Complementing an outdoor installation of major bronze sculptures on view throughout the summer, French artist Camille Henrot presents a selection of recent paintings at Hauser & Wirth
Produced in large part in Europe over the last two years, Henrots work from the series Butter and Bread, Is Today Tomorrow, System of Attachment, and Monday are being shown together for the first time in the United States. These works typify the ambitious and fiercely creative approach that has cemented Henrotwhose practice moves seamlessly between film, painting, drawing, sculpture, and installationas one of the most influential and unique voices in contemporary art. Her art is celebrated for its playful and incisive investigations into the banalities of everyday life and the tension we experience as both private individuals and global citizens.
Henrots recent series of paintings titled Butter and Bread (2021) combine digital techniques with gestural brushstrokes to explore abstract expressionist styles. Drawing on her own novice experience with a digital painting application (aptly named Procreate), these works explore the messier aspects of creative production, and reproduction, both in the artists practice and in the creation of human life, a recurring motif in her provocative oeuvre.
Created spontaneously at the end of each day during the pandemics period of social distancing, the paintings from Henrots Is Today Tomorrow (2020-2022) series are akin to diary entries reflecting the specific moments in which they were made. The unifying thread through these works is their square format and apparent random personal content, recalling the look and function of the scrollable images of an Instagram feed and serving as a portrait of an individual life. Contrary to the polished representations of social media, however, the figures in Is Today Tomorrow often seem to struggle to retain their coherence against mostly somber backgrounds, underscoring the porosity of our internal lives and the effort required to hold ourselves together.
In both the System of Attachment (2018-2021) and Monday (2016-2017) series, Henrots bronze figures are inspired by the philosophical concept of perpetual becoming. In System of Attachment, Henrot considers the nature of human dependencyfrom an infants earliest bond with its parent to its developmental need to exploreand the myriad ways that the simultaneous need for attachment and separation conditions the relationships throughout our lives. Inspired by the first (and possibly most triggering) day of the week, the works in Henrots Monday series explore the conflicting feelings that accompany the start of a new week: for many, Monday represents an opportunity for renewal and change, while for others it invokes anxiety and a desire to withdraw from the world.
Born in 1978 in Paris, France. The artist lives and works between Berlin and New York City.
The practice of French artist Camille Henrot moves seamlessly between film, painting, drawing, bronze, sculpture, and installation. Henrot draws upon references from literature, psychoanalysis, social media, cultural anthropology, self-help, and the banality of everyday life in order to question what it means to be both a private individual and a global subject.
A 2013 fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute resulted in her film Grosse Fatigue, for which she was awarded the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale. She elaborated ideas from Grosse Fatigue to conceive her acclaimed 2014 installation The Pale Fox at Chisenhale Gallery in London. The exhibit, which displayed the breadth of her diverse output, went on to travel to institutions including Kunsthal Charlottenburg, Copenhagen; Bétonsalon Centre for art and research, Paris; Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany; and Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Japan. In 2017, Henrot was given carte blanche at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, where she presented the major exhibition Days Are Dogs, She is the recipient of the 2014 Nam June Paik Award and the 2015 Edvard Munch Award, and has participated in the Lyon, Berlin, Sydney and Liverpool Biennials, among others.
Henrot has had numerous solo exhibitions worldwide, including the New Museum, New York; Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin; New Orleans Museum of Art; Fondazione Memmo, Rome; Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Japan, among others.