Cyprien Gaillard - Wolkengarten

Hors Les Murs

Cyprien Gaillard. Real remnants of fictive wars V, 2004. Exhibition view at Espace Louis Vuitton München (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Fondation Louis Vuitton. Photo © Christian Kain / Louis Vuitton

From 12.04.2021 to 15.08.2021
Espace Louis Vuitton München
Maximilianstrasse 2a
80539 München
+49 89 55 89 38 100,
Monday–Friday : 12p.m.–7 pm; Saturday: 10 am–7 pm

The Espace Louis Vuitton München is proud to present Wolkengarten, a new exhibition dedicated to French artist Cyprien Gaillard. The works belong to the Collection and are presented within the framework of the Fondation Louis Vuitton “Hors-les-murs” programme.

Cyprien Gaillard was born in Paris (France) in 1980. In the form of sculptures, videos, engravings, photographs and large-scale urban interventions, Gaillard’s expanding body of work, which is inspired by architecture and places that reveal the complex histories of the 20th-century utopias, manifests an omnipresent feeling of temporal collision. The artist is particularly fond of writer Vladimir Nabokov’s maxim: “The future is but the obsolete in reverse.” Through the documentation of publicly staged spectacles such as light shows and demolitions, he showcases disconcerting situations in which mystery, menace and repressed memory are explicitly asserted.

Gaillard also refers to a certain “Hubert Robert Smithson” as one of his references; the amalgamation of Hubert Robert, an 18th-century French landscape painter, and Robert Smithson, a leading figure in land art. From the former, a contemporary of French philosopher Denis Diderot, Gaillard draws an interest in ruination and the picturesque; from the latter, he adopts a fascination with entropy, earthwork and science fiction.

The Collection has brought together a significant number of works spanning from 2004 to 2019 by Gaillard, one of the most noteworthy artists of his generation. For the presentation here at Espace Louis Vuitton München, the artist himself selected two video pieces, screening for the first time in a display specifically re-invented: Real Remnants of Fictive Wars V (2004) and Desniansky Raion (2007). In Real Remnants of Fictive Wars V, Gaillard adds a contemporary twist to both land art and landscape painting by filming a fire extinguisher being set off in a bucolic scene. He also draws parallels between the great battle paintings of the Renaissance and hooligan riots with Desniansky Raion. Bearing witness to the beauty exuding from the apparent violence of his typical visual telescoping, Gaillard’s production opens up new perspectives on our shared environment.

Cyprien Gaillard. Desniansky Raion,2007

© Cyprien Gaillard. Courtesy of the artist and Fondation Louis Vuitton

The artist

Cyprien Gaillard

After spending his childhood in the United States, Cyprien Gaillard studied at the Ecole Cantonale des Arts in Lausanne.

Winner of the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2010, he is currently one of the most prominent young French artists. Reinterpreting the Land Art by filming fire extinguishers pooring dry ice in rural landscapes, or recording destruction processes, his work compresses time and can be understood as an archaeology of the future in which the present is projected towards its entropy. His work, which reflects a trend described by the artist himself as “vandalism", takes the form of sculptures, videos, engravings, photographs and interventions in public spaces. It brings out contemporary socio-political realities and the innate beauty of their brutality.