Mathieu Mercier's work explores the relationship between contemporary
mass-produced consumer objects and their aesthetic origins in early
20th-century art and design. He frequently employs common household
and industrial materials to create his sculptural, photographic, and
Mercier's work often refers to utopian movements such as De Stijl and
Russian Constructivism. One series of sculptures, titled “Drum and
Bass,” recreates classic Mondrian compositions out of black DIY shelving
and primary-colored household objects such as plastic bins, extension
cables, and stationery folders. In “Plastic Anchors Wall,” Mercier again
traces the use of primary colors from early Modernist art, through to
their function as color-coding for different sizes of screw anchors.
By creating a dialogue between utopian art and design icons and
contemporary mass-produced objects, Mercier highlights the evolution
the meaning of “modernity,” from a social project, to a capital gain.
Mathieu Mercier (born in 1970, lives and works in Paris and Berlin) has a line of
thinking about the definition of the place of
the object both in the consumer industries
and in the art arena. His research is conveyed
by an on-going questioning of the symbolic
and utilitarian functions of objects. The result
shows a complex-free attitude towards
everyday products and art historical references
(Constructivism, geometric abstraction,
Minimalism...). The artist thus proposes
a radical approach freeing the object, be it
unique or serial, from all acquired knowledge.
His work has been widely
shown throughout Europe for the past seven years (Musée d'art moderne
de la Ville de Paris, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, Centre Pompidou,
Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Manifesta 4, etc.).
In parallel with his work as an artist he has curated a number of exhibitions. He is also a joint director of the Galerie de Multiples in Paris, which he co-founded in 2002.
Edited by Aurélie Voltz.
Text by Jennifer Allen and Michel Gauthier
Interviews with the artist.
published in 2006
bilingual edition (English / French)
19 x 24 cm (softcover)
140 pages (148 colour & b/w ill.)
ISBN : 978-3-905701-71-5
EAN : 9783905701715