Joining: Agathe de Bailliencourt


The month of May belongs to Agathe de Bailliencourt, who will have two solo shows, Eintritt in Toronto and Sheer in New York, plus a site-specific projection onto The New Museum, concurrently on view. Eintritt means “joining” in German (de Bailliencourt is French but currently based in Berlin) and this post joins together images from both of her painting exhibitions as well as selected past projections and site-specific installations. The images are strikingly distinct, yet demonstrate de Bailliencourt’s continuing interest in the expressive mark of the hand (particularly her graffiti-inflected splashes and scrawls), as well as her ongoing engagement with architectural form, space, and especially movement/directionality delineated through the use of decisive gestures, layered textures, and vibrantly contrasting colours.


Featuring an electrically hued series of expressive paintings, Eintritt’s lines and planes intersect and overlap, flickering between physical and psychological interior spaces. Striking colours and obsessively repeated scrawls declaring Je m’en fous (French for I don’t give a *%^*#) suggest an inner world of conflict and resistance written within the deeply personal corners of the artist’s mind.



In stark contrast, Sheer features paintings on linen which are striking in their restraint. Breaking from the enclosures of Entritt, Sheer circumscribes a physical and emotional space beyond limits, a vast expanse that knows no corners, walls, or thickness. Instead we have horizons, perspective, and distance, rendered in a spare yet recognizable hand and palette. Absent are the jostling planes, layers, and texts, as if the artist’s mind has found in these Paysages a moment’s silent repose.


Shown below are selected works from Despite Territories, a beautifully designed publication which represents the breadth of de Bailliencourt’s recent practice. In addition to her paintings and intimate drawings, de Bailliencourt’s gestural and textual markmaking is shown writ large on the surface of the world in large-scale projections and sweeping site-specific installations.


Eintritt opened two weeks ago at General Hardware Contemporary in Toronto and runs through May 18th. The publication Despite Territories is also available from the gallery.

Sheer opens May 2nd at Benrimon Contemporary in New York and runs through June 29th. Also in New York, de Bailliencourt’s projection onto the New Museum is scheduled to happen on May 4th as part of Ideas City.

images, from top to bottom:
Je m’en fous 32, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 58 x 79.75 inches, 2010
Je m’en fous 44, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 49.75 x 61.5 inches, 2010
Je m’en fous 38, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 39.5 x 42.25 inches, 2010
Paysage 12, acrylic paint on raw linen canvas, 66.875 x 86.625 inches, 2012
Paysage 6, acrylic paint, pastels, pencils on raw linen canvas, 66.875 x 86.625 inches, 2012
Je m’en fous – paysage 3, pencil on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 2011
Je m’en fous, projection on the IHZ-Building, Berlin, dimensions variable, 2007
La vie en rose, enamel paint in a courtyard at 48-Stunden Neukolln, Berlin, dimensions variable, 2007


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