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Mixed-Media Artist Katya Bonnenfant Opens Second Exhibition Under New Moniker at Haines Gallery
The Old Boys' Club, Study for La Destitution de la Jeune Fille #101, 2010. Gouache on paper. Paper: 11 x 14 inches. Courtesy of Haines Gallery, San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- In their second exhibition at Haines Gallery, The Old Boys’ Club (the new moniker for mixed-media artist Katya Bonnenfant) exhibits gouache drawings and sculptures from their recent project La Destitution de la Jeune Fille. Works in the exhibition correspond directly to Bonnenfant’s exhibition by the same name at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Employing their characteristic lightness of touch to approach existential questions surrounding such topics as the function of art and politics in society, The Old Boys’ Club advances the notion of the young girl as embodiment of the capitalist machine and the meaninglessness of modern life. This concept, initially put forth by the anonymous collective, Tiqqun, in its 1999 publication, Premiers matériaux pour une théorie de la jeune fille, is a post-Situationist theory in which society is described as submissive to the “figure of the Young Lady.”

In their statement, The Old Boys’ Club writes: “Premiers Matériaux... is a controversial essay, insolent and impressive…yet the book doesn’t provide any possible solutions in order to change society. La Destitution de la Jeune Fille tries to humbly define some humorous territory where the Young Lady can be dethroned.”

The installation at YBCA featured this “jeune fille” engaged in a battle with masked and costumed characters, their feathers, headdresses and textiles reminiscent of traditional Japanese, Javanese, and Native American dress. The stylized actions of these mixed race characters is Bonnenfant’s response to the struggle for cultural relativity in the post colonial “jumble” so often resultant from societal repositioning.

While the YBCA exhibition featured a densely populated wallpaper installation incorporating video projection and sculptural elements, the collective’s works at Haines Gallery more formally present these figures as individual portraits and scene studies.

Katya Bonnenfant was born in 1975 in Belfort, France. She studied at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts (option multimedia); Université of Paris La Sorbonne (philosophy); and École Nationale Supérieure Estienne (applied arts, graphic design), all in Paris, and has been a freelance designer since 2000. She has exhibited throughout Europe, as well as in the US and Canada, and has held residencies in Galway, Ireland; Stuttgart; and Tokyo. Bonnenfant founded The Old Boys’ Club in 2010.





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