Almine Rech Gallery is pleased to invite Claire Tabouret to occupy Pablo Picasso’s studio in Boisgeloup, Gisors for the second part of “I am Crying Because you are not Crying”. Following the first exhibition of her work with the gallery in Paris (September 8 — October 6, 2018), this second part reveals Claire Tabouret’s first plaster sculptures, and invites viewers to pursue an excursion into the world of wrestlers, which began with the Paris show.
A selection of sculptures, works on paper and a painting are presented in the studio and the church of the Château de Boisgeloup, which Pablo Picasso acquired in June 1930. Claire Tabouret imagined her new work—and the exhibition’s title—in reaction to the overarching figure of Picasso, who also inspired the two-fold construction of the project. Marked by The Weeping Woman (1937), in which Dora Maar’s features are twisted by pain, Claire Tabouret designed her new pictorial story like a metaphor for romantic relationships. Through the representation of bodies in various stages of a wrestling match, the figures depicted in her new work question the erotic tension in forming a couple and the tragedy of breaking up.
Claire Tabouret’s first plaster sculptures are visual representations of instinctive moods, of innate, uncontrollable drives. One can easily recognize oneself in these figures, with their ability to convey subtle psychological tensions. Made with sculpted plaster, a material reminiscent of Picasso’s work produced in the studio at Boisgeloup, the sculpture of two embracing figures Holding Back (2018) physically embodies contradiction and tension: notions present in all the artist’s representations of wrestlers. Abandoning the colour of paint in favour of three-dimensionality, the full-scale engaged bodies are animated by their volume. Influenced by Picasso’s intuitive, impulsive side as described by Brassaï in their discussions (Conversations with Picasso, 1964), these new plaster sculptures by Claire Tabouret pay tribute to the place where the master once lived and worked.
The works on paper—all monotypes—echo those presented in the Paris show. Tabouret applies oil inks to Plexiglas which then dries onto the sheets of paper which are pressed upon it. The transparent surface is stained by the first drawing, while the next layer of ink for the next drawing is then superposed upon it. This process forms a pictorial language that complements that of Claire Tabouret’s paintings : the question of repetition, both coinci-dental and controlled, is central to these works which see the motif of the body unfold endlessly.
Claire Tabouret’s wrestlers are archetypes: their bodies, far removed from classical ideals of perfection, express tension and paradox. The bodies painted here feel, dance, want to harm yet protect, thus opening up a space for the viewer’s sensitivity. Their somewhat awkward attempts at wrestling arouse tenderness and are more like clumsy hugs than actual holds. And perhaps these acts of force are also a representation of domination and submission, savage impulses, defiance, personal exaltation, even a hypothetical vision of the couple. From one chapter to the next, “I am Crying Because you are not Crying” bears witness to Claire Tabouret’s dual identification with both the weeping woman and the painter painting the tragedy, as if announcing the emotional crisis born of an encounter/struggle with the other.
Claire Tabouret (b. 1981, Pertuis, France) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her B.F.A. from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 2006 and studied at Cooper Union, New York, in 2005. In 2012, she was awarded the Yishu 8 Prize in Beijing. In 2018 she has solo exhibitions at Collection Lambert and Eglise des Célestins in Avignon, and Almine Rech Gallery, Paris. In 2017, the artist benefitted from several solo shows including “The Dance of Icarus”, YUZ Museum, Shanghai ; “Claire Tabouret + Cash for Gold like Smoke for Mirrors and Land for Sea”, La Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille and “Neptune, Le Creux de l’enfer”, Thiers. Recent group exhibitions include “One Day I broke a Mirror”, Villa Medici, Rome ; “L’illusion des lumières”, Palazzo Grassi, Venice ; “Shit and Die”, Palazzo Cavour, Turin ; “Portraits from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts” Paris, Drawing Center, New York ; “Des visages, des figures”, FRAC Auvergne and “Vivre!”, Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris. Her work has been acquired by major collections and is notably part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Pinault Collection, Agnès b. and FRAC Auvergne, among others.