Accademia di Francia a Roma – Villa Medici, Italy
The French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici is pleased presents Le Numerose Irregolarià (The Many Irregularities), an exhibition with Katharina Grosse and Tatiana Trouvé.
This is the fourth and last exhibition in the UNE cycle, originated by Muriel Mayette-Holtz and curated by Chiara Parisi. UNE is an ambitious project which, through artistic, intercultural and generational confrontation, has given rise to surprising collaborations and interconnections, providing a contemporary vision of the French Academy in Rome. Since February 2017, UNE has enabled unique encounters : Yoko Ono with Claire Tabouret; Elizabeth Peyton with Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin; Annette Messager and the “presence”of Balthus.
Starting from positions and styles seemingly very far apart, Katharina Grosse and Tatiana Trouvé have also created an unprecedented and unexpected dialogue for this cycle. Thanks to their respective projects, different but complicit and complementary, the two artists both born in the 1960s have shaken up the limits of space at the Villa Medici.
Katharina Grosse chose painting, understood as a membrane, as her main means of expression, while Tatiana Trouvé explores the infinite variables and possibilities offered by drawing : the unpredictable strength of colour intertwines with the power of seduction held by a decontextualized sculptural object. “A shared radicalism, founded on the idea of reversal, emerges from both of these artists,” writes Chiara Parisi in the exhibition catalogue. “In the case of Katharina Grosse, space in all of its forms is exalted by painting. Landscape is no longer hosted by the canvas, landscape becomes the pictorial surface. In the same way, Tatiana Trouvé produces unpredictable assemblages and associations. Thus, works are born whose starting point is concrete, but which cause us to lose the familiarity that we have with specific objects.
Immediately after, the visitor encounters the Tatiana Trouvé’s sculptures, that dialogue with the painted silk Untitled (2013/2018) by Katharina Grosse, also present in the first room.
The great gallery hosts Ingres Wood (2018) by Katharina Grosse. The artist, being unable to intervene directly on the Villa Medici’s architecture, used bits of tree trunk found in the Medici garden, coming from one of the recently cut-down great pines that Ingres had planted when he was director at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Katharina Grosse gives new life to this tree that disappears under her action, through unique inventions with colour. She reconfigures the environnement by bringing a part of the garden into the interior of the Villa and creates a temporary dislocation of the natural element. The staircase, under the domed ceiling, thus becomes the new abode of this century-old tree, whose branches bow on abundant drapery, covering the steps. This ensemble gives the sensation of being faced by one-on-one sensual struggle between the lines of the tree and the colors of the painting that the artist created in situ.
photo: KATHARINA GROSSE, Untitled, 2014 and 2018, Digital print on silk, Villa Medici, Rome, 2018
Photo: Alessandro Vasari, © 2018 Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn