About This Image
Unique collage of colored silver prints in four parts, mounted on board. Size refers only to image area. Framed under plexiglass. Overall frame size is 133 x 102 cm.
Provenance: Galerie Laage-Salomon, Paris (Exhibited 2000); Private collection. Exhibitions:: Paris, Galerie Gillespie-Laage, Le Feuilleton 1978; London, Arts Council of Great Britain, Artist & Camera (exhibition), 1980-1981. Bibliography: Camera & Artist, Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1980-81, p.46. A certificate of authenticity signed by the artist is available.
Annette Messager is an important French contemporary artist, who was born in 1943 in Berck-sur-Mer, France. She currently lives and works in Malakoff, France. She is known mainly for her installation work, which often incorporates photographs, prints and drawings, and various materials. She is the partner of artist Christian Boltanski.
Messager attended the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France but was eventually asked to leave because she spent her time at museums and movie theaters instead of going to school.
In 2005 her work was featured in the French Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, where she won the Golden Lion for her Pinocchio-inspired installation that transformed the French pavilion into a casino. Some of her most famous work is her exhibition the messengers (Mori Art Museum in Tokyo), which showcases a bunch of dead birds in sweaters which she knit herself; some of the birds' heads were replaced by stuffed animal heads.
She won first prize in the Kodak Photography International competition in 1964. In 1995 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and New York's Museum of Modern Art co-organized her first major American retrospective. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires (1999) and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2004). She also exhibited in the Biennale de Paris (1977), Documenta VI (1977), XI (2002), the Biennale of Sydney (1979, 1984, and 1990), the Venice Biennale (1980, 2003, and 2005) and the Biennale d'Art Contemporain de Lyon in 2000. She had an important solo exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2007. Her work is held in the collection of MoMA NY, and is in many other major institutional collections.
"In my family, my father was the artist," Messager has said. "With Christian, I was the girlfriend. And since I was cute, well, it was thought impossible to be an artist and cute. At first, I felt proud when someone said, 'Your work looks like a man did it.' Then I realized that was stupid."
Texts and words are of crucial importance to Annette Messager's work--for her, "words are images." And so words--at once autonomous from, parallel to, and the sources of her visual creativity--are woven throughout her production. She has looked directly at our diverse relationships to language in forms ranging from the early scrapbooks of the 1970s to the large sculpted words of the late 1990s, and others including personal diaries, letters, calligraphy, alphabets and primers. She works with the repeated, drawn, framed and sculpted word; newsprint, collage and montage of texts and photographs; and handwritten texts. Plays on words and palindromes turn up in her exhibition titles and, more recently, in her children's books. All of these uses of language stem as much from Dada and Surrealism as from the aesthetics of the banal and the everyday, and they give rise to unclassifiable texts, which call somewhere between a literature of the news item or photo-essay and poetic maxims for personal use. Messager's frequent recourse to copying down and to repetition then serves as a kind of exorcism: in those cases, writing is something like sewing, with a soothing function.
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Medium Colorized cut-out silver prints on board and remounted
Mount on original mount and framed
Photo Date 1977-78 Print Date 1977-78
Dimensions 44-7/8 x 35-3/8 in. (1140 x 900 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France