Contemporary Art in Paris

Mike Kelly – Half a Man

In the heart of the Pinault Fondation in Paris, where the wild currents of artistic creativity collide, two remarkable exhibitions have left a certain mark on me. These retrospectives offer a personal journey into the worlds of two influential artists, Mike Kelley and Lee Lozano, who have challenged the notion of modern art.

Mike Kelley‘s exhibition is a captivating odyssey through the mind of an artistic visionary. His work defies categorization, much like the enigmatic Pinault Fondation itself. Kelley’s creations, from darkly humorous hand-made sculptures to thought-provoking installations, delve into the complexities of our lives. He uses stuffed animals and surreal concepts to challenge the gender and consumer conditioning that we inherit from a young age. “Ghost and Spirit” the centerpiece of this retrospective, unveils a sequence of Kelley’s works, from the mesmerizing Kandors to revealing glimpses of his creative process.

Mike Kelley was a true artist, constantly exploring the blurred lines between critical thinking and pop aesthetics. He fearlessly examined themes like memory, gender, and societal structures, leaving an enduring legacy for future artists. His belief that a spirit endures, even if a ghost fades, echoes in the exhibition, a testament to his lasting influence.

As you traverse the halls of the Bourse de Commerce, you’re transported into Kelley’s artistic evolution. From the continuous screening of “Day Is Done” to a chronological exploration of his themes, this exhibition is a celebration of the irrational and the boundless creativity of the human spirit.

The “Strike” exhibition, dedicated to Lee Lozano, is another puzzling journey into the world of an artist who defied conventions. It’s a rebellion against the norm. Lozano’s career, spanning from 1960 to 1972, challenged the dominating forces of pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art, while maintaining a radical spirit that left an indelible mark.

Lee Lozano‘s work fiercely critiques the art world’s discrimination and its male-dominated, market-driven motivations. Her logic of refusal becomes a central aspect of her identity, blurring the lines between art and life. The exhibition is thoughtfully adapted to the unique space of the Bourse de Commerce.

Lee Lozano, a pioneering figure in the New York art scene of the ’60s and ’70s, made bold choices that eventually led to her withdrawal from the art world for a decade.

These exhibitions invite us to explore the boundless possibilities of human expression, just as the artists did in their time. So, if you’re passionate about modern art, I advise you to visit the Pinault Fondation in Paris. Let go of your need for comprehension – this is mandatory – and let the artistic madness sweep you into a world where the absurd and the profound converge, where artistic boundaries cease to exist.

Mira Schor – Moon Room

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