Martial Raysse

Martial Raysse

Palazzo Grassi—Punta della Dogana

Martial Raysse, Radieuse des nuages, 2012. Pinault Collection. © Martial Raysse, by SIAE 2015.

April 1, 2015

Martial Raysse
April 12–November 30, 2015

Palazzo Grassi
Campo San Samuele 3231
Vaporetto: S. Samuele (l. 2), Sant’Angelo (l. 1)

Slip of the Tongue
April 12–December 31, 2015

Punta della Dogana
Dorsoduro 2
Vaporetto: Salute (l. 1)

Martial Raysse
curated by Caroline Bourgeois, in collaboration with the artist

This major show dedicated to Raysse, one of the most important living French painters and winner of the 2014 Praemium Imperiale, takes over the atrium and both floors of Palazzo Grassi. It is the first monographic exhibition dedicated to the artist outside of France since 1965.

Curated by Caroline Bourgeois in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition brings together more than 300 works from 1958 to the present day—paintings, sculptures, videos and neon works—almost half of which have never been shown to the public (some are works in progress to be displayed for the first time at Palazzo Grassi). The course of the exhibition, which is non-chronological, offers a new point of view on the work of Martial Raysse by underlining, on the one hand, the multifaceted nature of his artistic production, and, on the other hand, the continuous dialogue and echo he has established among his works throughout his 60 years of career.

Although Raysse emerged at the same time as major post-war American artists such as Warhol and Liechtenstein, he has only recently gained the same reputation as some of his more well-known Pop Art contemporaries. Born in 1936, he studied literature before turning to painting in 1955. He is one of the founding members of the New Realism, the artistic movement founded in 1960 by art critic Pierre Restany alongside Armand, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, Jacques Villeglé, and Yves Klein.

In opposition to the New Realists, Martial Raysse was interested in new objects, attractive and beautiful things that represented the consumerist society he was living in. He made his first assemblage in 1959 and became an active member of the European avant-garde. In 1961, he participated in the Art of Assemblage exhibition at MoMA next to Duchamp, Spoerri, Schwitters, Beuys, Bruce Conner and Robert Rauschenberg. 

Raysse continued to innovate and incorporated neon in his paintings creating iconic works such as Nissa Bella in 1964 and then Peinture à haute tension in 1965. With Suzanna, Suzanna (1964), he introduced for the first time film imagery into painting areas.

In the early ’70s Martial Raysse incorporated collaborative practices in his works. The Coco Mato series is a turning point and captures a time of artistic soul-searching while deliberately keeping the day’s prevalent fads at bay and reinvigorating his work amid a hippy community’s collective practices. He created precarious assemblages, conjuring up magic rituals and primitive practices, with simple and purposefully outlandish materials.

The work of Martial Raysse has been exhibited in many institutions, among which the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the SMAK, Ghent; The Menil Collection, Houston…Monographic shows have also been presented, including at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris; at the Musée Picasso, Antibes and more recently at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Furthermore, the artist represented France at the 33rd Venice Art Biennale (1962).

Simultaneously, Slip of the Tongue, a unique project conceived by artist Danh Vo in collaboration with curator Caroline Bourgeois, is presented from April 12 to December 31 at Punta della Dogana in Venice. Designed specifically for this exhibition space, the show follows a path that suggests a dialogue between his own works and a selection of works from the Pinault Collection. This is completed also by other ancient or contemporary pieces.

Martial Raysse at Palazzo Grassi
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Palazzo Grassi—Punta della Dogana
April 1, 2015

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