Anita Molinero - La Grosse Bleue

Anita Molinero excels in exhibition titles as much as she loves giving "little names" to her artworks. By entitling her new exhibition "The Great Blue", she lets a modern ode to colour coexist with the familiarity of language.

The artist is presenting her second solo exhibition at the Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico in Paris, but she has developed since the 1980s an extraordinary sculptural artwork combining waste, archaic alteration and genesis. A strong personality for whom polystyrene refers as much to a noble product of industrial refining, as well as to Poly Styrene (1957-2011), the famous leader of the group X-Ray Spex.

A contemporary of the punk icon, Anita Molinero actually outlines the rudiments of her work in a context in no particular order, the petrol crisis, the bogging down of the proletarian left wing, and redefining the academic and psychiatric institutions where categories such as emancipation and contradiction are so magnificently complex that they cannot simply be subject to a fixed and binary moral system.

The Great Blue brings together different artworks whose functionality (cistern, pedestal, foam) and alteration (distortion, disfiguration) are some of its occurrences. "The Great Blue" is also the little name that she had given to an industrial cistern that loyally kept her company in the studio. After having cut it up and brutalised its multiple "skins" (as named by the artist), she installed it in the entrance to welcome the gallery visitors. A group of daubs then followed - a succession of paintings oscillating between transformation and disfiguration - and lastly a strange diptych, a sculpture in the round of a duo as a tribute to Degas. More brutal than the wax and material ballerinas, Anita opposes the pedestal and the inform figure, bronze and melted plastic.
From the mid 80s, she started recuperating industrial and functional materials that she cut up and tore. She then used foam, cardboard and plastic, boxes and containers to stack, connect and straighten the shapes that she dressed in fake leather or natural materials, hypothetical reuses of bags or dresses found in the street (Untitled, 1992; dress, foam, cardboard, 70 x 25 cm. Untitled, 1989-1995; foam, container, material).

In this game between abstraction and anthropomorphism, she inscribes herself in a post minimal history of sculpture. Using industrial materials and tools, Anita Molinero is mainly an artist that draws from counter-functionalism to be able to produce primitive forms filled with vitalism. In this singular continuum linking destruction and fetishism, the abject and the sublime, a melted plastic hairnet becomes a Venus; and a burnt and painted foam plaque becomes a secular reliquary.

Julien Fronsacq, March 2017

Opening with the support of Fondation d'entreprise Ricard.