Maison Fragiles : Hauser & Wirth




Eva Hesse : Inside 1 & Inside 2, 1967

Acrylic, papier-mache, sawdust, wood, cord, metal, paper box

Yesterday I visited the Hauser & Wirth exhibition “Maison Fragiles” an exhibition that explores the themes of fragility, vulnerability and protection in a variety of guises.

The artists included all share a common preoccupation with materiality. Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture entitled ” Maison Fragiles” confronts the deeply repressed issues of childhood trauma. For Bourgeois architecture functioned as a personification of the human condition.  The frailty of this  piece comments   on the tension between interior and exterior. The legs of the sculpture evoke the parameters of a house, while the empty interior reflects the solitude of domestic life. The structures are made in steel giving them a strength that appears lacking at first.

Eva Hesse’s papier mache boxes called Inside 1&2, 1967 have grey painted cord, wire and twine in the bottom. The smooth exterior contrast with the irregular interiors paralleling with the mind and body.

The work in this exhibition touched on themes of my own practice which is why I chose to see it. I felt slightly disappointed with the overall feel of the exhibition but resonated with the expressive qualities of the use of materiality by the artists. It has also made me aware of several artists such as Roni Horn and Fauste Melotti both of whom interested me.

Roni Horn ‘Two Pink Tons’ 2008, plays with the physical properties of glass. She explores themes of sameness and difference within her work.

Next door was a solo exhibition of the Italian artist Faboi Mauri where the artist confronts the experiences of being a soldier. He uses found objects such as a gas mask, a lamp, a compass and affixes them to impermeable sheets of iron, presented as a traditional painting on a canvas. This exhibition had more presence and coherence for me and again introduced me to an artist I was unaware of.

Afterwards I took myself to Shepherds a specialist paper shop where I bought several thin, transparent papers to explore and work on. This was the first time I had visited this shop and it was a true Alladins cave for paper!




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