Current Exhibition

Marie Denis
solo exhibition, Les Curiosités,
March 20th − May 22th 2010

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Avec le soutien du :
Centre national des arts plastiques (aide à la première exposition),
ministère de la Culture et de la Communication.

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The KernotArt Gallery is pleased to present the new personal exhibition by Maris Denis, made possible by the support of the Centre national des arts plastiques, ministry of Culture and Communication of France. This French artist, whose work consists mainly of sculptures and installations, has a predilection for the natural world, which she wields, manipulates, and transforms in various ways, depending down which path her work may take her.

For Marie Denis, curiosity "doesn´t kill the cat" so to speak; to the contrary, she believes that it corresponds to an attitude of "availability, sensitivity, and reactivity to the world." Through her Curiosities, the artist makes reference to the cabinets of curiosities that first appeared during the Renaissance, where collected objects of all kinds were stored and shown by those with a certain taste for the miscellaneous and the unseen. One would most notably find objects relating to Natural History, diverted from their utilitarian or symbolic function. This approach is not foreign to Denis´ own, as she mixes elements of both naturalia and artificialia.

Curiosities are for her projections of forms that are an extension of the mind. To experience this exhibition is to ricochet off the fable of the Cossacks (two leather horses that carry each other back to back, pierced through by a large stainless steel pin); to stand face to face with Dolores (a sculpture made of 600 peacock feathers, evoking the bold display of courtship); to taste the Rahan Sandwich (two roman troughs holding a green velour shawl, a sculpture inspired by Brancusi); or even to discover The Watcher (a sculpture that references the art of camouflage). Rich and heterogeneous, her sculptures and installations provoke free associations of thought concerning the idea of nature and invite the observer to reinvent them in his own way.

Since her residency at the Musée denys−Puech of Rodez in 2009, Marie Denis´ work has taken on a new dimension: "the appropriation of an object, the clash of materials, the uninhibited relationship to the craftsman; the artist questions the fundamentals of a certain form of contemporary post−Pop sculpture." (An excerpt from Magali Gentet´s article on the exhibition Denys−Denis at the Musée Denys−Puech of Rodez winter 2009). She brings together a novel assembly of artistic trades such as metalwork, flower work, and carpentry, stating, "I demand collaborative work because if I like to work with my hands, as I do with my herbarium or "patiences" (a sensitive and delicate endeavor), I also very much enjoy sharing a craftsman´s knowledge and his point of view. This revisiting of practices is also a recycling of popular culture. For me, sculpture is an attentive, compassionate, and human quest for indirect forms, for bold collisions that ´kaleidoscopes´ reality."

"Inanimate objects, do you have a soul? I say yes!"
Marie Denis

With the support of the Centre national des arts plastiques,
ministry of Culture and Communication of France.

Translation by Allix Wright