Magazine article Artforum International

Claude Closky

Magazine article Artforum International

Claude Closky

Article excerpt

MAISON LEVANNEUR

When Maison Levanneur, the Centre National de l'Estampe et de l'Art Imprime, was transformed into an exhibition space for contemporary art, its new director, Sylvie Boulanger, set out to create a program dedicated to recent work that has something to do, at least in part, with printed art, thereby respecting the center's original mission. Each exhibition is the occasion for the printing of a work or an edition by a contemporary artist.

For "Tatouages" (Tattoos), the recent exhibition by French artist Claude Closky, the walls of the space were covered with various wallpapers. Some of them--Sans titre (cosmetiques) and Sans titre (marabout), both 1997--were already well known, while others, Sans titre (tatouages) and Sans titre (supermarche) were conceived expressly for this show. In the wallpaper that gives the exhibition its title, black curved lines form ornate designs that seem to become endlessly entangled. The supermarche (supermarket) wallpaper, inspired by the visuals of grocery-store ad inserts, features rows of photographed products and their boldly marked prices. By proposing this zero-degree, supermarket aesthetic as a backdrop for our interiors, Closky undermines the semiotics of advertising. The repetition of images from cosmetic ads or promotional offers across a seemingly endless surface dilutes their visual impact and the desire that advertisements are meant to elicit, bringing these representations back to what they truly a re (and what the advertisement hopes to mask): namely, signs of objects that are anything but exclusive. …

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