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Paris: Piotr Łakomy

April 4 - June 16

Metamorphosis. Art in Europe Now - exhibition

“METAMORPHOSIS. ART IN EUROPE NOW”

Artists: Piotr Łakomy, Gabriel Abrantes, Magnus Andersen, Evgeny Antufiev, Charlie Billingham, Kasper Bosmans, Formafantasma, Benjamin Graindorge, Miryam Haddad, Klára Hosnedlová, Nika Kutateladze, Lap-See Lam, Kostas Lambridis, Kris Lemsalu, George Rouy, John Skoog, Tenant of Culture, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, Marion Verboom, Jonathan Vinel, Raphaela Vogel

From April 4 to June 16, 2019, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain presents Metamorphosis. Art in Europe Now, an exhibition that explores the diversity and vitality of the European artistic scene today. It includes 21 artists who hail from 16 countries and work in painting, sculpture, fashion, design, and video. The exhibition is accompanied by an ambitious Nomadic Nights program. Representing the first of a series of exhibitions on emerging art scenes organized by the Fondation Cartier, Metamorphosis celebrates a new generation of artists who embody the spirit of today’s and tomorrow’s Europe.

Over the course of a year, the Fondation Cartier led a vast research project that brought us to 29 countries all over the European continent, beyond the borders of the European Union. We met with over 200 artists selected from among the one thousand portfolios. This project began without any preconceived ideas or guiding principles and culminated in a deliberately restricted selection of some twenty artists in order to sufficiently showcase the work of each one.

Born between 1980 and 1994, these artists came to age after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in a continent marked by the recent upheavals that had profoundly redefined its contours. They are French, Georgian, Greek, Portuguese, British, or Polish. Most of them have studied or now live in a country other than their country of origin. One of the artists was even born outside Europe. Some, such as the Georgian artist Nika Kutateladze, are exhibiting their work for the first time outside their home country. Others, for example the Estonian Kris Lemsalu or Russian artist Evgeny Antufiev, have already attained recognition on an international level, but are presenting their work in a French institution for the first time.

The title of the exhibition was inspired by the theme of metamorphoses that underlies the work of the participating artists. Their aesthetics reveal an interest in hybridization, fragmentation, and collage. Drawing on memory, history and folklore, and embracing techniques such as casting, ceramics, and embroidery, they succeed in creating radically contemporary forms using often collected materials. French sculptor Marion Verboom creates a landscape of columns by assembling architectural elements from different time periods. Other artists propose more narrative works that fuse past, present, and future. Inspired by ancient and modern legends, the pictorial language of the Belgian painter Kasper Bosmans, brings to mind a coat of arms or a rebus. Swedish artist and film-maker John Skoogfollows a ritual procession of figures disguised in animal masks and costumes in Bade-Württemberg, Germany. In his series Regional Education, inspired by 18th century British rococo paintings, Danish painter Magnus Andersen captures the melancholy of teenagers torn between tradition and modernity. Looking back from the future, Swedish artist Lap-See Lam recounts a personal story of the Chinese diaspora in Sweden in a strangely painterly video. Finally, French film-maker Jonathan Vinel makes use of the possibilities offered by the videogame Grand Theft Auto V to portray a lonely young man whose family has suddenly disappeared, leaving him wandering in a hostile environment that is a distorted reflection of the contemporary city.

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