Bienvenu Steinberg & J is pleased to present NO LIMIT, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with French artist Jean Pierre Raynaud. Born in 1939 in Courbevoie, Raynaud lives and works in Paris. Throughout his career, he has created striking environments using simple manipulations, based on assemblages, embodying urgency, the medical world, confinement, or death, on white tiled surfaces that became his signature mark. From his early “Psycho-objects” of the 1960’s to his later monumental projects, Raynaud has been acclaimed for his formal radicality. His first major exhibition, at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in 1968, consisted of 300 red flower pots, filled with cement. One year later, he built a house for himself in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, which became an ongoing study of space, opening its doors to the public in 1974, and closing in 1988, with its “liberation from its old form, to give it a new one”: namely, a thousand surgical steel containers with the remnants of the demolished building, which were then exhibited in 1993 in the nave of the CAPC in Bordeaux.
The flower pot soon became the primary form that made Raynaud’s work immediately recognizable. The Pot doré, probably the artist’s most iconic work, originally commissioned by the Fondation Cartier, was exhibited in the Forbidden City in Beijing, suspended from a crane over the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, installed on the Pompidou Center plaza in Paris and now on view on the sixth floor of the Pompidou center. A true leitmotif, the flowerpot developed in the 1960s is elevated to the status of a symbol. As an allusion to Raynaud's past as a horticulture student, the pot is neutralized to assert its value as a sign.
"It is the tension between the micro and the macro that accompanies Raynaud's approach. From an interest in going beyond all limits comes the fascination for the cosmos. Raynaud’s mental collages create a world of their own. In space or in the city, from nature to the urban jungle, his forms appear as if mystified by a tension that settles in. As if drawn from image banks, the mental collages, like assemblages, flirt with the artificial. The treatment of the industrial world is defined by art critic Pierre Restany as an “exploration of a second nature". For nature is well and truly present even if tamed, reduced to a concrete vehicle for germination (…)" (Alma Sammel, 2022, click here for full text)
Select solo exhibitions include: MAMO, Cité Radieuse, Marseille (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, Nice (2006); Fondation Cartier, Paris (2002); Jeu de Paume National Gallery, Paris (1998); Château de Villeneuve, Vence, France (1997); CAPC, Bordeaux, France (1993); A traveling retrospective originated at The Menil Collection, Houston, TX in 1991 and traveled to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, Centre National d’Art Contemporain Montreal, Canada; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan (1981); Center George Pompidou, Paris (1979); Museum of Ghent, Belgium (1978); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium (1970); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany (1968); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (1968). Raynaud has been the recipient of such honors as: Grand Prix National de la Sculpture (1983); the Robert Giron Prize from the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (1985); Grand Prize for Sculpture from the City of Paris (1986). In 1993, he received the honorary prize representing France in the Venice Biennale.
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