinite” explores the connections between abstraction and the imaginary dimension through work – created especially for the exhibition or being shown for the first time in France – by five European artists: Becky Beasley, Etienne Chambaud, Graham Gussin, Hugo Pernet and Kathrin Sonntag. Taking as starting point a major video installation created in 2001 by British artist Graham Gussin, the exhibition embraces different forms – painting, collage, sculpture, slideshow, photography and video – in five separate spaces, as each artist engages dialogue through a distinctly personal approach.

Whether suggestive of a theory about the geometry of the universe or simply of a science fiction novel, the exhibition’s title immediately asserts the narrative and imaginative scope of the twenty-five works gathered together here. More than connections between the hereafter and the world of appearances, “On the Surface of the Infinite” proposes a possible artistic link between two contradictory terms: infinity, a space-time historically infused with romanticism, and surface, which suggests the perceived coldness of Minimalism.

In a reassessment of a history of abstraction stretching from monochrome to the forms of Minimalist sculpture, the works in the exhibition certainly include "surfaces", but their apparent opacity is in marked contrast with their evocative power. At once closed and open, they take on a kind of silence which renders them all the more mysterious. Like any work of art, they espouse a degree of hermeticism, which opens them up to a range of interpretations.

Becky Beasley's works take the form of boxes or shelves whose content, replaced by a bottomless, black, reflective surface, remains to be imagined. In Graham Gussin's work, monochrome becomes a screen, encouraging mental projection, while for Hugo Pernet it heralds a possible image to come after a conjectured end of painting. Etienne Chambaud creates tautologies that repeatedly reinterpret his own drafts and works, and Kathrin Sonntag builds images within images out of photographic archives and everyday objects whose abstract quality signals a kind of strangeness.

Their contemporary character means that these works deliberately bring the infinite to the surface, that is to say to form – to the level of appearances in the real world. However taking this surface as an integral element of the work in no way reduces its scope. An opaque border, the surface can also mutate into a screen, a mirror or a black hole. Made of such “loaded” abstractions, “what we see” opens out on to fresh perceptions.

On the Surface of the Infinite

Künstler: Becky Beasley, Etienne Chambaud, Graham Gussin, Hugo Pernet, Kathrin Sonntag