Lars Fredrikson

November 2019, 16th–March 2020, 22th

Museum’s second floor


Lars Fredrikson, Télévision (détail), 1969, Photograph, vintage print, Courtesy galerie In situ – fabienne leclerc, Paris / Lars Fredrikson Estate, © Lars Fredrikson Estate

MAMAC, in collaboration with the NMNM of Monaco, is hosting the first major retrospective exhibition of Lars Fredrikson. The work of this major artist – who died almost anonymously in 1997 – has benefited from a rediscovery and re-interpretation. Large groups of artworks have recently entered the collections of the Centre Pompidou and the GAM in Turin.

Painter, drawer, sculptor, this sound exploration pioneer questions the modalities of visual, aural and bodily perception. His work takes root in constructivism’s concepts and, from the 1960s to the 1990s, goes through several trends and labels – lyrical or gestural abstraction, cinetism, video art, sound art which he pioneered. However, his protean approach is crossed by an attempt to capture and reveal through language, engravings, drawings, faxes, hammered stainless steel or sound works, telluric, cosmic or bodily energy flows. In this way, his work questions the notions of space, emptiness, body rhythms, our capacity to perceive them, and their convolution with cosmic laws. Technical experiences punctuate a more “traditional” artistic path: he undertakes an intense engraving activity in the Maeght Foundation workshops before transferring its features in the field of sculpture and book publishing. His machinic inventiveness and his radio amateur practice stand alongside a visual approach that places him in the heritage of a radically refined pictorial formalism. At the same time, from the 1960s, Lars Fredrikson seizes the sound matter, and defends the idea of a plastic space, which the material sound and the invisible structures it composes reveal and shape. “I wanted my sculpture to be about the space in which we are located, to give us insights into what is surrounding us – including sidereal space[1]”, he says.

The network of collaborations and friendships of Lars Fredrikson makes it possible to draw up a sketch of the French artistic and literary landscape, and more specifically that of the region of Nice, of which he frequents some of the most emblematic institutions – the Villa Arson and the Maeght Foundation among others. His sound plasticity approach and his pedagogical transmission found echoes locally, on several levels: in 1971 he was appointed to the audio-visual department of Villa Arson in which he created the first studio of “sound and electro-acoustical and visual research” that he directed until 1991. His research and pedagogical commitment make him an influential figure for a generation of artists who today are the driving forces of perpetuation and sharing of theses sound practices on the Côte d’Azur.

For the first time, the exhibition organized at MAMAC gather all of the artist’s research and allow the viewers to discover his sensitive, precise and innovative work. It will make possible an artistic experience based on the dialogue between these works in order to create moments of contemplation, immersion and sensory experience. It will deploy on 1.200m2 the sound and kinetic experiments, the sculptures, paintings, drawings, collages, etchings and editions of the artist.
Through a non-linear path, operating multiple references, this exhibition aims to bring to light the unique contribution of Lars Fredrikson and the extent of his legacy.

The exhibition is the result of the collaboration with the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco. It spreads in a network of collaborations with different partner institutions: the Atelier Expérimental in Clans, the Escape Rossetti in Nice, the Villa Arson where workshops, shows and conferences around the practices of Lars Fredrikson will be held.

> Journal of the exhibition