Philippe Parreno at the Pompidou

2009 is French artist Philippe Parreno’s year, and the pinnacle is his first major presentation in his home country since 2002.

The retrospective at the Pompidou is complemented by a run of shows staging different aspects of the artist’s work, including the Kunsthalle Zurich (until 16 August) and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (4 November-24 January 2010). The Pompidou exhibition, curated by Christine Macel, the head of the museum’s contemporary department, combines works from the early 1990s with new pieces presented for the first time, many of which are performance based. These include a weekly event involving puppets based on illustrations from Parade?, the children’s book written by Parreno and published to coincide with the exhibition, and a new version of his famed inflatable Speech Bubbles of 1997. The show will take up 1,200 sq. m in the museum’s glass-walled Galerie Sud, with works presented around a large-scale 70mm-film projection in the middle of the space. You can also catch Parreno’s theatrical presentation “Il Tempo del Postino”, with performance-based work by 15 artists co-curated with Hans Ulrich Obrist, at ArtBasel from 10-12 June, and he is showing in the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale from 7 June-22 November.

This article was published in The Art Newspaper, November 2009, p78. To see it in context, click on the PDF link below.

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