Gallerie Emmanuel Perrotin opened on the 20th of March the exhibition entitled “Animal Architecture” by Daniel Arsham. Straddling between art, architecture, and performance. Arsham has worked across disciplines with Merce Cunningham, Hedi Slimane, Bob Wilson, and Jonah Bokaer.

Architecture is a prevelant subject throughout the artwork of Daniel Arsham: environments with eroded walls and stairs going nowhere, landscapes where nature overrides structures, and a general sense of playfulness within existing architecture. His drawings of ruins in the middle of a luxurious and dominant nature reveal his fascination for the classical painters such as Nicolas Poussin and Hubert Robert. Nevertheless, the ruins he describes are those of the modernists buildings, evoking Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier.

Arsham’s new series of Gouache on Mylar drawings are inspired by etchings of Gustave Doré and Albrecht Dürer, among others, with Arsham rehashing old images into new stories. The artist has said that «The type of line work found in etchings brings to mind a certain time period, though in my work time has been compressed. Through the use of imagery foreign to the period and to the place, the imagery becomes timeless. There is a post-human quality to this series.»The act of recreating the etching lines by brush is a modern approach to a classic form of image making. The drawings feature various animals: kangaroos, owls and donkeys, staring at or interacting with floating architectural forms of different shapes and sizes. The animals appear both perplexed and intrigued with these human objects and seem to be lost in contemplation. «Animals have a unique relationship with architecture because it is not built for them. When we are confronted with the animal’s ambiguous connection to a world designed for humans, we are better equipped to ask questions about our own relationships to architecture.» Arsham has said.

The series of sculptures entitled Pixel Clouds, 2010, reveals Arsham’s fascination with architecture and its relationship to nature which takes him into new territory. The artist begins with digital photographs of clouds, drastically increased, creating a tapestry of digital color pixels. The individual colors from the image are transferred into hand-painted balls, which are assembled to form clouds that inhabit the gallery space. By examining how concepts like time, nature and color are built, Arsham challenges the conventional methods of looking at the architecture.
The white marble sculpture, Hide, 2005, depics skyscrapers in a mountainous landscape, defying the material.
Two new cube sculptures will also be presented that carry Arsham’s erosion works onto autonomous forms separate from the architecture.

Daniel Arsham “Animal Architecture”
20/03/2010 – 07/05/2010
10, impasse Saint Claude