07.09.12 James Brooks at Galerie Laurent Mueller, Paris until October 27, 2012

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Martin Barré, James Brooks, Corinne Laroche

Opening Saturday September 8 from 5pm to 9pm
Exhibition until October 27, 2012


Through an initial conversation, the artists Corinne Laroche and James Brooks have developed a dialogue around the works of the painter Martin Barré.

An invited artist and an artist from the gallery find the correspondence that unites them with a third presence, Martin Barré – a historical reference in French gestural abstraction.

Two artists from two different generations, both working on the medium of paper, exploring similar reflexions on space, territory, repetition, memory and the grid, have decided to take Martin Barré’s oeuvre as reference and a starting point from which to enhance their own areas of operation in preparation of this dialogue with three participants.

Starting from the 50s, Martin Barré uses his rules of play (règles de jeu) that question the gesture of the artist, the format of a painting, its spatiality and its production mode. Rediscovering the rigour of Malevich and Mondrian that were at the source of abstraction, he develops an exchange of traces, planes, withdrawals and the relation between the painting-unit (unité-tableau) and the series-unit (ensemble-série). These ideas that question the instability, the background or subject-matter, the out-of-focus and the construction of a grid have all influenced the approach of the artists.

James Brooks combines the perfection of a gesture – a research of meditation through monotony – with a highly conceptual approach. Identity, whether of a place, an idea or of himself is confronted to the omnipresence of information in our society. Brooks is intrigued with abstraction’s role within society, Rather than the formalist exercise of previous generations, he seeks a social relevance for abstraction. Via this, real or apocryphal memory impregnates his work.

Corinne Laroche focusses on questions relating to territory, the repetition of a gesture, the filling of space. Abstraction by the litany and the memory of a gesture which refer to an existing memory is as much a tool as well as a result of her work.

The series is the tool of choice for these two artists, an agent that Martin Barré as well held dearly in order to create ensembles that go beyond individual works and their installation. The square, by its simplicity and its omnipresence creates another link between the shown works. The square of the grid, empty or full; the canvas which has no frame and which serves as his own reference; the wall that stops being support to become, as much as the canvas, artwork.

Finally, the explorations anchored in the work of these two artists, as well as those that appeared in the course of developing this exhibition find their stay in the unfinishedness of the gesture and the series. All this to make sensible a minimalist approach that is not only situated in abstraction.

James Brooks, born 1974 in Devon, lives and works in London
MA of fine Arts at Chelsea College of Art, he received the Arts Council grant in 2006 and his work can be found in the collections of David Roberts and Frédéric de Goldschmidt among others. His solo exhibitions include The Information Exchange, Domobaal, London, 2012, Mass, Galerie Martina Detterer, Frankfurt and Folks, galerie laurent mueller, Paris in 2011. As well as his most recent group exhibition The Artist’s Postcard, Spike Island, Bristol in 2012.

Corinne Laroche, born 1957 in Toulon, lives and works between Berlin and Paris Diploma of the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Art of Paris, her works can be found among others in the collections of the Artothèque in Angers and the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin. She was awarded the price of the city of Saint-Ouen in 2008 and has shown at the château de Saint-Ouen in 2009. Her solo exhibitions include tour d’horizon, fruehsorge contemporary drawings, Berlin in 2010 and Drawing room, Galerie Bernard Jordan, Zurich in 2011. Noted group exhibitions include An exchange with Sol Lewitt, Cabinet/MASS MoCa, New York and North Adams in 2011 and Cosmographies, Diffraction AP, Montreuil sur Bois in 2012.

A catalogue with a text by Marc Donnadieu will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.

The gallery would like to thank Madame Michèle Barré and the galerie Nathalie Obadia for their kind support.

galerie laurent mueller
75 rue des Archives
Paris 75003