From March 5 to April 16, PARIS-B presents a solo exhibition of the French artist Jacques Julien. Derisively titled “55” as the age the artist will be this year, this monographic exhibition is part of the continuity and development of his work; it follows his residency at the Villa Medici in 2021 and the exhibition Senza Fine at the Frac Normandie – Site de Caen last summer.
Jacques Julien’s works attempt to bring together analytical and poetic dimensions with humor.
For Jacques Julien, a sculpture is a starting point towards the invisible double, the missing body or the hollow figure. Since the 1990s, the artist has been developing a reflection on form: its elaboration, its realization and its abandonment. Thus, his work revolves around the practice of sculpture in the studio, where time passes and is lost in the manner of the life that unfolds there, where the work is a series of empirical experiments that tries to find a form of autonomy in coherence with the territory that has made and seen him born, the relationship to space remaining at the center of his questioning.
The exhibition will propose a significant set of sculptures of different sizes, arranged on the ground or leaning on the walls, a path composed of recent works made for the most part in the last three years, such as the series of Patères or Pagliacci. They will dialogue with unpublished works produced for the occasion including that of Samplers made of leftover fragments of the studio, remnants of abandoned projects that make up a repertoire of forms in the artist’s inimitable style, between zaniness and derisory poetics, between narration and references to the works of Spoerri or Rauschenberg.
Finally, as a climax to the exhibition, in subtle games of form, scale and simulacra, Jacques Julien moves his studio at the Villa Medici into the exhibition space of the gallery; Studiolo is a perfect 1/3 scale replica of the studio he occupied for a year during his residency at the Villa Medici: In addition to the touching and affective dimension of the representation of a place where the artist says he was very happy, it is the very relationship to the notion of the studio, which is so dear to him, as the place of the origin of things, that the fifty-year-old artist brings to the fore, like a tribute to an old friend, after twenty-five years of shared exchange, experimentation and creativity.