press release

In 2002, Romanian artist Mircea Cantor had his first exhibition at Yvon Lambert Paris, entitled The Right Man at the Right Place. Since then, the artist has gained international recognition with solo and group exhibitions worldwide. The gallery is proud to welcome Cantor’s work for the second time in Paris. The show follows a travelling exhibition of the artist’s work in Great Britain that has received wide acclaim as one of the most thrilling this year. The show began at Modern Art Oxford, travelled to Arnolfini Bristol and concluded at Camden Arts Centre in London. For his Parisian show, Mircea Cantor has decided to present recent works as well as a new version of an animation he originally produced three years ago:

Seven future gifts is a large-scale sculpture composed of seven concrete ribbons that delineate imaginary gift boxes of different sizes up to 4 x 4 meters. The work cleverly employs post-minimal and post-pop vocabulary.

Easy is a series of drawings that are presented as a storyboard. The work is laid out in the style of a comic strip; each drawing constructs the story of two fingers jumping freely over a paper wall. The artist introduces another dimension in this work. The drawings were made by a professional cartoonist, and Cantor employs them as ready-mades. The hand of the artist is removed, and so the production process is typical of globalization. Thus Cantor reconsiders the principle of craftsmanship and questions the notion of free artistic exploration.

Zooooooom is an animated movie that features fictional characters walking towards an unfinished pyramid-shaped building. Once the characters reach the edifice, they start dismantling it stone by stone. In the end, the viewer’s perspective zooms out which amplifies the fictional aspect giving the viewer the feeling he is being manipulated. The viewer increasingly understands that the theme of the piece is deconstruction. In fact, Zooooooom is based on a script that secretly tells the story of a one-dollar bill. The economic reference is a metaphor for the fragility of Western values. With The New Times, like with an earlier work by Cantor titled Les Mondes, the artist symbolically suggests a famous newspaper. Somewhat paradoxically, here it is an addition that completes the work, whereas with Les Mondes it was a subtraction.

Io is a diptych of photos that feature a tunnel entrance and exit. It is impossible for the viewer to tell which is which; the eye is therefore mislead in a timeless frame and forced to choose without direction.

Response is an installation composed of rows of corncobs that each have a letter written on them by the absence of kernals. Together the corn cobs spell out “what should we do with the pearls?.” This question is in fact a take on a phrase that Saint Mattheiu said, “don’t throw your pearls in front of pigs,” which means wasting something by giving it to a person who will not use it correctly.

All of Cantor’s works on view form a coherent whole supported by explicit and implicit links with transgressive ideas, potentially hidden from the possibility of transcending obstacles non different levels of perception, but also from apprehension and from hopes that are obscured by the ambiguity of space-time. The generic title of the exhibition, White sugar for black days, is in the same spirit, a manner of highlighting paradoxical situations through language.

Musical performance by Alain Kremski with sacred Buddhist bowls of Japan. Thursday, March 26th; Friday, March 27th; and Saturday, March 28th at 6:00 pm.

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Mircea Cantor
White sugar for black days