Édouard NardonL’hiver en marcel
3, rue des Haudriettes 75003, PARIS
February 6 — March 12, 2016
Opening reception February 6, 6:30 PM
Lily Robert Gallery is pleased to announce L’hiver en marcel, (Winter in a Wife Beater), Édouard Nardon’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, on view February 6 – March 12, 2016. Nardon’s new body of work explores notions of temporal perspective and confinement. The paintings and sculptures were created in two places : the artist’s studio in New York, and Paris, where several objects have been conceived of off-site to be made in situ.
By abstracting motifs and objects into reconfigurations, Nardon’s sculptures formalize the analogies of a prison cell. Nardon accesses penitential austerity and transcends necessity by using the objects desired and imagined by a prisoner, as foundations to propose final structures that are released of their functional substance. The objects that come to fruition are things that exist in the free world, reinvented as behind-bars mutations of themselves, then compressed to the limit of their symbolic power. In the allegorical plane, Nardon draws parallels between the state of captivity and the iconography of the Hanged Man from the Tarot de Marseille. Depicting a figure suspended upside down from one foot, the Hanged Man’s facial expression is one of indifference. This uncanny resignation to one’s own submission illustrates an orbit with two possible atmospheres which in itself creates stasis. In classical cartomancy, the Hanged Man activates an assertion of the reading—suggesting an alternative understanding of past, present and future which allows the viewer to ponder various avenues of temporal interpretation.
Winter in a Wife Beater revels in the duality of artwork and out-of-context origins. Attempting to first ostracize, then situate back into, the world at large. Rather than position the viewer as a prisoner, the work facilitates observations that suggest the artifice of a prison, as well as the possible connections to be made within and beyond its walls. Many of Nardon’s objects occupy a mental space and relate to the notion of routine—especially that of someone held captive. Can routine dissolve substance? Nardon’s use of soap deftly reconciles the relationship between material, memory and temporal dimensions. For once a bar of soap has almost completely dissolved, it ceases to be an object and comes to embody an unaccounted-for passing of time.
The exhibit asks : to what degree is one’s imagination the product of their restraints? Nardon states that these works are, ‘not testimonials or free-forms, but pretexts to functionality that become proto-art objects.’ Appropriately, Édouard Nardon opens this exhibition with a sprawling sculpture, a large looming parachute engulfed in a cast of the artist’s foot. It is as though the bound foot of the Hanged Man has liberated itself, only to take the form of a sculpture, demonstrating the precarious position of escaping one space, but being stuck in another.
— Najib Bakchatti