Xavier Veilhan

Xavier Veilhan

The Phillips Collection

From left: Xavier Veilhan, The Bear, 2010; Mobile n˚2, 2011; Figure n˚5 (La Femme Nue), 2010.*

November 17, 2012

Xavier Veilhan: (IN)balance

Through February 10, 2013

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
Dupont Circle Metro (Q Street exit)
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This winter, The Phillips Collection features the first major U.S. museum exhibition of French artist Xavier Veilhan (b. 1963), including 18 recent paintings, sculptures, and photo-based works. In 2009, Veilhan famously animated the gardens at Château de Versailles with a lacquered royal purple horse and carriage, and he similarly transforms the Phillips lawn at 21st and Q Streets with The Bear (2010), an angular, eight-foot-tall polyurethane beast painted in Ferrari red. The most elaborate project to date in the museum’s Intersections contemporary art series, Xavier Veilhan: (IN)balance is on view through Feb. 10, 2013.

Fascinated by technological innovation, Veilhan creates works that reflect historical styles and subjects yet appear futuristic. Digitally rendered sculptures like Xavier (2006) and The Bear (2010) refer to early-20th-century avant-garde movements such as cubism and futurism, as well as traditions of bestiary, portraiture, and statuary, while incorporating new materials and processes. In his own words, art is a “visual device which we have to look through in order to understand our past, our present, and our future.”

In addition to The Bear on the lawn, Veilhan’s installation activates two galleries on the first floor of the museum’s Sant building. Mobile n˚2 (2011)—comprised of horizontal and vertical bars suspended from the ceiling at different heights—counterbalances the stable and elegant 2010 sculpture Figure n˚5 (La Femme Nue). The mechanized, more than thirty-foot-long and seesaw-shaped Le Balancier (2007) sends a mirrored ball back and forth through the center of a gallery while two statues, the artists’ self-portraits, pose nearby. A selection of Veilhan’s Pendule-Drippings paintings, Cocarde reliefs, and photo-based works from the Ghost Landscape series are also on view.

The artist lives and works in Paris. Recently, he had solo exhibitions at Hatfield House in England and La Conservera in Spain. In August, he created a new body of works for the Neutra VDL Research House in Los Angeles, the first rendition of a project called Architectones, which will continue at modernist landmarks worldwide. He has collaborated with musician Sébastien Tellier, the band Air, designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, and artist Daniel Buren. Veilhan has also created numerous public projects such as Le Monstre in Tours, Les Habitants in Lyon, and Le Lion in Bordeaux. His work has been exhibited at the Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain, Geneva; Barbican Centre, London; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona; Musée d’Art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg; and Centre George Pompidou and Louvre Museum, Paris.

(IN)balance is part of the Intersections contemporary art series at The Phillips Collection, curated by Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Vesela Stretenović.

The exhibition is supported in part by the Institut Français–Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

About Intersections
In this contemporary art series, inaugurated in 2009, artists are invited to create work in response to art and spaces in The Phillips Collection. The series explores intriguing connections between old and new artistic traditions, modern and contemporary art practices, and the permanent collection and museum spaces. Videos of artists installing their work are available at www.phillipscollection.org/multimedia.

Past projects include: Sandra Cinto: One Day, After the Rain (May 19, 2012–Dec. 30, 2013), Alyson Shotz: Ecliptic (Feb. 16–May 27, 2012), Lee Boroson: Lunar Bower (May 26, 2011−May 6, 2012), A. Balasubramaniam: Sk(in) (May 26, 2011−April 22, 2012), Allan deSouza: The World Series (June 23−October 30, 2011), Nicholas and Sheila Pye: The Coronation (February 17−May 22, 2011), Regi Müller: Flurries (April 1, 2010−May 15, 2011 ), Jae Ko: Force of Nature (September 30, 2010−February 20, 2011), Tayo Heuser: Pulse (November 19, 2009−October 31, 2010), Kate Shepherd: Relation to and yet not (homage to Mondrian) (June 10−September 5, 2010), Linn Meyers: at the time being (February 11−August 22, 2010), Barbara Liotta: Icarus (October 22, 2009−January 31, 2010), Jennifer Wen Ma: Brain Storm (October 15, 2009−January 3, 2010).

Intersections is supported by Phillips International Forum members.

*Images from left: Xavier Veilhan, The Bear, 2010. Private collection, USA. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong and Paris. Installation view, 2012, The Phillips Collection. Photo © Lee Stalsworth. Mobile n˚2, 2011. Private collection, USA. Courtesy Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm. Photo © Diane Arques. Figure n˚5 (La Femme Nue), 2010. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong and Paris. Photo © Mariano Peuser. Images © 2012 Veilhan / ADAGP, Paris, and ARS, New York.

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November 17, 2012

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