Galerie Eva Presenhuber is pleased to present Gemini, the gallery’s third exhibition with the French artist Jean-
Marie Appriou.

 

The story of life on Earth is a story of twins. Ever since the first organisms bubbled into being, tiny specks in a vast
primordial soup, they have been splitting themselves in two. Billions of years later, even the largest creatures still
begin life as single cells that divide into identical daughters. One becomes two, two becomes four, and eventually,
these exponential broods become us.

 

The French artist Jean-Marie Appriou has a keen eye for the twins that shape our collective imagination: the
kindred concepts and subtle dualities with which we make sense of the world. In previous exhibitions, Appriou has
deftly illuminated the ways in which our notions of the prehistoric past and dreams of the distant future walk hand in
hand. With Gemini, his new show at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Appriou invites us to consider a different set of twins—
poetry and sculpture—through the lens of the Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke and the French artist Auguste Rodin.

 

Rilke was already an established poet when, in 1902 at the age of 26, he traveled to Paris to write a monograph on
the eminent sculptor. In a letter sent not long after their first meeting, Rilke confessed to Rodin: “It is not just to
write a study that I have come to you, it is to ask you: how should I live?” Through his ongoing contact with Rodin,
Rilke developed an entirely new approach. He embraced the rigor and discipline of working full days and shed the
flourishes of his early verse. “He disavows texts composed before this date,” notes the writer Claire Gheerardyn, “as
if contact with sculpture had finally propelled him into true poetry.” With his new work, Rilke sought to create “poem
things” (Dinge-Gedichte) that possess the tactility of bronze or clay: poems with the physical presence of sculptures.

 

Rilke has been an enduring lodestar for Appriou, who rarely travels without a copy of Letters to a Young Poet. For this
exhibition, Appriou has created three glass portraits of Rilke tinted with ink, as though the poet’s words were
suffusing his very flesh and blood. These sculptures are the first in a new series of portraits that Appriou plans to
produce in homage to the writers who have influenced him and his work: Charles Baudelaire (an icon he shares
with Rodin), Mary Shelley, and Edgar Allen Poe are still to come. Clouds of smoke seem to swirl within the glass,
tantalizingly translucent and opaque, just as the best poems invite interpretation even as they retain an enduring
sense of mystery.
(Text Zoë Lescaze)

 

Jean-Marie Appriou was born 1986 in Brest, FR, and lives and works in Paris, FR.

ART SPACE

+43 1 890 17 43

info@presenhuber.com

Galerie Eva Presenhuber

Die Galerie Eva Presenhuber ist eine führende internationale Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst, die sich im Besitz von Eva Presenhuber befindet und über Standorte in Zürich und Wien verfügt.

Jean-Marie Appriou: gemini

9 Nov 2023 - 22 Dec 2023

Galerie Eva Presenhuber

Lichtenfelsgasse 5, 1010 Wien, Österreich

Jean-Marie Appriou: gemini

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Welcome to Vienna Art Week 2024

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