French conceptual artist Claude Closky is a difficult one to grasp but definitely an artist worth getting to know. Born in 1963 he was awarded the Prix Marcel Duchamp* in 2005 for his video installation Journal (the news), a collage of short extracts of world news with sound effects that consciously add to the confusion of the rapidly projected images. Closky generally likes to play with words, numbers and their visual representations in modern society – bar graphs and pie charts, for example, become the visual inspiration for eye-catching, monumental paintings. Using video, painting, collage, web sites, retouched magazine ads and other techniques, Closky’s work explores the fault lines between form, content and meaning.
You’ve got until October 16th to see his latest “landscape paintings” and word collages in his solo show “Lolali” at gallery Laurent Godin next to the Pompidou center.
* The Prix Marcel Duchamp or Marcel Duchamp Art Prize is awarded by ADIAF, an association of French collectors and other contemporary art players, who began this art prize ten years ago in the year 2000. The winner pockets €35,000 and gets the chance to exhibit in the “Espace 315” of the Centre Pompidou (which gets its name from the fact that it’s 315m2 big) the following year. This year’s winner Saâdane Afif, another interesting conceptual artisted and represented by gallery Michel Rhein, just opened his show at the Pompidou which is on from September 15th 2010 to January 3rd, 2011. (Not sure it’s the best show I’ve ever seen, but the artist is interesting)
The idea of the Prix Marcel Duchamp is to promote French art both nationally and internationally and they’re doing all they can to improve its visibility which so far lags way behind Britain’s prestigious Turner Prize. Last year’s Duchamp’s vintage of 4 nominees, for example, are on show at the Shanghai World Fair until November of this year. Even nominees who don’t win benefit from the additional publicity. Didier Marcel, a 2008 nominee who lost against Laurent Grasso, for example, has a solo show starting at the musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAMVP) on October 8th this year.