Barbara Chase-Riboud: Avatars at Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, La Verrière, September 25 – December 5, 2020
For the fifth exhibition in the cycle “Matters of Concern | Matières à panser” at La Verrière, the Brussels art space of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, curator Guillaume Désanges presents “Avatars”, a solo exhibition by American artist Barbara Chase-Riboud.
“Based in Paris since 1960, American artist Barbara Chase-Riboud has developed a career of extraordinary creativity and productivity, as a novelist, poet, sculptor and draughtswoman, investing each practice with the same intensity, and always to universal acclaim. In the field of visual art, she is noted for her imposing series of bronze sculptures with ropes of silk or wool, drawing on a vast spectrum of sources from modernist abstraction to classical statuary, textiles, baroque art and vernacular African or Oceanian sculpture. The strange, faceless figures – part totems, fetish-figures or monuments – are forged from intricate combinations of materials that generate a subtle interplay of sheen, opacity and chromatic density enshrined in the ‘flesh’ of the material itself. Created partly by chance, partly by necessity, the striking combination of crumpled metal and minutely detailed woven components imbues the figures with a stylistic ambiguity reminiscent of Louise Nevelson, Barbara Hepworth, John Chamberlain, or certain works by Terry Adkins, not forgetting Auguste Rodin, Umberto Boccioni or Alberto Giacometti. Barbara Chase-Riboud is a free spirit, guided by intuition, by her own desires and impulses, and by the possibilities of her raw materials, working outwith the strictures of an overly circumscribed aesthetic or theoretical programme. Her gestures are directed by the acuity of her gaze and the physicality of things, taking a chance on the capacity of form to ‘realise’ itself. The resulting, hybrid sculptural forms combine elegance and savagery, power and fragility, stasis, presence and mobility.” — From the text by Guillaume Désanges