CERITH WYN EVANS - L>espace)(…

Hors Les Murs

Photo credits : © Cerith Wyn Evans

From 20.07.2023 to 08.01.2024
Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo
Omotesando Bldg 7F 5-7-5 Jingumae Shibuya-ku
Tokyo 150-0001
+81 3 3515 0855
12 am - 8 pm

The Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo is pleased to announce the presentation of L>espace)(…, an exclusive exhibition of Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans’s works.

Cerith Wyn Evans studied for a BFA at Saint Martin’s School of Art (1977-1980) and a MA in Film and Television at the Royal College of Art (1981-1984) in London, United Kingdom. After serving as an assistant to director Derek Jarman for two years, he produced his own experimental films in collaboration with dancers, videos with rock bands and, in 1988, shot a short film, Degrees of Blindness. Though he chose in the early 1990s to work with different media that converged in either sculpture or installation, these cinematographic experiences left a strong and lasting impression. His works explore the manifestation of forms in space, be they photographic images, texts (most often in neon), light, sound or video. While his works are spectacular in dimension, they are executed with the distance born of his encyclopaedic knowledge of conceptual art. Evans builds a labyrinth of meanings: the quotations or original texts that materialise in space present themselves as often-indecipherable enigmas. The spirited, impenetrable aspects of post-symbolist and avant-garde literature clearly serve as major sources of inspiration. 

Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo

Diplômé de la Saint Martin’s School of Art (1977-1980), Cerith Wyn Evans est également titulaire d’un Master en cinéma et télévision, obtenu au Royal College of Art (1981-1984) à Londres. Après avoir été l’assistant du réalisateur Derek Jarman pendant deux ans, il tourne ses propres films expérimentaux en collaboration avec des danseurs, des clips pour des groupes de rock puis, en 1988, un court-métrage, Degrees of Blindness. Au début des années 1990, il s’oriente vers différents supports, convergeant vers la sculpture ou l’installation, tout en restant durablement marqué par son expérience première en cinéma. L’artiste explore la manière dont les formes se déploient dans l’espace, qu’il s’agisse de photographies, de textes (le plus souvent en néon), de lumière, de son ou encore de vidéo. Spectaculaires par leurs dimensions, ses œuvres sont exécutées avec une certaine distance, née de ses connaissances encyclopédiques de l’art conceptuel. Cerith Wyn Evans construit un labyrinthe de symboles. Il matérialise dans l’espace des citations ou textes originaux, qui prennent la forme d’énigmes souvent indéchiffrables. Son œuvre porte clairement la fougue insaisissable de la littérature post-symboliste et d’avant-garde.

© Cerith Wyn Evans © Louis Vuitton / Jérémie Souteyrat

His work with text and neon effectively illustrates his manner of deconstructing the intertextuality in which his work takes part. Some of his pieces play with Latin palindromes, for example, coiling up on themselves, whose neon letters, suspended like a chandelier, are reflected and multiplied in the glass serving as their support. Evans also explores questions of translation. Lights – connected to computers across whose screens the texts scroll – blink in Morse code to convey poems by William Blake, quotations from feminist theorist Judith Butler, theologian Michel de Certeau or even the Marquis de Sade. As is characteristic of the artist, Evans chooses to make manifest the paradox represented by using light to convey an obscure statement. In his eyes, poetry is rooted in what he calls “the exoticism of experimentation,” which, through layers of ambiguity, lets him explore the grey areas between fact and fiction, reality and its reflection, established certainties and contradictory feelings.

Cerith Wyn Evans, while initially recognised for showcasing the use of light, has developed a unique sculptural oeuvre, whether he is transposing movements, texts, sounds or exploring the limits of visibility. The set of works in the Collection,  assembled in 2007 prior to the Fondation’s opening, is remarkable in this regard.

© Cerith Wyn Evans © Louis Vuitton / Jérémie Souteyrat

Cerith Wyn Evans

First and foremost a film-maker and video artist, Cerith Wyn Evans began making sculptures and visual and sound installations in the 1990s, mainly based on the themes of language and perception.

Drawings on references to cinema, literature and art history, his works feature neon lights, photographs, musical instruments and even fireworks, spatialising sounds and hovering between the material and immaterial.

Cerith Wyn Evans presented multiple monographic shows at renowned institutions, including the Aspen Museum of Art, Colorado, USA (2021); Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan, Italy (2019); the National Museum Wales and Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom (2018); the Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico (2018); the Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich, Switzerland (2017); the Museion Bolzano, Italy (2015); the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London (2014); the MUSAC in Leon, Spain (2008); the Institute of Contemporary Art in London (2004); the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA (2004); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France (2004). He also participated in documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany (2002) and was the first artist to represent Wales at the Venice Art Biennale in 2003. His works are part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, USA; the Tate Modern in London; the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris.