Olivier Mosset: Untitled

OLIVIER MOSSET : « UNTITLED »

7 JULY – 30 SEPTEMBER 2018

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of its opening in 2013, MAMO (Marseille Modulor) will host an exhibition by Olivier Mosset—the sixth artist invited to MAMO since the inaugural exhibition by Xavier Veilhan and subsequent shows by Daniel Buren, Dan Graham, Felice Varini and Jean Pierre Raynaud.

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Mosset’s exhibition will thus offer the sixth unique point of view on Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse, as well as its terrace and gymnasium which were transformed into an art center by Ora Ito.

“Thanks to the support of Longchamp and Galeries Lafayette, MAMO is continuing its cycle of annual invitations to major artists: artists capable of meeting the challenge of an imposing space, a requisite to compete with this extraordinary location.” Ora Ito

« Untitled » gathers two monumental monochrome works that embody the research in painting that Mosset has undertaken for the past forty years, as well as his Harley Davidson 74’ Panhead (1957).

For 50 years, Olivier Mosset has rigorously pursued his practice of deconstructing painting, begun in the 1960s alongside Daniel Buren, Michel Parmentier and Niele Toroni as part of B.M.P.T. Striving for a form of painting that references only itself and its history as a medium, Mosset throws into question notions of craftsmanship, originality and the alleged uniqueness of each work. In so doing, he approaches the limits of painting itself.

Mosset avoids any claims of paternity over his works. Forty years ago, he undertook the project of liberating his painting from the proliferation of black circles that he would depict on a white background, consciously avoiding the kind of repetition that would represent the equivalent of a signature. He has produced these monochrome works since 1977 in a varied pallet drawing not only upon the plastic universe, but also the naval and automobile ones. These mediums consequently serve the artistic and objective research of the artist, according to whom they ought to be judged solely on the basis of what they are and how they are deployed in the pictorial medium, without any other association of ideas.

Moreover, it was the purchase of a Harley Davidson at an American army surplus store in the 1960s that first inspired Mosset’s deep affection for the world of motorcycles, along with its codes and its way of life. His workshop on the Rue de Lappe hosts meetings of motorcycle clubs, and he has even included painted motorcycles in his exhibitions. Moving from his use of the medium of painting as an object in itself to the presentation of motorcycles as a form of ready-made, Mosset crossed a new line. Harley Davidson 74’ Panhead (1957) presented in the MAMO exhibition could easily have been one of the many motorcycles that have accompanied Mosset on his various crossings of the United States—where he has lived and worked since 1977, currently in Tucson, Arizona. Adorned with its shimmering coat of paint, the motocycle offers a perfect transition to the new, monumental works specifically produced for the rooftop terrace of the Cité Radieuse.

The solarium of the Cité Radieuse, along with its spectacular view and the inspiring marine breeze, provides a perfect setting for two monumental works by Mosset. More accustomed to in-situ works that take the form of wallpaintings, the terrace welcomes on this occasion two metal flats of 5 and 18 meters covered with a chameleon paint, baked to produce reflections in a unique tribute to the sun that bathes Marseille in the summer. Each step taken alongside these objects inspires reflections on ephemeral reality that contrast with the physical nature of the works: robust, immutable and tangible.