<span class="chapeau">During his brief but brilliant career, French-Israeli artist Absalon (1964–1993) created a singular and remarkable body of work, setting forth a highly personal response to the existential and social questions of the early 1990s.</span> <br><br> <div class="auteur col m-4 noclick"> <div class="inner"> <div class="white"> <a class="switch">Text</a><br> <b>Lysandre Enanaa</b><br> </div> </div> </div> <br><br><br> <div class="clearfix"> <span class="col m-3"> </span><span class="title">Absalon</span> </div> <div class="clearfix"> <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Born in Israel, Eshel Meir settled in France in the 1980s, where he studied at the Beaux-Arts and adopted the name Absalon. His early works consisted of small, everyday objects made of painted wood, cardboard, earth, and string. He soon began producing series of geometric volumes characterized by a deliberately limited, systematized vocabulary: a repertoire of basic, pared-down shapes, presented on platforms or in vitrines, all on the same scale and unified by a uniform coat of white paint. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>These abstract modes of occupying space constitute idealized living units. They borrow from the Bauhaus and Le Corbusier’s simple volumes and minimalist living arrangements, but avoid becoming either functionalist or utopian. Manifesting Absalon’s double interests in sculpture and architecture, they are the heirs not only to Kazimir Malevich’s architectonics—models of experimental sculpture created in the early 1920s—but also to the “sculptures habitacles” of André Bloc, an engineer, architect, and artist who built experimental pavilions in his garden in Meudon that were intended to synthetize aspects of sculpture and architecture. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>An early victim of HIV/AIDS, passing away at age twenty-eight, Absalon left behind a symbolist urbanism, a personal body of work that reflects his own, diseased body. The individual living units, with their emphasis on privacy, evoke the solitude of sickness; his obsession with organization and order refers to the constraints imposed on him by his diagnosis; his fixation on purity suggests the strict sterility of medical treatments. Audrey Koulinsky, curator of the exhibition “Absalon. Inhabiting Constraint” (Cellule 516, Marseille, 2013), defines Absalon’s body of work as one in which “art and life combine until their borders blur, ultimately creating a mechanism that can ‘manufacture’ change. And that’s exactly the artist’s goal: to create change for the sake of change, without taking into consideration the notion of progress.”<br><br> </div>
ABSALON<br /><i>Proposition d’objets quotidiens</i>, 1990 — Wood, cardboard, plaster (18 éléments) — 15 × 160 × 54 cm
 

Pinault Collection

Pinault Collection Magazine - Issue #06

 

Pinault Collection

Archives