INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Art Daily FEBRUARY 28, 2014 - by Ingrid Luquet-Gad
EXHIBITION OF NEW WORKS BY XAVIER VEILHAN OPENS AT GALERIE PERROTIN IN NEW YORK
Galerie Perrotin presents Music, a double exhibition of new works by Xavier Veilhan, held simultaneously in the gallery's New York and Paris locations. It is the artist's seventh solo exhibition with the gallery.
Since the 1990's, Xavier Veilhan has developed a multi-form approach to sculpture, painting, performance, video and photography. Gaining international recognition with his 2009 exhibition at the Château de Versailles in France, recent projects in the US include site-specific exhibitions in Los Angeles in 2012-2013 (Sheats-Goldstein Residence, VDL Research House, Case Study House n°21), Jean-Marc (2012) installed in Manhattan's Midtown and Le Corbusier (2013), a large-scale bust of the architect now permanently installed in Miami's Design district. Known primarily for his figurative sculptures, Xavier Veilhan has developed his own formal vocabulary, often reinterpreting classical sculptural and architectural elements with the aid of high technology.
In the New York gallery, the artist pays direct homage to the music producers who are responsible for creating the soundtrack of our time. Producers is a series of sculptures modeled from 3D scans and rendered in a variety of materials, from wood to metal. Similar to his 2009 series The Architects presented in Versailles, the statues of producers, which include renderings of Brian Eno, Nigel Godrich, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, Quincy Jones, Giorgio Moroder, The Neptunes (Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams), Lee "Scratch" Perry, Rick Rubin and Philippe Zdar, among others, stand together to form Xavier Veilhan's personal pantheon. In contrast to the majority of his previous portraits however, Producers are more detailed and realistic, indicating a move in his work towards more life-like renderings. Alongside Producers, the New York space features a monumental mobile, Mobile (Music)/, composed of thirty floating spheres, as well as several smaller mobiles, which evoke the music created by the producers. Although in previous projects (such as collaborations with Sebastien Tellier, AIR, or French composer, Eliane Radigue) Xavier Veilhan employed music for its durational and theatrical effects, the present show marks the first time the artist takes music itself for his central theme.
In the Paris space, several Producers are embedded in a larger selection of works, giving way to a more general consideration of how auditory experiences can be translated into images. The exhibition also includes an extensive selection of new works devoted to Xavier Veilhan's musical performance, SYSTEMA OCCAM (a silent visual prelude to OCCAM I, the harp piece by Eliane Radigue interpreted by Rhodri Davies), recently presented at New York's Florence Gould Hall as part of the Crossing The Lines festival (2013). Eliane Radigue is represented in Paris by a small statue, shown alongside sculpted busts, oil paintings, lithophanes and lithography prints, as well as a LED light machine that replays scenes from the performance, exploring the transposition of choreographic gestures from one setting to another. Additionally, a new work investigates the idea of the pedestal and the plinth as integral components of the work: statues inspired by postures from SYSTEMA OCCAM are exhibited on a hybrid piece of furniture reminiscent of Renaissance furniture and Breton calvary, while also recalling Donald Judd's minimalist sculptures.
In both locations, Xavier Veilhan offers us visual translations and representations of our auditory environment and the people responsible for its production. In so doing, he makes visible our hypermodern and increasingly artificial aural world, which, without intervention, can often go unnoticed and unconsidered. The central tension of the show can be summed up like this: sometimes in order to listen, it helps to see. With Music, the artist provides a visual reminder that our lives are suffused with sounds of our own design.