press release

From the 16th December 2016 to the 4th February 2017, Art : Concept will present La Perle , a group exhibition featuring works by Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski de Rola, 1908 Paris 1908 – 2001 Rossinière), Ulla von Brandenburg (1974, Karlsruhe), Eugene von Bruenchenhein (1910, Marinette/Wisconsin – 1983 Milwaukee/ Wisconsin), Sanya Kantarovsky (1982, Moscow), Pierre Klossowski (1905-2001, Paris) and Philippe Perrot (1967- 2015 Paris). Despite the diversity of mediums employed in their respective practices, the works gathered here explore, dissect and question family relationships and the knowledge that one can have of them.

In a light, disturbing, subtle or brutal way, each of these works reveals something about what we consider familiar, intimate and hidden. The sexual dimension is inevitably omnipresent; fully assumed in the clichés of Eugene von Bruenchenhein, apparently naive in the paintings of Sanya Kantarovsky. But being less the subject of the exhibition than a node that crystallizes fantasies and taboos, it quickly passes to the background. These are, above all, family stories, stories of couples and filiation - evidenced by the presence of the two Klossowski brothers.

In the works of Eugene von Bruenchenhein and Pierre Klossowski on the one hand, it is the love relationship that is at the center. By means of photography for the one and drawing for the other, they stage their respective spouses in suggestive or erotic ways, thus partly revealing the intimacy of the love-game. On the other hand, in a completely different relationship to the intimate, Philippe Perrot’s paintings do not summon the members of his own family, but family figures and what they represent in general, offering raw, often violent, representations of the unspoken, repressed and most obscure secrets. The autobiographical dimension fades yet a little more in the work of Ulla von Brandenburg, who approaches the subject of family more in terms of its rituals and the roles that everyone plays in them. This is the case with her film Chorspiel (2010), which, in a very theatrical and aesthetic manner, materializes the irruption of a foreign element (the arrival of a traveler) disrupting the organization and the relation-mode of a family group.

Beyond the private sphere - and provided that one accepts a definition of family as a micro-society - the artists grouped by this show reveal something universal about the mechanisms operating and defining the multiple roles that we endorse.
Translation Frieda Schumann