News
Othoniel Filters Studio Projects

News

Current exhibitions, projects and events

Géométries Amoureuses

June - September 2017, CRAC de Sète / Carré Sainte-Anne de Montpellier

Géométries Amoureuses

June - September 2017, CRAC de Sète / Carré Sainte-Anne de Montpellier

Discover more

Géométries Amoureuses

CRAC de Sète / Carré Sainte-Anne de Montpellier
6/10/17 - 9/24/17
Press kit

Until Sept 24, two simultaneous monographic exhibitions dedicated to Jean-Michel Othoniel will be presented at the Centre régional d’art contemporain Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée (Regional centre for contemporary art), in Sète, and the Carré Sainte-Anne, contemporary art space of the city of Montpellier.

Under the title “Géométries Amoureuses” (Geometries in Love), this double event shows several facets of the artist’s work through some sixty sculptures, a dozen paintings and over a hundred works on paper. The title brings together the dualities that characterize the work of Othoniel: sensuality and rigor, the hidden and revealed, wounds and beauties.

The Centre régional d’art contemporain in Sète – a former industrial wasteland rehabilitated as an art centre – and the Carré Saint-Anne, Montpellier’s contemporary art space, both open their spaces to make the work of the artist resonate with the specific character and charm of each place.

The CRAC in Sète presents an exhibition composed of monumental, previously unseen works. Inspired by the forms and shapes of nature, this exhibition treads a path close to a radical, monochrome and abstract architecture. These new works – made up of glass, mirror, metal, ink or obsidian – show the evolution in the artist’s work since his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in 2011.

On the ground floor, the exhibition begins with a colossal 6-meter-high and 15-meter-long wave, consisting of more than ten thousand of black glass bricks. Specifically conceived for the location, this work echoes the first photograph taken in Sète in 1857 by Gustave Le Gray, titled The Great Wave. In the following rooms, the visitor will discover for the first time mysterious meteorites in obsidian – a black stone that originates in volcanic lava – as well as a series of unseen works, made on canvas and titled Black Lotus, surrounding sculptures of the same name. The last rooms of the exhibition bear witness to the violence of the elements, represented by a series of gigantic steel tornadoes suspended in space, and a flower, The Wild Pansy¸ a large knot of colored-glass beads – a tribute to the freedom of thought.

On the first floor, a hundred drawings, similar to a large travel diary made between 1996 and 2017, reveal the artist’s thought process and the genesis of many of his works.

This project creates an œuvre that establishes itself in close relation with Sète and the architecture of the art centre.

Curator: Noëlle Tissier


The Carré Sainte-Anne of the city of Montpellier presents some fifty works by Jean-Michel Othoniel, taken from his personal collection. For Othoniel, collecting one’s own works corresponds to a desire to escape from the world. By deciding to publicly display a part of himself, the artist shows the emotional ambivalence at the heart of his work. The works exhibited, dear to the artist, have been preserved by him since the 1990s, the time when he began to take interest in the use of glass. They are brought together in an installation specifically conceived for the Carré Sainte-Anne.

At the centre of the Carré Sainte-Anne, the artist chose to present Le Contrepet, the founding work of this passion, made in 1992. Organized around this fragment of body made of obsidian, the installation reflects the other key moments in Othoniel’s artistic journey.

From the Collier Cicatrice in red Murano glass, to the forbidden fruits of the Peggy Guggenheim garden in Venice, to the Bannières from his exhibition at the Fondation Cartier and the Géométrie amoureuse  in the Mesopotamian room of the Louvre Museum, these historical works are suspended, floating above a floor of blue bricks made with Indian glassmakers from Firozabad.

This exhibition allows the public an insight into the intimacy the artist maintains with his creations. He reveals why he chose to treasure and hold onto these works for the past fifteen years.

Curator: The Friends of the Musée Fabre
Art director: Numa Hambursin

Find out about

The Studio

Discover more

Find out about

Commissions

Discover more

Find out about

Curriculum Vitae

Discover more