The Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo is pleased to present Medley, a monographic exhibition dedicated to French artist Bertrand Lavier. This exhibition has been produced in the framework of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s “Hors-les-murs” program, showcasing previously unseen holdings of the Collection at the Espaces Culturels Louis Vuitton in Tokyo, Munich, Venice and Beijing, thus carrying out the Fondation’s intent to realize international projects and make them accessible to a broader public.
Bertrand Lavier is an artist whose oeuvre has subverted the traditional categories of artistic classification. After studying horticulture at the Ecole Nationale d’Horticulture in Versailles (France), a subject that has since influenced his outlook, Lavier began his artistic career in the early 1970s. Reflecting upon the relationship between painting and sculpture, representation and abstraction, life and art, Lavier’s approach blends the spirit of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades with the mass-culture imagery of pop art and the trivial items typical of New Realism.
Lavier transcends traditional categories of painting and sculpture in order to emphasise hybridisation. His works, which take the form of objects that are painted, layered, mounted on a plinth, enlarged or simply removed from their original context, are organised into chantiers or “building sites”, as he calls his series, which he deliberately leaves open-ended to allow for the possibility of returning to them. Lavier incorporates everyday objects as well as other art into his work. In the 1980s, Lavier began using his “Van Gogh” painting technique as a form of intervention, covering everyday objects with a thick impressionist-like layer of paint.