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Jean-Michel Othoniel: Wild Rosebuds Is a Garden of Glass

07.27.21 | By
Jean-Michel Othoniel: Wild Rosebuds Is a Garden of Glass
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Legendary French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel is presenting two series of work at Perrotin Gallery in New York this month. Showcasing colorful mirrored glass sculptures and gritty paintings on gold leaf, Wild Rosebuds is a must see.

Installation view of Jean-Michel Othoniel: Wild Rosebuds at Perrotin New York, 2021

Kiku – Ayameiro (Iris color) 2020

The exhibition includes works from both the “Kiku” and “Rose” series. The glass sculptures are inspired by the “Kiku” – the Japanese word for the chrysanthemum flower. Made from individual blown glass spheres threaded on an unseen metal support, each abstracted flower feels like it might float into the air at any moment. The top-down color gradients (each sphere is a slightly different intensity of color) and mirrored glass lend a surprising weightless quality. Looping strands of saturated oranges and greens are reflected into other orbs within the same work, often recalling DNA strands and providing a greater illusion of infinity.

All the works are part of Othoniel’s larger “infinite knots” series – inspired by a mathematical theory called wild knot theory used to calculate the infinities of reflections contained within one sphere of mirrors.

Kiku – Akakoiro (Red incense color), 2020

Even the titles of the works are a treat, as Jean-Michel has named the works for their very specific color associations. For example, “Kiku – Moegiiro (Fresh onion color)” perfectly captures the freshness of the green hue, while “Kiku – Akakōiro (Red incense color)” recalls a specific scent, and “Kiku – Ayameiro (Iris color)” reveals that this particular chrysanthemum has taken on the color of an iris.

Kiku – Moegiiro (Fresh onion color), 2020

Kiku – Moegiiro (Fresh onion color), 2020 (detail)

The largest sculpture in the exhibition takes inspiration from a rose bud. Greeting visitors at the entrance, “Gold Rose” is made from mirror-polished stainless steel and stands 39-inches tall.

Installation view of Jean-Michel Othoniel: Wild Rosebuds at Perrotin New York, 2021

Gold Rose, 2021

Installation view of Jean-Michel Othoniel: Wild Rosebuds at Perrotin New York, 2021

Installation View of Jean-Michel Othoniel: Wild Rosebuds at Perrotin New York, 2021

Beyond the sculptures, intense black and red paintings shimmer on backgrounds of gold leaf. Referencing a blooming rose, the “Bouton Rose” works that hang around the room recall a multitude of imagery – from the flower itself, to distant galaxies, to black fireworks. Created with a thick black or red ink on white or green gold leaf, these practically glow in real life, playing and shifting in the light as you approach.

Bouton Rose, 2020. Painting on canvas, red ink on green gold leaf

Bouton Rose, 2020. Painting on canvas, black ink on white gold leaf

“Wild Rosebuds” is an exceptionally beautiful exhibition that explores a complex fusion of imagery and ideas. View more images of the work on the exhibition website. The gallery is open Monday-Friday through August 13th.

Installation view of Jean-Michel Othoniel: Wild Rosebuds at Perrotin New York, 2021

Jean-Michel Othoniel in front of his permanent installation “La Rose du Louvre”, in the Louvre Museum. Photographer: Claire Dorn. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin. ©Jean-Michel Othoniel / ADAGP, Paris & ARS, New York, 2021.

What: Jean-Michel Othoniel: Wild Rosebuds
Where: Perrotin New York, 130 Orchard St, New York, NY
When: June 17 – August 13, 2021 (Summer gallery hours Monday-Friday 10am-6pm)

All photos by Claire Dorn, Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin © Jean-Michel Othoniel / ADAGP, Paris & ARS, New York, 2021

David Behringer visits over 200 galleries every month to uncover and share the most exciting contemporary art in New York today. Subscribe to his exclusive weekly newsletter at www.thetwopercent.com and learn about his private gallery tours. And be sure to check out his YouTube.