Kukje Gallery is pleased to present a two-man exhibition of Jean-Michel Othoniel and Xavier Veilhan, renowned contemporary artists based in France. Othoniel and Veilhan have independently developed their own aesthetic sense in various mediums including installation, sculpture, and painting since the early 1990s. They have each focused on questions related to human existence, and fundamental and reversible questions related to the characteristics, transformations and sublimations of an object. They have sought to communicate these issues with the viewers and the world. Their interests have developed into numerous projects that have combined endless exploration and understanding of materials’ physicality. The sensuality in Othoniel and Veilhan’s work has been highly regarded both in France and internationally. Both artists are well-known in France for their presentation of numerous projects in public spaces and institutions in France, including a solo show by Xavier Veilhan, held at the prestigious Château de Versailles. The two artists will hold their first exhibition in Korea at Kukje Gallery. The exhibition will be comprised of twenty artworks including sculpture, paintings and large-scale installations.
Jean-Michel Othoniel has been interested in physical properties that make up the elements of an object since his early career. He focuses on the moments of transition when an object changes from one state to another. Othoniel is interested in drawing a connection between injuries and destructions in life, and the process of transformation, sublimation, and modification, while seeking a possibility for healing. Glass is a crucial element in portraying this theme for Othoniel. According to the artist, glass itself is not solid. It is easily shaped and open to diverse interpretations. Furthermore, its clear and highly reflective characteristic makes it well-suited for communicating and sharing the artist’s approach when works are displayed publicly. All of the works on view in this exhibition are based on the artist’s extensive and devoted research and experimentation on the physicality of glass. Jean-Michel Othoniel was born in 1964, in St. Étienne. Othoniel became widely known after he participated in documenta IX, 1992, a prestigious exhibition held in Kassel, Germany. He began using glass in his work in the early 90s and has been creating his signature necklaces since the late 90s. Jean-Michel Othoniel’s works are in many renowned collections, including the Pompidou Center, Paris, Foundation Cartier, Paris, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the New York Public Library.
Xavier Veilhan was born in 1963, in Lyon. He began gaining prominence in the early 90s and has been producing work that is experimental in diverse genres. His wide range of work is comprised of painting, sculpture, installation, photography, and film. He is especially noted for enlarged sculptures of humans and animals that he has modeled after his friends, acquaintances, and of himself. To realize his sculptures, Veilhan captures a 3D film scan of living individuals, which he converts into a digital format, and completes through an automatic machine process using materials like polyurethane or polystyrene. This method of automatic and mechanical production delivers a dual message that a materialized and depersonalized creation is still imbued with value and meaning of existence. This body of work has been made into several projects which have been shown in many prominent art institutions and public places in France. Xavier Veilhan’s works are collected by many distinguished museums and art institutions including the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.