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L'INCONNUE gallery opens New York space
Françoise Grossen, Installation view, 2015, Blum & Poe, New York. Photo by Genevieve Hanson.

NEW YORK, NY.- L’INCONNUE Gallery (L’ain-co-nü) inaugurated its new permanent location in New York with a two-person exhibition showing new and existing works by Emily Ludwig Shaffer (b.1988) and Françoise Grossen (b.1943). With different mediums, both artists share an interest and background in architecture, an abstracted relationship to the body, representation of craft and a tangential relationship to science fiction. Emily Ludwig Shaffer and Françoise Grossen marks the first exhibition following the gallery’s relocation from Montreal.

Shaffer views painting as a craft and explores ways of aligning her artworks with the disciplines of gardening, weaving, interior design, and architecture. Her grey figures can be perceived as stone or marble, influenced by garden statuary traditions. With these figures Shaffer juxtaposes emotions: refusal, boredom, agency, and solidarity and seeks to bring sensual sovereignty over the body into otherwise cold spaces. The weaving motif in New Fence Finials and Just Before Spring (2021) references craft as a means to celebrate the ways in which women prop each other up.

Grossen meanwhile uses free-hand braiding techniques to create large-scale, fiber sculptures. With a spontaneous and innovative approach, the artist presents her textile works in varied and surprising configurations, seeming at once weightless and weighted, both masculine and feminine, humanly and extraterrestrial; yet an overt insistence on their objecthood is ever present. In the Metamorphosis series Grossen began painting the rope, rather than dyeing it to achieve further three-dimensionality, merging the techniques of biomorphic and horizontal symmetry. Through a considered approach to materiality, color, and craftsmanship, Grossen’s fiber works transform into seemingly solid, bodily, and architectural forms that speak to an imaginative future.

The pairing of the two artists presents a new context in which to view Grossen’s work, reinforcing its relevance within contemporary dialogue.

Shaffer shares “Françoise used weaving and fibers in a radical political way… to own a traditionally feminization of the craft to make some of the most important art of the 20th century that can be at once monumental, sexual and sensitive. I think it’s important to pay homage to the artists who inspire you at any age, and it’s an honor to be able to show alongside one of them. While Françoise has had an amazing career, I also feel her work deserves more attention; I was so excited to come across her work for the first time five years ago, but I was also upset that I hadn’t seen it sooner.”

Emily Ludwig Shaffer and Françoise Grossen bring together the works of both artists in direct relation to one another’s craft and representation, on view from April 29 – June 12, 2021.

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