On the occasion of Untitled 2014, Denis Gardarin Gallery is pleased to present a solo project by French artist Mathieu Mercier. Using mass-produced consumer products, Mercier's work investigates key tropes of modern art, design, and everyday culture. Mercier’s pictorial invention and playfulness make reference to the contested space at the intersection of modernity and post-modernity where popular culture and high culture converge in his arrangement of ordinary objects presented in a museum or gallery context. Cultural references abound–from Marcel Duchamp’s engagement with everyday objects to filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s fascination with the colors red, yellow, and blue. In Mercier’s work, the selection of both objects and color invest each choice with double, if not multiple references. In the case of Drum & bass Rozenbal the viewer is reminded of Mondrian through the use of primary colors combined with a rigid vertical and horizontal construction. At the same time, the meaning of the work shifts away from any art historical referent because it is made out of the emphatically ‘non-art’ materials of common household objects. This aspect of double entendre also holds true for the paintings; Untitled (Diamant) is true to its title, looking like a diamond, while at the same time functioning as an abstract painting. The painting becomes a sophisticated visual pun, as abstraction is shaped into a representation of pure value.
Born in 1970, Mercier has exhibited at museums and galleries worldwide, including Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland; Espace d’art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris, France; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland; Artsonje Museum, Seoul, Korea; FRAC Bourgogne, France; and Kunsthalle Nüremberg, Germany; among others. Mercier will open a solo exhibition at Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany on December 13th. In 2003 Mathieu Mercier was awarded the renowned Prix Marcel Duchamp.