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Lucia Koch: Double Trouble at Palais d’Iéna

October 17–28, 2022

Opening: October 17, 6–8pm

The renowned Brazilian artist Lucia Koch will have a solo exhibition at the Palais d’Iéna—CESE (Conseil Économique, Social et Environnemental) this year, which will be the first time in France. This event runs concurrently with Paris+ by Art Basel. The enormous in-situ project, Double Trouble, covers more than 1,200 square feet. Giant colored and translucent vellums that are constantly agitated by air currents and the passage of spectators through them provide a sensory experience that upsets the perceptual patterns of visitors to Auguste Perret’s architectural masterpiece facing the Eiffel Tower.

In keeping with the turbulent political and social climate of today, Lucia Koch’s massive in situ project for the Palais d’Iéna follows a dual logic: on the one hand, it shatters Auguste Perret’s rigid orthogonal plan’s clarity, and on the other, it invents new types of colors that are used in real time and space to create a brand-new sensory experience. The primary piece is spectacular, lyrical, and humorous, covering more than 1,200 square feet and standing 20 feet tall, or in practically all of the interior areas, from the great hypostyle hall to the main staircase. It literally engulfs Perret’s exacting geometry beneath its enormous waves of transparent and colorful materials.

The installation is equally concerned with painting and sculpture (one is reminded of Richard Serra’s steel plates or Hans Haacke’s Blue Sail, which is suspended and propelled by a fan). The work of Licia Koch is therefore very fluid and participatory, undulating and changing depending on the points of view, the amount of stacked layers, the time of day, the quality, and the direction of the sunlight. It departs from these historical proposals.

The lengthy panels the curtains produce span multiple heights in a room where the atmospheric phenomenon appears to enter the architecture. They also test the site’s physical boundaries and even go beyond the Palais d’Iéna’s windows, going through architectural barriers to expand into the exterior courtyard as well as the street.

Trompe-l’oeil photographs that were created in conversation with the Perret architecture surrounding the main artwork complete it. A group of images from the “Fundos” series will be positioned around the main installation’s perimeter. They are images of the interiors of plain shipping boxes, yet they appear to represent modernist or minimalist structures, such as Perret’s. They continue the hollowing out of the area and cast doubt on our impression of scale and appearances while forming an architectural trompe l’oeil that is questioned by the constituent features of the humble cardboard box that served as a subject.

The artist

The works of Lucia Koch frequently engage in inquiries into space and its potentials, attempting to provide means of comprehending, feeling, and inhabiting it. Koch reimagines and tampers with materiality, light, textures, colors, and other tangential lines by creating a conversation between her artworks and architectural elements present in the space they occupy.

Lucia Koch was born in 1966 in Porto Alegre. She lives and works in São Paulo. Recent solo shows include: PROPAGANDA, at Instituto Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil (2021); Tumulto, turbilhão, at Galeria Nara Roesler (2019), in São Paulo, Brazil; Casa de vento, at Casa de Vidro (2019), in São Paulo, Brazil; She was featured in the 11th and 13th Lyon Biennale, France (2011 and 2015); the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2006). Recent group shows include: Fabrication. Photography of Architecture after the Digital Turn, at the Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia (2019), Portugal. Her works are included in important institutional collections, such as: Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France; Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR), Brazil; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, USA; The J. Paul Getty Museum, USA; and at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil.

Curated by Matthieu Poirrier.

Palais d’Iéna
9 Place d’Iéna
75016 Paris
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