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Bertrand Lavier

Phantoms at Atelier Hermès

Bertrand Lavier's work explores the codes of 20th-century art. Working in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp and the New Realists, he examines the function of language and ready-made in sculpture. Atelier Hermès presents his first solo exhibition in Asia.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Bertrand Lavier
© Kiyong NAM

Bertrand Lavier's exhibition Phantoms revisits the work of the renowned French artist over the past 30 years, taking the concept of ‘signature' as its central theme. As suggested by its title, this is a ‘haunted' show, conjuring the great names of 20th-century art – Frank Stella, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Piet Mondrian, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso – together with the anonymous creators of African tribal art, or contemporary design icon Mark Newson.

Investing the entire space of the Atelier, Lavier's installation opts for the accumulation of names and brands, rather than objects. His approach illustrates a ‘third way' in the interpretation of the ‘signature' concept: the exhibition is punctuated by sixteen pieces based on the reworking, transformation or recombination of existing works – a Stella drawing reworked in neon à la Dan Flavin, an IKEA table repainted in the style of Piet Mondrian, a bronze object inspired by an African sculpture, a series of paintings and sculptures evoking the world of Walt Disney and the comic strip. As the high priest of the metamorphosis of form and meaning, Bertrand Lavier's ‘Phantoms' offer an unexpected interpretation of art history, based on the artist's own, highly personal connections and perceptions.

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