2015 / Praz Delavallade Gallery, Paris

“Thirty Shades of White”, group show, 28 November 2015 – 23 January 2016

Curated by René-Julien Praz

With Pierre Ardouvin, Romain Barry, Lisa Beck, Oliver Beer, Florian Bézu, Ulla von Brandenburg, Matthew Chambers, Martin Creed, Trisha Donnelly, Thomas Fougeirol, Fernanda Gomes, Julian Hoeber, Shila Khatami, Jiri Kovanda, Rodrigo Matheus, Fabien Mérelle, Julien Nédélec, Camila Oliveira Fairclough, Laurent Pernot, Ana Prvacki, Joe Reihsen, Ry Rocklen, Analia Saban, Yann Sérandour, Florian Schmidt, Sergio Verastegui, Marnie Weber, Lawrence Weiner, Zoe Williams, John Wood & Paul Harrison

As Stéphane Mallarmé used to say: «Writing consists of putting black on white», and this poetic digression allows me to evoke the colour white, a regal colour that majestically takes centre stage, the chromatic synthesis of all the other colours. When considering this exhibition designed to give the artists carte blanche, I thought point blank of a titled, but I won’t say that black is white: perhaps Thirty Shades of White was a rather predictable one.
Each of the artists (some well-known, others less so) applies his/her own artistic vocabulary and colour aesthetics in a subjective or objective personal journey into the world of shades. Is what we perceive not an illusion, a resonance, an emotional light that the artist endeavours to explore? «We do not create light, we portrait it», said Cézanne. White is a demanding colour. It reflects the light that all the other filter, dispersing it by refraction so the other colours can delight us. White sheds light on art itself; Malevitch, Opalka, Lewitt, Newman, Twombly, Ryman, Reinhardt, Manzoni, Kelly and many others brilliantly made use of this colour.
White symbolises the unity that precedes diversity, rites of passage, balance, grace and a moment frozen in time just before disappearance, obliteration, renunciation, abdication and bereavment.
René-Julien Praz