French Kiss

Group Show curated by Rob Wynne

25/05 > 13/07 2007
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view




Group show including June Anderson, James Brown, Trisha Brown, Niki de Saint Phalle, Marina Karella, Elisabeth Kley, Jane Kaplowitz, Alex Katz, Deborah Kass, Sherrie Levine, Jim McBride, Jack Pierson, Man Ray, Joan Mitchell, Seton Smith, Joey Kotting, Sturtevant, Lawrence Weiner, Tabboo!, William Wegman, Laurie Simmons, Ellsworth Kelly, Nan Goldin, Rachel Feinstein, Mike Bidlo, Jonathan Seliger, Ralph Gibson, Alexander Ruas, Gwenn Thomas, Patrick Kelly, Sophie Matisse, Andy Warhol.

The exhibition FRENCH KISS will focus on a range of (mostly) American artists who  have been influenced by, or have appropriated images from French art and culture. An anonymous photograph of  the author Romaine Brooks and the salonist and expat Natalie Barney sets the tone, and then beginning with a photograph of Henry Miller by Man Ray, the exhibition will sweep from 1920 until today.


Included will be a print by Joan Mitchell and a  botanical Ellsworth Kelly (after Matisse). The impact of appropriated imagery will be shown with pieces by Sturtevant (after Martial Raysse)  Mike Bidlo (Duchamp's Air de Paris), Sherrie Levine's Cadeau after Man Ray, a Deborah Kass portrait of Gertrude Stein (after Warhol), and Sophie Matisse's recreation of Man Ray's Heure De L'observatoire without the lips.. A large 1972 pencil drawing of Yves St. Laurent by Warhol will point back to the influence of fashion, bouncing off a splendid Patrick Kelly Eiffel Tower Dress from the 1980's. Lawrence Weiner and Jack Pierson focus on language, while cinema is represented by Jim McBride's subversive re-make of BREATHELESS (1983). The Parisian landscape is the subject of William Wegman's painted and collaged interpretation of the Arc de Triumphe. Alex Katz's Man with Pipe brings the influential French critic Pierre Martory back to life, while sculpture is represented by James Brown's rarely seen bronze rendition of an 18th century French table with a Brancusi base inverted on its top. Drawings include Trisha Brown's sketch of her feet (drawn with her feet) from a series done in Marseille, a seminal dog drawing by Joan Jonas, of a French poodle, and  Dorothea Tanning's watercolor riff on Boucher with puttis in the clouds, and Elisabeth Kley's demonic portrait of Chanel. Jane Kaplowitz zooms in on Hitchcock with her reference to To Catch A Thief, and Rachel Fienstein's baroque portrait of faded aristocracy rhymes with Tabboo's floral tribute to Marie Antoinette. There will be photographs by Ralph Gibson, Nan Goldin, Laurie Simmons, Alexander Ruas, Marina Karella, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Seton Smith.


A subliminal recording of French Opera arias sung by the cult soprano June Anderson will provide a soundtrack for the exhibition, and to frame the intensity of this Franco-American interaction,there will be a shelf of books by authors including Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Kay Boyle, Djuna Barnes, Janet Flanner, Edmund White, Julia Child, James Baldwin, MFK Fisher and John Ashbery --  just a few of the many Americans influenced by France.


Rob Wynne