Jean-Michel Othoniel

Beautiful Dances (simulation)

Jean-Michel Othoniel  Beautiful Dances

source: onlinewsj

A building that once housed the pharmacy of French King Louis XIV has recently brimmed with activity again—this time, involving blown-glass orbs, steel pipes and curious nozzles. Since January, the Paris-based sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel has turned this vaulted chamber on the periphery of Versailles’ grounds into his makeshift studio.

When the artist finishes installing the three resulting fountain-sculptures later this summer, they will become the first new permanent artworks in the palace’s gardens in more than 300 years.

Since 2008 Versailles, the lavish regal complex about 18 miles west of central Paris, has held temporary art exhibitions inside its 17th-century gilded ballrooms and manicured gardens. These shows have featured contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami. Mr. Othoniel’s commission—part of the total renovation of a garden originally designed by the famed royal landscaper André Le Nôtre —is meant to stand the test of time.

“As an artist, and a French artist in particular, there is something very special about making a mark on the land that Le Nôtre and Louis XIV designed,” Mr. Othoniel said of his fountain-sculptures, made of about 2,000 bowling ball-sized gilded glass spheres.

Paris-based sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel’s three fountain sculptures will become the first new permanent artworks in the palace’s gardens in more than 300 years. Philippe Chancel

The genesis of the work, titled “Beautiful Dances,” dates to 2011, when the artist was invited by landscape architect Louis Benech to collaborate on a proposal for a Versailles-sponsored competition to reimagine the Water Theater Grove. It has been closed to the public since suffering severe storm damage in 1990.

The entry from Messrs. Benech and Othoniel—the only one to include contemporary artwork—won in 2012 over 21 other international submissions.

Some preservationists flinch at the idea of contemporary art becoming a permanent feature of a historic landmark. But Versailles President Catherine Pégard says that “Versailles was always a place for creativity and creation.” Louis XIV, she added, “surrounded himself with the greatest artists of his time, and we are continuing that tradition today.”

No stranger to monumental art projects, Mr. Othoniel is best known for his bauble-decorated entrance to a Paris subway station near the Louvre Museum. In 2000 he gave a garland of glass ornaments to the fountains of the Alhambra complex in Granada, Spain. Since 2003 six of his giant glass necklaces, like permanent strings of Mardi Gras beads, have adorned an oak tree at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

At Versailles, Mr. Othoniel says, he felt a responsibility to “enter into a dialogue with the past.” He extensively researched Louis XIV’s interest in dance. The Sun King, it turns out, got his nickname from his balletic interpretation, at age 14, of Apollo. Mr. Othoniel’s studies led him to discover a rare book of notations devised to help the king study Baroque dance steps. Originally published in 1701, these diagrams are the basis for the fountains’ arabesque forms, which are meant to evoke the king and queen dancing on water.

“Beautiful Dances” is also linked to the past through its materials and manufacture. Louis XIV brought Venetian artisans to Versailles to fabricate the famous hall of mirrors. Similarly, Mr. Othoniel joined with a traditional glassblowing workshop in Murano—Venice’s island of glass artisans—to create four blue orbs that will mark the locations of fountains in Le Nôtre’s original garden design.

To match the particular form and intensity of the water jets in Versailles’ existing fountains, Mr. Othoniel joined with hydraulic engineers to custom fabricate 17th-century-style nozzles. “I am dialoguing with history,” he said, “but also creating a contemporary discourse that will become the next chapter in the history of a legendary location.”
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source: swatch

Jean-Michel Othoniel nació en 1964, en Saint-Etienne. Llamó la atención del mundo del arte gracias a su exposición de esculturas de azufre realizada allá por 1992, en Kassel. Estas obras, que tienden poética y beligerantemente hacia un universo de libertad total, caracterizan su interés en la metamorfosis y en el uso continuado de materiales con propiedades reversibles como, por ejemplo, el cristal, uno de sus materiales favoritos en la actualidad. Desde principios de los 90, Othoniel se ha ido labrando una excelente reputación y continúa explorando los límites artísticos en diferentes vertientes. Además, ha exhibido su obra en lugares inesperados y ubicaciones inéditas: desde una gran estación del metro de París a prestigiosas galerías de la misma ciudad, así como en museos de Nueva York, Seúl y Tokio.
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source: lespressesdureel

Né en 1964 à Saint-Etienne, Jean-Michel Othoniel vit et travaille à Paris. Privilégiant, par goût des métamorphoses, sublimations et transmutations, les matériaux aux propriétés réversibles, il présente ses sculptures en soufre à la Documenta de 1992. Il introduit le verre dans son travail à l’exposition « Féminin/Masculin » (Centre Pompidou, 1994). Ses sculptures de verre sont exposées à la Villa Médicis en 1996, puis à la Collection Peggy Guggenheim en 1997 et 2006. En 2000, il transforme la station de métro Palais Royal en Kiosque des Noctambules. Première exposition personnelle à la Fondation Cartier en 2003. En 2004, il expose au Louvre et présente au Châtelet son Petit Théâtre de Peau d’Âne. En 2010, Othoniel participera à l’inauguration du Centre Pompidou de Metz et, en 2011, aura une exposition personnelle au Centre Pompidou de Paris.
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source: www1.folhauolcombr

Jean-Michel Othoniel nasceu em Saint-Étienne (França), em 1964. Desde o início de sua carreira profissional como artista, no final dos anos 80, realizou trabalhos em diversas mídias, sobretudo filmes, livros de artista, escultura e instalação.
Desenvolveu pesquisa em escultura em vidro, por meio da qual buscava dialogar com a tradição de arte decorativa sobre esse material. Com esse trabalho, recriou a entrada dos antigos metrôs de Paris, obra que expôs em um espaço público da cidade.
Participou de algumas das principais mostras coletivas da Europa, como a Documenta de Kassel, em 1992. Expôs obras no Museu Peggy Guggenheim, em Veneza.
Apresentou o CD-ROM “A Shadow in Your Window” (exposto, agora, no Brasil) pela primeira vez em 1999, na Biblioteca Nacional de Paris.
Atualmente, vive e trabalha em Paris e Nova York.
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source: artnet

Jean-Michel Othoniel wurde 1964 in Saint-Étienne, Frankreich, geboren. 1993 begann er erstmalig mit Glas zu arbeiten. 1995-96 verbrachte er ein Jahr als Stipendiat in der Villa Medici an der Académie de France in Rom. Bereits früh erhielt er internationale Aufmerksamkeit für seine Werke und nahm an bedeutenden Ausstellungen teil. Im Jahr 2000 gestaltete Othoniel den Eingang zur Metrostation „Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre“ in Paris mit der berühmten Installation “Le Kiosque des Noctambules”. Internationale Einzelausstellungen wurden Jean-Michel Othoniel unter anderem in der Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venedig 1997 und 2006 und im PS1 in New York 1998 gewidmet. Die Retrospective “My Way” war nach der Eröffnung im Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris 2011 im Leeum Samsung Museum/Plateau, Seoul und im Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo zu sehen. Sie wird 2012 im Macau Museum of Art und im Brooklyn Museum, NY gezeigt. Gegenwärtig lebt und arbeitet der Künstler in Paris.