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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 1, 2010
Exhibitions
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The Visual Language of Annette Messager
October 1, 2010   
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The Zachęta National Gallery of Art is making the lobby and six of its rooms available to installations by Annette Messager, one of the most important contemporary artists working in France, in what is her first retrospective in Poland.

In this exhibition, entitled Na pokaz (For Show), the artist reveals different faces, familiar from various phases of her career. Messager’s visual language is a consistent and coherent idiom of photographs, drawings, paintings and fabrics interwoven with courage and conviction.

The installations from the first half of the 1970s are made up of everyday items, press clippings and photographs that Messager put together in her Paris apartment. These reveal a middle class world in which exemplary mothers, sociable men, and homemakers grudgingly fulfill the cultural roles foisted on them.

More recent works have seen the artist devote increasing attention to the corporeal. The body is photographed, dissected and stripped of context and cultural significance so that composite creatures can be assembled from the pieces.

Famous installations featuring fanciful fabric shapes are also among the works on display in Poland.

The exhibition closes with Wietrzyk /Sous-vent (Gentle Breeze), an installation spectacular created specially for this exhibition by assembling shapes and forms that the artist has been closely associated with from the outset of her career right up until the present.

In 2005, Messager became the first woman in the history of French art to have an installation shown at the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Her work, Casino, won the Golden Lion.

M.R.

Open until Nov. 14
Zachęta National Gallery of Art, 3 Małachowskiego Sq., Warsaw, tel. 22 556 96 00
For more information, go to www.zacheta.art.pl
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