Munch and Bergman, Xie Lei… 6 painting exhibitions to see for free in Paris

An unprecedented dialogue between the Norwegian painters Edvard Munch and Anna-Eva Bergman at Poggi, the phantasmagoric painting of Elizabeth Glaessner at Perrotin or the ambiguous portraits of Victor Man at Max Hetzler… Painting is once again at the honor in Parisian galleries. Focus on 6 exhibitions that reflect all the historical and contemporary richness of this medium.

The phantasmagoria of Elizabeth Glaessner at Perrotin

Giants, hybrids or agender, biblical or mythological figures, the bodies represented by Elizabeth Glaessner become avatars of a parallel world to which only the American artist holds the keys. For ten years, the painter has been composing ambiguous scenes where these strange beings give birth to each other, overlap, cling to each other, even fight or vomit, in supernatural hues oscillating between shades of blue, green and red, orange and purple. . Using ink and watercolour, which the artist deliberately drips onto canvas or paper in such a way as to provoke an accident, the 30-year-old plays on the liquidity of silhouettes and decorations, whose colors and the contours merge into each other: thus, the trees of a forest are diluted in the surface of flat water, the limbs of the characters lengthen in astonishing proportions, while punctually emerging from these meanders sharper elements, such as the daisies of a meadow, the texture of long female hair or pots of paint to compose a damage to the artist’s studio. As expressive as it is enigmatic, the artist’s work is the subject of a first personal exhibition at Perrotin, which brings together some fifteen pieces produced over the past two years.

Elizabeth Glaessner, “Dead Leg”, until October 8, 2022 at the Perrotin gallery, Paris 3rd.

Victor Man, “Untitled” (2022). © Victor Man / courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | Paris | London.

Victor Man, “Untitled (From Wounds and Starry Dreams)” (2022). © Victor Man / courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | Paris | London.

Ambiguous portraits of Victor Man at Max Hetzler

This fall, the Max Hetzler gallery is hosting a gallery of portraits that are both intimate and disturbing. On its walls, we discover a series of youthful faces and a few animals depicted in oil with a precision that is reminiscent of that of the mannerists or the Flemish primitives. But the purity and serenity induced by these nine canvases are quickly darkened by their colors and their light: a greenish dominance coats these individuals and makes certain parts of their bodies emerge from the darkness, giving them a sickly or even moribund appearance. Romanian artist based in Berlin, Victor Man constantly plays on this ambiguity between form and substance, but also with the prestigious history of his medium in the West. On one of his canvases, which takes his own companion as a model, a languid naked woman holds a skull against her neck, thus simultaneously encountering subjects well known to aesthetes: vanity and the odalisque. The man born in 1974, who confides that he likes to live for months with his paintings in the studio before exhibiting them, has been developing for twenty years a painting between dog and wolf, subverting the secular canons of beauty to let an extraneousness emerge. unprecedented.

Victor Man, “From Wounds and Starry Dreams”, until October 29, 2022 at the Max Hetzler gallery, Paris 4th.

Martha Jungwirth, “Australidelphia” (2020). © Martha Jungwirth / Bildrecht, Wien 2022. Photo: Ulrich Ghezzi
Martha Jungwirth, “Australidelphia” (2020). © Martha Jungwirth / Bildrecht, Wien 2022. Photo: Ulrich Ghezzi

Martha Jungwirth, “Australidelphia” (2020). © Martha Jungwirth / Bildrecht, Wien 2022. Photo: Ulrich Ghezzi

Eight painters renew abstraction at Ropac

Two years after celebrating the women of minimal art in a collective exhibition, Since this summer, Thaddaeus Ropac has been honoring eight contemporary painters whose practice contributes to a renewal of abstraction. From Han Bing to Rachel Jones via Thu-Van Tran, the works of these women brought together by curator Oona Doyle in the vast and luminous space of the Pantin gallery explore the notion of saturation through the expressiveness of shapes and colours, in a wide variety of formats – including many monumental ones – and approaches. Thus, in the large landscapes of the Austrian Martha Jungwirth, the majority of the space of the canvas is left blank except for touches of purple paint which smudge the beige of the background. In the installation of the young Briton Mandy El-Sayegh, on the other hand, the assemblages of newspapers overflow the canvases to invest the walls, evoking the saturation of the visual field by information diluted in the glue and the layers of silkscreen printing. . For their part, the canvases of the Canadian Megan Rooney let soft colors spring forth to compose neo-impressionist landscapes playing on the contrasts of light and density. A rich overview of current painting over two generations, which the gallery has completed since September in its space in the Marais with a new exhibition by Ali Banisadr. Dense and immense, the figurative canvases of the American artist evoke current affairs and historical painting, while being steeped in the stories and legends that have shaped our world over the centuries.

“Saturation”, until September 24 at the Thaddaeus Ropac gallery, Pantin. Ali Banisadr, “Return to Mother”, until October 8, 2022, Paris 3rd.


Poggi Gallery, Paris.


Edvard Munch, “Early Spring” (1903-05). Poggi Gallery, Paris.

A rare dialogue between Edvard Munch and Anna-Eva Bergman at Poggi

They were both painters and Norwegians, and each in his time has contributed to a revival of pictorial expression. Edvard Munch (1863-1944) and Anna-Eva Bergman (1909-1987) are now reunited at the Poggi gallery. Three exceptional paintings never exhibited in France by the first, soon to be featured in a major exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, meet here several paintings painted or engraved by Anna-Eva Bergman, who has claimed the influence of her elder on his own practice. In this unprecedented dialogue, the exhibited works highlight their own experience and perception of Nordic landscapes, witnesses of two fundamentally different approaches, both technically and formally. With Munch, the treatment of oil paint brings out hallucinated forms, where trees and other natural elements seem to become spectral characters straight out of a dream or a mirage. With Bergman, the cutting of the canvas into colored flat areas and the addition of metal sheets, the painter’s signature, as well as the wood engraving reduce his subjects to their essence to translate the light of the stars, the mountains, the sky and of the sea as much as the silence and fullness of their contemplation. In addition to the pieces presented, the meeting of these two major artists will be punctuated by several conferences led by specialists such as Thomas Schlesser, director of the Hartung-Bergman Foundation which opened its doors to the public a few months ago.

Edvard Munch, Anna-Eva Bergman, “A cosmology of art”, from September 17 to November 5, 2022 at the Poggi gallery, Paris 4th.


Xie Lei, “Worship” (2022). Semiose Gallery, Paris.


Xie Lei, “Embrace III” (2022). Semiose Gallery, Paris.

Between love and magic, the appearances of Xie Lei at Semiose

Rising star of figurative painting, Xie Lei is on display at his first personal exhibition at the Semiose gallery in Paris. In his paintings, the Parisian by adoption born in China declines poetic subjects shrouded in mystery: his characters with faces brushed with a brush until the sometimes complete erasure of their features appear sometimes asleep between life and death, sometimes in love or even embraced, even sometimes brought together by intriguing rites from which emanates a bewitching aura. Fleeting and blurry appearances, the bodies are transformed into angelic and supernatural figures in scenes that sometimes tease the history of art. So in painting Exposure Iwe discover two individuals lying in what looks like a field of golden wheat, where one of the silhouettes seems to dissolve – hard not to see here a mirror of the canvas Midday rest by Vincent Van Gogh, depicting two dozing peasants during their daily break. A true creator of atmospheres oscillating between fiery settings and underwater depths, Xie Lei has drawn here from among his works following the same red thread: the short film A song of love, unique film directed by Jean Genet in 1950 recounting the love story born between two prisoners neighboring cells. A reference that reflects both the narrative power of the paintings of the thirty-something and their intimate and secret character, animated by a discreet eroticism.

Xie Lei, “Song of love”, until October 8, 2022 at the Semiose gallery, Paris 4th.


Sophie Reinhold, “APORIA (A)” (2022). Photo: Matthias Kolb. Courtesy of the artist & Fitzpatrick Gallery, Paris.


Sophie Reinhold, “APORIA (P)” (2022). Photo: Matthias Kolb. Courtesy of the artist & Fitzpatrick Gallery, Paris.

Iconoclastic painting by Sophie Reinhold at Fitzpatrick Gallery

It would be very difficult to categorize Sophie Reinhold’s painting without risking confining it, as the artist strives to deploy canvas after canvas a real exercise in style. Aged 41, the German artist wonders about the future of the medium and its contemporary resonances, where the heritage of a rich and sometimes heavy art history meets the influence of new media, communication media, visual culture and their way of reclaiming ancestral icons or generating new ones. At the Fitzpatrick Gallery, the painter, who often works in series, unveils an unpublished corpus around the figure of Aporia, the Greek deity of difficulty and helplessness who gave her name to the term aporia. As in many of her works, Sophie Reinhold spells this term over paintings that alternate between radically different or even opposing aesthetics. On the majority, we identify references to the ancient art of illumination and in particular the initials, where each letter is formed by figurative elements and other characters in various postures, but also to the tapestry and the pastoral scenes represented. on canvas of Jouy. Beyond these soft, watery and shiny paintings made with oil paint and marble powder, several works denote by their cartoonish figures represented in bright, matte and plain colors which derive directly from pop culture, or else by their realistic faces emerging from the darkness, undoubtedly inspired by the photographic portrait. An abstract form also emerges from the exhibition: the spiral, symbol of infinity which could well refer here to the absurd and insoluble nature of existence.

Sophie Reinhold, “Aporia”, until October 8, 2022 at the Fitzpatrick Gallery, Paris 3rd.

Munch and Bergman, Xie Lei… 6 painting exhibitions to see for free in Paris