Southampton…Complementing an outdoor installation of major bronze sculptures on view throughout the summer, French artist Camille Henrot will present a selection of recent paintings at Hauser & Wirth Southampton beginning 2 July.
Produced in large part in Europe over the last two years, Henrot’s work from the series Butter and Bread, Is Today Tomorrow, System of Attachment, and Monday will be shown together for the first time in the United States. These works typify the ambitious and fiercely creative approach that has cemented Henrot—whose practice moves seamlessly between film, painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation—as 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.
Henrot’s 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 artist’s 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 pandemic’s period of social distancing, the paintings from Henrot’s 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, Henrot’s bronze figures are inspired by the philosophical concept of perpetual becoming. In System of Attachment, Henrot considers the nature of human dependency—from an infant’s earliest bond with its parent to its developmental need to explore––and 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 Henrot’s 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.
About the artist
Camille Henrot was born in 1978 in Paris and lives and works between Berlin and New York. Current and upcoming solo exhibitions include Middelheim Museum in Antwerp, Belgium (2022); Kunstverein Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria (2022); and Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway (2022). A survey exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne was on view in 2021 and her work was also included in the 2021 editions of the Liverpool Biennial and the Busan Biennale.
In 2017 her ‘Carte Blanche’ exhibition Days are Dogs opened at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. She presented The Pale Fox at Chisenhale Gallery, London in 2014, which later traveled to Bétonsalon, Paris; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; and Westfalen Kunstverein Münster. She has had additional solo exhibitions at Art Sonje, Seoul; Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery; Kunsthalle Wien; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; La Fondazione Memmo, Rome; New Museum, New York; Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; New Orleans Museum of Art; Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris; and Jeu de Paume, Paris. She participated in the 9th Berlin Biennale; Prospect 3, New Orleans; and the 2014 Taipei and Gwangju Biennials. Her awards include the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale, the 2014 Nam Jun Paik Award, and the 2015 Edvard Munch Award.