Paris – Gina Pane: “Préliminaire” at Kamel Mennour Through June 3rd, 2023

April 24th, 2023

Gina Pane, Preliminaire (Installation View), via kamel mennour
Gina Pane, Préliminaire (Installation View), via kamel mennour

Returning to the work of Gina Pane for its fifth gallery show dedicated to the renowned artist, kamel mennour has turned attention to the artist’s time at the Beaux-Arts de Paris during the 1960’s, examining how the artist’s experience in Paris during that time shaped (and re-shaped) the course of her career. 

Coming before the ecologically oriented actions that she executed alone in the natural landscape (1968-1970) and the heavily symbolic, ritualistic actions based on wounding that she performed in front of an audience (1971-1979), the works on view here show an artist in the midst of developing the foundations of her artistic practice and taking a deeper stance on the world around her.

Gina Pane, Preliminaire (Installation View), via kamel mennour
Gina Pane, Préliminaire (Installation View), via kamel mennour

All these paintings, preparatory sketches, and lithographs are strongly influenced by geometric abstraction, the vocabulary of Suprematism (above all Kasimir Malevich), and Russian
Constructivism. Pane’s interrogation of these historical modes, and reshaping of their tenets in her own scope are evident, pulling from her influences to create new, vivid modes.

The works from several years later from the mid-1960s draw from a similarly a rigorous but also very intuitive use of space and separation. These structured ensembles in different proportions consist of primary shapes like circles, triangles, and polygonals; projective and perspectival shapes; shapes in dialogue with the centre of the canvas or with its edges; but also a whole network of planes, lines, and interstices that she obtained through tracing, masking, collaging, and stenciling. Process is always at the foreground, but never at the expense of the artist’s own direction and sensibility, merely part of the process in allowing the piece to reach its destined end.

Gina Pane, Preliminaire (Installation View), via kamel mennour
Gina Pane, Préliminaire (Installation View), via kamel mennour

Showcasing the firm, focused practice and equal tendencies towards exploration and invention that dominated the artist’s work and development, the show at kamel mennour is a striking one, and offers fascinating new angles on the artist. It closes June 3rd/.

– D. Creahan

Read more:
Gina Pane: Préliminaire [kamel mennour]