What's on in Paris: Citizens of the world

The sculptures of Louise Nevelson and political paintings of Léon Golub, from the US, the ArtePovera of Alighiero Boetti from Italy, the historic legends of Anselm Kiefer and wax figures of Thomas Schütte, both from Germany


Louise Nevelson was born in Kiev in 1899, but spent her whole working life in the US, where she is considered one of the most important sculptors of her generation. She died in 1988. The Galerie Marwan Hoss (12, rue d’Alger, +33 1 42 96 37 96) is holding an exhibition in her memory from 25 September to 16 November with a selection of little known works, in collaboration with the Nevelson Succession and the PaceWildenstein Gallery, New York. The works on show include sculpture in wood and metal, collages and some early drawings.

Léon Golub, in his own opinion, is unique in the history of contemporary art because in him painting and political campaigning merge. He was born in Chicago in 1922 and has been politically militant since the Sixties, depicting the most violent subjects (the war in Vietnam, racial conflict, Pinochet’s Chile) without ever allowing himself to be intimidated. With such polemics there might be a fear that art would be sacrificed, but this is not the case with Golub. His recent work can be seen at the Galerie Darthea Speyer (6 rue Jacques Callot, +33 1 43 54 78 41) from 19 September to 2 November. In his own way Alighiero Boetti was also a citizen of the world, but his works contain none of Golub’s aggression. He was associated with Arte Povera, where he occupied a crucial position, and he is still a central figure in the discourse of contemporary art. He died in 1994, leaving a large body of work which will be on show in a retrospective exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Villeneuve d’Ascq this autumn.

From 19 September to 9 November Galerie Krief (50, rue Mazarine, +33 1 43 29 32 37) is exhibiting a selection of his work dating from the years 1974 to 1993; his interest in the themes of duality, order and disorder, will here be in evidence.

Jean Le Gac, another actor on the same stage, but in the French style this time, has taken “the painter” as his theme, tirelessly investigating his characteristics and his functions. His work combines different media (drawing, photographs, video) and is poised somewhere between the real and the imaginary, nostalgia and humour. His most recent work will be on show at the Galerie Daniel Templon (30 rue Beaubourg, +33 1 42 72 14 10) from 7 September to 8 October. Ontological problems about whether or not it is possible to paint at all are by now, of course, somewhat outmoded. Anselm Kiefer turns his back on such things and produces heroic work, effortlessly monumental, constructed on a basis of Germanic legend and modern history. Galerie Yvon Lambert (108, rue Vieille du Temple, +33 1 42 71 09 33) has been showing his paintings for the past few years; they will present a new series from 14 September to the end of October. The gallery is bringing out a catalogue with text by Daniel Arasse (who is considerably younger than Kiefer) to accompany the exhibition.

Yan Pei-Ming, the Chinese painter living in Paris, uses a style that often echoes the style of celebrated forerunners. His new exhibition at Galerie Durand-Dessert (28, rue de Lappe, +33 1 48 06 92 23) from 7 September to 19 October consists entirely of portraits of an anonymous sitter—none other, in fact, than the artist’s father.

Thomas Schütte is also interested in the human form seen from close quarters, but without the same serious intent. His wax figures, at once grotesque and nostalgic and with distant memories of Daumier, will be remembered. With his multiplicity of themes and media, Schütte is undoubtedly one of the most original German artists of his generation. Galerie Nelson (40, rue Quincampoix, +33 1 42 71 74 56) is holding an exhibition of his work, entitled “Fucking Flowers”, from 20 September to 26 October.

Three other painters, totally different one from the other, will be the subject of one-man shows this autumn. Joan Hernandez Pijuan, born in Barcelona in 1931, has developed a style of gestural painting with geometrically placed figures. Galerie Renos Xippas (108, rue Vieille du Temple, +33 1 40 27 07 16, from 14 September to 19 October). Carole Benzaken is remarkable for the attention she pays to the simplest objects. Galerie Nathalie Obadia (5, rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare, +33 1 42 74 67 68, from 7 September to 16 October). Recent paintings by Philippe Hurteau can be found under the sign of the ‘Television’ at Galerie Zürcher (56, rue Chapon, +33 1 42 72 82 20) from 7 September to 12 October. Two other exhibitions, at either end of the spectrum of contemporary art, deserve a mention: firstly Vladimir Skoda at Galerie Montenay Giroux (31, rue Mazarine, +33 1 43 54 85 30) from 19 September to 26 October, and secondly Serge Comte at Galerie Jousse Seguin (34, rue de Charonne, +33 1 47 00 32 35) from 14 September to 2 November.