Jean-Marie Appriou’s third solo show at C L E A R I N G, ‘Griffe, langue, rose et écailles’ (Claw, Tongue, Rose and Scales), sees the artist presenting large-scale sculptural installations cast in aluminium. Craftsmanship lies at the heart of the Paris-based artist’s practice and his monumentally impressively sculptures are built from – and for – an alternate universe in which nature, rather than humans, takes centre stage. Here unpolished, roughly hewn and darkly marked figures show the aftermath of the artist’s curiosity into alchemical process and studio-based experimentation. A continuation from past work, Appriou fabricates strange mythical forms influenced by symbolists, from Gustave Morea’s feathery markings to Fernand Khnopff’s statuesque women. If Appriou is a god, he is a creator of imperfect creatures: monkeys, serpents, jaguars with uneven textured exteriors that imply the presence of movement. The ecosystem created for this show, as well as the rose bushes installed in the exhibition space, symbolize the ‘mystical and romantic rapport’ humans have with nature.
- Kadish Morris
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