An extensive overview of Olivier Mosset's six-decade painting practice.
Olivier Mosset is one of the central figures in postwar abstract painting, and a pivotal reference for generations of Swiss, European, and American painters. The acute historical awareness of Mosset's practice is characterized by his continual questioning of the medium of painting itself and the means by which it resists the repeated assaults of "spectacle" and reification.
Published on the occasion of the artist's retrospective at MAMCO Geneva, this publication offers an extensive overview of his six-decade transatlantic painting practice: from his first experiments in Paris in the 1960s within the BMPT collective and his famous "Circle Paintings" to his shaped canvases from the 1980s and his recent monumental works, exploring "appropriation
," "radical painting," and his interest in experimental cinema
along the way. Designed by Gavillet
& Cie, the book proposes a journey through the rooms of the exhibition and the successive steps of Mosset's art, thanks to generous documentation and the life-size reproduction of the paintings' details. The book's cover is silkscreened and reproduces a life-size detail of one of Mosset's most iconic paintings.
Introduced and edited by MAMCO director Lionel Bovier
, the book features three essays focusing on specific aspects of Mosset's practice: MAMCO's curator Paul Bernard
on the artist's filmmaking activities and how cinema constituted a visual model for Mosset; art historian Arnauld Pierre
on his "Striped Paintings"; art critic Vincent Pécoil
on his idiosyncratic vision of painting; and two essays by fellow painter Marcia Hafif
—they met in 1978 in New York—which decipher why Mosset's painting acted as a form of resistance to the figurative and decorative wave that swept the art scene in the late 1970s.
Published on the occasion of Olivier Mosset's retrospective exhibition at MAMCO, Geneva, from February 25 to December 6, 2020.
Olivier Mosset (born 1944 in Berne, lives and works in Tucson) worked
in Paris from 1965 to 1977, participated in the creation
of the group BMTP
and then went to live
in New York. He did numerous exhibitions with
the Radical American Painters in the 1980s.
describes himself as a painter
rather than an artist. His work is based
on a principle of neutrality, radicality and
self-effacement that constantly challenge
the limits of painting. His
approach involves continually going back to previous explorations and diversifying them, taking
care to integrate into his conceptions the conditions in which they appeared, to modify his work
in line with the current cultural context, thus questioning
painting in its initial materiality.
See also Aux anges
(artist's book by Olivier Mosset); Catherine Perret: Olivier Mosset – Painting, even