Marian Goodman Gallery

Annette Messager:
Continents Noirs/ Black Continents, 2010-2012
Et range ta chambre / And clean up your room, 2007-2009

Annette Messager:
Continents Noirs/ Black Continents, 2010-2012
Et range ta chambre / And clean up your room, 2007-2009

Tuesday, June 26, 2012Friday, August 24, 2012


New York, NY USA

Opening reception: Tuesday, June 26th, 6-8 p.m.

Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Annette Messager which will open on Tuesday, June 26th and will be on view through August 24th, 2012.

The exhibition will include a series of works created between 2007 and 2012, including two large scale installations Continents Noirs (Black Continents), 2010-12 and Et range ta chambre (And clean up your room), 2007-2009 as well as a series of “Chance” drawings which will be shown in the North Gallery Viewing Room. In this exhibition, Messager’s role as inventive collector and bricoleur of daily life in the practice of making sculpture transforms and takes on new forms as her works move from the dark whimsy of the domestic and familial to the illusory world of sci-fi invention and Swiftian imagination. In both, she presents a glimpse at an unseen, fossilized world.

In the North Gallery, Continents Noirs, 2010-2012, is poised in suspension in the space, hung from the ceiling and viewable from below. Both phantasm and fantasy, it appears as a spatial landscape floating and suspended in the air like a metaphysical city in which the elements appear black, carbonized, and subterranean. In presenting a dark, petrified topography of the intelligible and the unfathomable, Messager offers her reflection on, as Catherine Grenier writes ‘engulfed childhood’s world and its hope… Wrapping up objects or shaping up forms in black metallic paper, she composes and assembles an atlas of daily life creating a fossilized world”.

Catherine Grenier continues: “The compilation of these tens of fossils engender two large installations. “Black Continents” is inspired from an episode of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’: the moment when he is welcomed to a flying island, an insular microcosm which travels in the air. The artist creates several ‘islands’ suspended into space, where a conglomerate of objects and architectural forms are pressing on to the surface. The choice for these architectural forms either conical or abstract in their shape makes one think of the metaphysical world of de Chirico or the allegorical archaism of Carra. But the surface evenly black and prismatic aspect of the objects as the absence of any organic or human presence bring closer the gigantic crystallization of small islands and bring us down to the abyss of an underground mineral world.”

In the South Gallery, the installation Et range ta chambre (And clean up your room), 2007-2009, consists of numerous elements grouped around three main series of works: in one section, black cords are suspended on two walls on which are pinned badges featuring original drawings by the artist; in another area, various objects made in skaï, including miniature cars, furniture, beds, dolls, abandoned toys, and other elements of an untidy room, are set against the architectural element of the outline of a house and a large tree assuming the absence of attendant characters; and finally, a third element includes abstract forms which drape and hang in the space.

Of this work the artist writes: For the last two years, during the day, in the evening, in rooms everywhere on small pieces of paper I have been sketching, writing words, placing photos, drawing, which I have then used to make badges. For a long time I kept more than a thousand badges on the floor in a sort of joyful disorder… I have always liked pins, badges; they travel with us pinned to our clothes, our bags, or bodies: asserting our identity, differentiating us from others or indicating social or political ideas. Now most of my badges are fixed to black ropes and evenly pinned to the wall; either fixed to bundles of fabric to various objects, or waiting in cardboard boxes. At the same time, the other elements made in black skaï, have been added to these badges, objects without age, without use, suspended or left on the ground, little cars, beds, broken puppets, for an untidy room.” (Annette Messager, 2009).

This Fall, Annette Messager will have a solo retrospective exhibition at the Musee d'art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg in France which will open in October 2012 through February 2013. Upcoming projects include a retrospective at K20 Kunstsammlung Nordhein Westfalen, Dusseldorf, and a solo exhibition to be presented at the MCA Sydney, both scheduled for 2014.

Currently her work “Sous Vent” can be seen in the collection of K21 Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, where it was currently on view in the permanent collection. She is included in a number of current exhibitions: Les Maitres du Désordre, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris (through July 29th); La Triennale, Paris in Intense Proximity, at Le Palais de Tokyo (through August 26, 2012) ; and ARTandPRESS, Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin through June 24th, 2012. Recent group exhibitions include This will have been : Art, Love and Politics in the 1980s, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Behind the Curtain : the Aesthetics of the PhotoBooth, Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne; and Of Toys and Men, Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki.

Important solo exhibitions of her work have been seen at Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Museo Amparo in Puebla, Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City; Multimedia Complex of Actual Arts, Moscow; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Heyward Gallery, London; EMMA Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; and Center Pompidou, Paris. In 2005, Annette Messager represented France in the 51st International Exhibition Venice Biennale with her large scale installation Casino, which received the honor of Lion d’Or for the best pavillon.

Forthcoming publications of the artist’s work will include an updated monograph Annette Messager by Catherine Grenier, first published in 2001 by Flammarion, which will be released in September 2012; a book for the retrospective exhibition scheduled for Strasbourg in October 2012; as well as a new and as yet untitled artist’s book devoted to the badges of Messager, edition Dilecta. She is currently at work on an artist's book, created in collaboration with the author Jean-Phillipe Toussaint, to be published by The Museum of Modern Art's Library Council, in 2013. The book will include reproductions of a postcard correspondence between the artist and the author--as well as a series of original digital prints by Messager that present a woman's intensely imagined, highly fictional, version of the liaison.

Please join us at an opening reception for the artist on Tuesday, June 26th, from 6-8 pm.