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"Heidi Wood: Setting for an Ordinary Life" opens at the Musée national Fernand Léger
Heidi Wood, Assiette souvenir (architectures) 1 – 3, 2013. Assiettes porcelaine, peinture céramique, 27 cm de diamètre© Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris.
BIOT.- The Musée national Fernand Léger and the Museum of History and Ceramics in Biot have invited Australian artist Heidi Wood to exhibit in fall – winter 2013. The result, Setting for an Ordinary Life, is in two parts. A painter who experiments on all surfaces, Heidi Wood brings together her pictographic landscapes, Léger’s modernist esthetic and the town of Biot, where he worked in ceramics from 1949 to 1955. The theme of the city connects these three elements as it was an essential aspect of Léger’s work. Indeed, from the 1920’s, Léger was enthusiastic about the architectural and social innovations developed by the International Style. Lucid, he nonetheless advocated painting’s integration into architecture and wanted artists to reclaim the visual impact of advertising.

Born in 1967 and a graduate of the Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris, Heidi Wood takes stock of the progressive history of 20th century art in light of today’s suburban environment, often scorned as less patrimonial than city centers. Her homage to suburbia invites us to change the way we look at the constructed environment, its visual codes and also its contradictions. Halfway between irony and political stance, she questions the social function of art at the heart of the avant-garde utopia.

At the Fernand Léger Museum, The Projects immerses the visitor in a total artwork by recreating a standardized apartment in a housing project. The artist plays with the ambiguous status of her work, somewhere between high art, applied arts and popular taste. Is art soluble in the decorative? Road signs printed with floral motifs are hung on blocks of color painted on walls that evoke the clichés of anonymous suburban architecture. White sculptures based on floor plans from social housing are used as display cabinets for souvenir plates of electrical towers.

At the Museum of History and Ceramics in Biot, House is a lively dialogue between Heidi Wood’s industrial esthetic and collections that describe daily life in this beautiful hilltop village in Provence.

Reinforced by a roadside trail of posters through Biot, these exhibitions interact dynamically with two urban realities on the Côte d’Azur: The Projects looks at the dialogue between painting and low-budget architecture while House explores the connection between applied arts and everyday objects. Can painting be inhabited? Heidi Wood, like Fernand Léger in his time, attempts an answer.

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November 9, 2013

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