Summoning the elements, capturing the invisible ties that bind the components of the universe, understanding the processes of erosion, imprinting, crystallisation, revealing the burn of the sun… Since the early 1960s, whether fantasising about dominating the elements or toying with the creative humility of letting things happen, or somewhere in between, several generations of artists have turned to nature and its manifestations.
The approach of these artist-gatherers, who set out to ‘gather’ the wind, light or pollen, stems from experiments focused on capturing natural phenomena, exploring materials’ various states or meticulously observing ostensibly elusive elements.
Yves Klein’s experiments into capturing the ‘momentary states of nature’, Land art, and Arte povera fascinated by the ‘forces at work’ appear to be key moments in this complicity between the artistic world and the natural realm.
Bringing this experimentation up to date, the works selected for the exhibition outline an ode to impermanence and the emergence of forms ‘assisted’ by nature through various generations of artists. They highlight their persistent attraction to natural processes and to capturing them, while echoing the diversity in contemporary debate on environmental issues. Driven by a keen awareness of the fragility of the natural order, the practices implicitly outline a plea for the environment and an appeal to listen to and sense the secret life of the universe.
Artists: Marina Abramovic, Dove Allouche, Giovanni Anselmo, Davide Balula, Hicham Berrada, Michel Blazy, Marinus Boezem, Famille Boyle, John Cage, Charlotte Charbonnel, Judy Chicago, Emma Dajska, Edith Dekyndt, Agnes Denes, Quentin Derouet, Noël Dolla, Piero Gilardi, Andy Goldsworthy, Hans Haacke , Ilana Halperin, Peter Hutchinson, Yves Klein, Irene Kopelman, Tetsumi Kudo, Maria Laet , Barbara et Michael Leisgen, Anthony Mc Call , Susana Mejia, Ana Mendieta, Bernard Moninot, Teresa Murak, Maurizio Nannucci, Otobong Nkanga, Yoko Ono, Denis Oppenheim, Gina Pane, Giuseppe Penone, Evariste Richer, Charles Ross, Vivien Roubaud, Rúrí, Tomas Saraceno, Charles Simonds, Michelle Stuart, Thu-Van Tran, Nicolas Uriburu, Capucine Vandebrouck, Maarten Vanden Eynde.
Hélène Guenin, director of MAMAC, assisted by Rébecca François, conservation officer in MAMAC
Within the frame of the celebration of the 90th anniversary of Yves Klein’s birth and with the support of Archives Klein, MAMAC initiated a series of event shedding light on the artist link to Nice