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12 May 2017


Expositions Mathias Kiss, mai 2017 PLUMEVOYAGE @plumevoyagemagazine © Françoise Spiekermeier

Text & photos Françoise Spiekermeier

The artist Mathias Kiss breaks down straight lines and cornices. His creations and installations playing with the bases of classical decorative arts are on top of the Parisian and European artistic scene through several simultaneous exhibitions.

He smiles at life. He spends his time, he says, getting up at ten o’clock in the morning, tasting and enjoying his condition as a free artist. He also says he is enjoying his retirement. This retiree of the Compagnons du Devoir excelled at unlearning everything he had been learning for fifteen years in the restoration of historic buildings. Or rather, he diverts the perfectly mastered techniques of the trompe l’oeil, from gilding to fine gold, stucco moldings from the eighteenth century, creating experimental decorative works that speak of a schizophrenia perfectly mastered between art and craftsmanship. Everything he has learned in the discipline and the perfect reproduction of secular gestures, by repairing the decors of the past so that they keep excisting through time, he transposes it, distorts it to extract a new meaning, questioning the notion of era, progress or image. For example, he uses gilding with fine gold or rather gold, a prisoner of its ornamental representation in the decorative arts, for its reflective quality, which beautifies complexion, illuminates space, gives warmth. In an exhibition entitled Ornementation Brutaliste in April 2015 at the Nextlevel Gallery in Paris, he deconstructed the golden cornices with fine gold in the pure style of the Palais de l’Elysée, to make stalactites out of the middle of the ceiling. Therefore, to brutalize the material and the classic aesthetic code by installing the decoration on a vertical line, is to resuscitate it, to emancipate it by offering it a place of first choice: the place of a work. From a discreet frieze that shaves the wall, the molding becomes a “Golden Snake” that takes all space.

The work that created the rupture or allowed the total freedom of the craftsman is, he says, the Miroir Froissé created in 2008, culmination of a work on the absence of right angles. From the mirror, a rigid material by definition that reflected a reflection, he made a sculpture inspired by a sheet of crumpled paper in which we seek our image, our reflection, impossible to fix. This Miroir Froissé propelled him into the art market, its price having multiplied by ten in nine years.
This already cult piece will join a collection of photographs, design objects and works of contemporary art within the collective exhibition “Miroir Miroir” presented at the Mudac (Museum of Design and Contemporary Applied Arts in Lausanne) From May 31st to October 1st, 2017. The exhibition offers to cross the interval between our image and our being. It will also be honored at the Gallery Elle in Zurich, presented with a set of other pieces in the exhibition “Sans 90 °” until June 3rd, which signs the death certificate of the right angle.
In fact, Mathias Kiss loves white surfaces. The walls of his apartments are for him white pages on which he projects design ideas, such as in the new premises of his agency, Attilalou, located 2 rue des Francs Bourgeois, in the Marais.
We are seduced by his world using craftsmanship art and going beyond it; From his installations for Hermès, which has been giving him carte blanche for several years for the scenographic presentation of the shoe collections, to his participation in the exhibition Sur/face Miroir at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Frankfurt where his works will co-exist from June 24th with those of Andy Warhol or Ettore Sottsass, through the Kiss Room, an artistic installation, a kind of introspective and meditative room covered with mirrors adjoining La Perle café at 78 rue Vieille-du-Temple, or even inside the Café de la Poste, rue de Turenne in Paris, Mathias Kiss is everywhere. And always where you do not expect him.
In the House-Museum of Auguste Comte in Paris, for example, which opens up for the first time to contemporary art. With Out of Time, an installation filling the rooms of the apartment, which hasn’t change since 1857, the date of the death of the positivist philosopher and worshiper of scientific progress, he conducts a new reflection on the codes of housing and the use of gilding by introducing into this frozen interior, modern objects, symbols of “progress” but already obsolete, which he sanctifies by covering them with gold. “These objects are shit, we leave them on the pavements because they have no value to our eyes. I did the flea markets, cash converters, Ebay to find an IBM computer: nowhere to be found. » He puts a minitel on the desk of Auguste Comte, a vacuum cleaner on the floor, a TV on the buffet with its remote control, a pair of rollers at the foot of the bed as slippers … creating a kind of 20th century archeology through this collection of modern “electrical” objects that theoretically never break down, but terribly obsolete, fossilized in gold. Objects that are symbols of progress and utopia with a short life span, in opposition to the decor and furniture of the apartment, old but unalterable. As a result, the apartment-museum turns into an unusual space-time and questions our perception of history. Auguste Comte would have loved it.
Out of Time # 2
Mathias Kiss at the Maison Auguste Comte, from the 2nd to the 14th of May, 2017. Every day from 11 am to 6 pm, 10 rue Monsieur Le Prince 75006 Paris

collective exhibition at the Mudac in Lausanne (Switzerland) from May 31st, 2017 to October 1st,2017

personal exhibition at the GALLERY ELLE in Zurich from March 17th to June 3rd

Frankfurt Museum Angewandte Kunst, from June 24th to October 1st, 2017


Studio of creation Attilalou
2 rue des Francs Bourgeois
75003 Paris



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