Installation view. All photos via Galerie Perrotin.
On view through November 12 at Galerie Perrotin, “Orchestra” is comprised of mainly new works by contemporary installation artist Xavier Veilhan. The artist reinvigorates his early sculpture work with his newer interactive installation techniques. By presenting his technical prowess in an abstract context, Veilhan invites a reconsideration in which historically important functional designs meet art history. In this way, “Orchestra” beckons visitors into a confrontational, interactive, and at times hypnotic space between reality and disrupted reality—a space in which a “polyphony of objects,” including turbines, birds, trees, monuments, and even a sculpted gorilla, become an entire enveloping landscape.
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As with his early object reconstructions, “Orchestra” demonstrates Veilhan’s interest in traditional renderings of both old-fashioned and highly realistic imagery. His turbine, for example, showcases technical skill, but when coupled with images of nature or installed near works such as his more abstract “Pendulum Dripping,” the artist complicates the presumed reality of sculpture.
While perhaps best known for his early works such as The Rhinocéros (1999), a life-sized sculpture coated in red lacquer, and La Ford T (1997-1999), a handmade reconstruction of the Ford Model T car, Veilhan’s work has only continued to gain international acclaim. Since his solo show at the Pompidou Center in 2004, the artist’s photography, sculpture, film, painting, and installation art have been displayed all over the world and many of his sculptures have become fixtures in different cities throughout his native France. Xavier Veilhan was of a very select group of international artists such as Takashi Muraki and Jeff Koons to install a full scale installation at the storied Chateau-de-versailles in 2009/2010.
-L. St. James