It comes in waves brings together sixteen artists who explore the wave as a motif, a metaphor and a force. Whether it is through affective landscapes or conceptual and performative practices, the artists capture the moment when both thought and emotion take form. In an impressive show at Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, Paris Pantin, the wave is portrayed in many facettes as a recurring motif in the history of art, associated with such temporal notions as repetition and eternal recurrence.
The exhibition investigates these associations, as well as more contemporary themes of flux and liquidity – words that resonate today, as our perception of time and space becomes increasingly fluid.
The wave is linked to the birth of the modern. In the second half of the 19th century, artists such as Gustave Courbet and Gustave Le Gray chose to depict it as a subject in itself. The wave became a means to explore texture and movement, while its transitory nature challenged artists to render the instant when a shape emerges. The wave has thus also been a favoured object for the photographic eye, and its episodic nature encouraged artists to think in sequence, searching for different states of matter.
While the works on view differ in context and form, they are all informed by this genealogy. Each of them captures the flow of personal and collective emotions. Ideas of infinity, continuity and rupture are at play. Many artists have returned to certain themes in their practice, again and again. Memories surge into the pictorial plane. Time is pictured neither as a line, nor as a circle but as a wave.
The exhitbiion presents a large-scale landscape painting by Anselm Kiefer, never shown outside a museum context, as well as Wolfgang Laib’s site-specific installation Passageway. Inside-Downside (2011–12), alongside majors works by Miquel Barceló, Georg Baselitz, Rosemarie Castoro, Richard Deacon, Elger Esser, VALIE EXPORT, Justin Matherly, Sigmar Polke, Marc Quinn, Arnulf Rainer, Pat Steir, Not Vital and Lawrence Weiner.
IT COMES IN WAVES
THADDAEUS ROPAC GALLERY
THROUGH 29 SEPTEMBER