New York, NY–Dia Art Foundation presents Opus + One, the first comprehensive museum exhibition in North America devoted to the work of Paris-based artist Jean-Luc Moulène. Commissioned by Dia, Opus + One will comprise objects and images created over the past two decades and will be on view at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, in New York’s Hudson Valley for one year. Organized by Dia curator Yasmil Raymond in collaboration with the artist, the exhibition additionally includes a new work commissioned for the Dan Flavin Art Institute, in Bridgehampton, NY, and a major publication. A reception for Jean-Luc Moulène will be held at Dia:Beacon on Saturday, December 17, 2011, from 2–4 pm.
Opus + One unites two bodies of work: over thirty-five objects from the ongoing series Opus (1995¬–present), and the monumental photographic essay La Vigie (2004–2011). The title derives from the Latin word Opus, which Moulène designates as the encompassing term for his three-dimensional work. The suffix, “+ One” comes from the notation of recurrence in mathematics, yet it also reflects Moulène’s interest in the idioms of advertising and capitalist tactics, as well as his conception of the viewer as a hypothetical consumer.
In the Opus series, Moulène employs a diverse selection of natural and manufactured materials—bronze, cardboard, cement, fiberglass, and wood, among others—to construct a range of three-dimensional forms, some handmade and some industrially manufactured. Several works within the group resemble a scale model or maquette in their pragmatism and unfinished quality, while others are life-size references to the human body or animal organs. Taken together, Opus undoes predictable classifications of figuration and abstraction and complicates the viewer's impulse to search for representational or metaphorical identity in objects.
La Vigie centers on a single subject: the persistent Paulownia Tomentosa, which grows in the cracks of sidewalk and buildings throughout the Parisian urban landscape. Comprising 299 photographs, printed in color and in black and white, the series chronicles the evolving appearance of the plant over seven years, as well as an array of quotidian incidents that transpire in the neighborhood that surrounds the French Ministry for the Economy, Industry, and Employment where the plant grows. La Vigie reveals an ever-shifting landscape, including the physical evidence of antiterrorism vigilance, and demonstrates Moulène’s interest in politics and strategies of resistance. It also reflects the important role that photography plays in the artist’s practice as a method of surveying and annotating, and extends his investigations on the classification, production, and circulation of images and objects.
Recognized for his meticulous and eclectic creative output, Moulène moves fluidly between three-dimensional work, photography, drawing, and printed matter. His career cannot be easily divided into periods or a single narrative but rather can be conceived, as he has said, as “one continuous performance” in which the reality of his surroundings are collected, rearranged, and reframed. Dia’s exhibition will reveal the wide-ranging nature of his practice, as well as the diverse aesthetic strategies that he has adopted over the years. As Raymond states, “Moulène’s multidisciplinary practice, which spans over three decades, has focused on reinventing the visual language of art. By freeing it from consensus and literalness, his definition of art carries objectives beyond art itself.”
Dia’s exhibition advances its legacy of commissioning projects and exhibitions from midcareer artists that encourage significant explorations in new directions within the artist’s practice. It continues in the spirit of the program presented by Dia in New York City from 1987–2004, and projects by artists including: Robert Gober (1992–93); Katarina Fritsch (1993–94); Jessica Stockholder (1995–96); Thomas Schütte (1998–99); Rosemarie Trockel (2002–2004); and Pierre Huyghe (2003–2004), among others. It also follows the commissioning of major new works shown at Dia:Beacon by Vera Lutter (2005–6); An-My Lê (2006-2008); Tacita Dean (2008); Zoe Leonard (2008–11); and Koo Jeong A (2010–11).
The Dan Flavin Art Institute
Opus + One includes a concurrent presentation of newly commissioned wall objects, Monochromes/Samples (2011), that are on view in the Dan Flavin Art Institute’s special exhibition gallery.
A major publication designed by Marc Touitou will be made in conjunction with Opus + One. A diverse group of authors will address specific subjects in Moulène’s work through fiction, nonfiction, and art historical texts. Writers include art historians Briony Fer and Thomas McDonough, author and curator Corinne Diserens, poet Manuel Joseph, author and artist Jalal Toufic, exhibition curator Yasmil Raymond, and Dia director Philippe Vergne.
Perspectives from the Curator at Dia:Beacon
Walk-through of Opus + One with Yasmil Raymond
Sunday, March 11, 2012, 2 pm
Dia:Beacon, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY
Gallery Talk at Dia:Beacon
Eva Respini on Jean-Luc Moulène
Saturday, March 31, 2012, 2 pm
Dia:Beacon, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY
Artists on Artists Lecture at Dia:Chelsea
Akram Zaatari on Jean-Luc Moulène
Monday, April 30, 2012, 6:30 pm
Dia:Chelsea, 535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor, New York City
Conversations at Dia:Beacon
Jean-Luc Moulène in conversation with Yasmil Raymond
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 2 pm
Dia:Beacon, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY
Opus + One is made possible by Dia’s Commissioning Committee: Jill and Peter Kraus, Leslie and Mac McQuown, Genny and Selmo Nissenbaum, and Liz Gerring Radke and Kirk August Radke. Additional support has come from Etant donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art (a program of FACE), Cesar Cervantes, Aaron and Barbara Levine, Lisa Schiff, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency. Special thanks to Galerie Chantal Crousel, Thomas Dane Gallery, and Galerie Greta Meert.
Born in 1955, Jean-Luc Moulène studied aesthetics and the sciences of art at the Sorbonne University in Paris. He participated in Documenta 10 (1997), ARC / Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1997), the Sao Paulo Biennial (2002), the Venice Biennial (2003), Taipei Biennial (2004), and most recently the First International Biennial of the Image, Luang Prabang, Laos (2007) and the Sharjah Biennial (2011). Among the institutions that have presented solo exhibitions of his work are Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève (2003), CCA, Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu (1998, 2004), Jeu de Paume, Paris (2005), Musée du Louvre, Paris (2005), DAAD Galerie, Berlin (1996), Culturgest, Lisbon (2007), and Carré d’art-Musée d’art contemporain, Nîmes (2009).
Moulène’s work has been included in group exhibitions at: Witte de With, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Rotterdam (1990, 2003), ARC / Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1991, 2000), Ein Harod, Israel (1993), Le Magasin, Grenoble (1995), Museum in Progress, Vienna (1996), Grey Art Gallery, New York (1997), Villa Médici, Rome (1999), Yokohama Museum of Art (2000), Triennale de Milano (2001), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2001), Ottawa Art Gallery (2001), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2002), Musée des Beaux Arts de Nantes (2002), Le Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse (2003), De Appel, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2004), Grand Palais, Paris (2006), Landesmuseum Joanneum GmbH Kunsthaus, Graz (2007), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2011, 2007), Kunstverein Nürnberg, Nuremberg (2010), CAC Brétigny, Brétigny-sur-Orge (2011) and MuMa, Le Havre (2011). Moulène currently lives and works in Paris.
Dia Art Foundation
A nonprofit institution founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is renowned for initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects. Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York, on the banks of the Hudson River as the home for Dia’s distinguished collection of art from the 1960s to the present. The museum, which occupies a former Nabisco printing factory, features major installations of works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half century, as well as special exhibitions, new commissions, and diverse public and education programs. Dia:Chelsea is located on West 22nd Street in the heart of New York City’s gallery district which it helped to pioneer. Currently open for artist lectures and readings, Dia is developing plans to expand its presence in Chelsea.
Dia also maintains long-term, site-specific projects. These include Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) (1988), and Dan Flavin’s untitled (1996), in Manhattan; The Dan Flavin Art Institute, in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977), in Kassel, Germany; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), in the Great Salt Lake, Utah; and De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977), in Quemado, New Mexico. For additional public information, visit www.diaart.org.
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