Anri Sala

Anri Sala

Galerie Chantal Crousel

September 14, 2023
Anri Sala
September 2–October 7, 2023
Galerie Chantal Crousel
10 rue Charlot
75003 Paris
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–6pm,
Saturday 11am–7pm

T +33 1 42 77 38 87
Instagram / Facebook

Galerie Chantal Crousel is delighted to host Anri Sala’s sixth exhibition at the gallery, featuring a body of unprecedented frescoes. The artist is pursuing his research into composition and chronology of the narratives, developed among others through his films and sound installations. With a mounting process, he rearranges temporal spaces and reverses our cognitive and visual perception.

Anri Sala’s frescoes, conceived with the al fresco technique, combine different geological and historical temporalities. Each composition is divided into giornata, corresponding to what can be accomplished in a day of work while the medium, called the intonaco, remains fresh. Once it is dry, the pigments are bound to the worked surface and changes are no longer possible. The artist’s every gesture affixes the material like a temporal imprint, fossilizing the color and creating a form of contemporary archeology.

Pieces of marble embedded in the flat surface of the works are reminiscent of missing fragments of fresco, worn away over time. They are traditionally covered with raw plaster, accentuating the lacunae, or are restored by applying new shades of color to distinguish the recent conservation from what once was. Juggling with the geological references and mineral qualities of the various materials he uses, Anri Sala switches out some parts of the giornata with stones formed over the course of millennia. Sedimentary accumulation bridges the gap with present time and intermingles in the works that punctuate the gallery space.

The series Surface to Air derives from photographs taken by the artist of clouds seen from up in the air. These nearly abstract representations bear witness to a shifting, elusive reality. The undulating movement of the clouds harmonizes with the sharply delineated veins of the marble, a witness to a tangible and immutable temporal reality. With this series, Anri Sala juxtaposes elements of an ostensibly opposite nature, arranging them into a subtle visual continuity. The artist harnesses the suspense that arises from this unexpected encounter and opens up a latent, plural state of things. 

The cycle of frescoes Piero della Francesca made for the Bacci Chapel in the San Francesco d’Arezzo basilica in Tuscany acts as a starting point for the Legenda Aurea series. This mid-fifteenth century cycle depicts the Legend of the True Cross recounted by Jacques de Voragine in Legenda aurea, his anthology of hagiographic legends. The images Anri Sala takes from this work are subjected to a process of reversal, in which the positive becomes negative, the dark areas become luminous, the skin tones blueish. This highly novel shift enables the artist to transpose the modern process of colorimetric negative, which only exists in photography, onto the fragments of a Quattrocento masterpiece. The eye is thus struck by the dissonance of this encounter between two techniques having distant temporal and spatial realities. Working from reproductions, Anri Sala removes details to create a photographic painting whose tight framing offers a glimpse of a narrative outside the frame.

Below the glass roof of the gallery, Anri Sala is showing Tracing Vista, a series of works on paper made from the tracing paper used to transfer the drawings onto the freshly applied intonaco. Along the line traced by the artist, pieces of plaster stick to the sheet when it is removed. Inverting the narrative reveals a stratification process that continues onto the paper, beyond the mineral elements and various temporalities comprising the fresco: an ultimate extension of geological time.

RSVP for Anri Sala
Galerie Chantal Crousel
September 14, 2023

Thank you for your RSVP.

Galerie Chantal Crousel will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.