Each summer, Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich presents a special installation on its rooftop terrace. This year’s showcase features four cast aluminum cypress trees by rising French artist Jean-Marie Appriou. When visiting the private view during Zurich Art Weekend I noticed there was an interesting dialogue going on between the archaic looking sculptures and the sleek glass fassade of the neighbouring Prime Tower skyscraper. One month on, I returned to catch some of the conversation on camera.
Appriou’s arboreal line-up may directly reference the dense grove of elongated, hauntingly dark cypress trees of Arnold Böcklin’s Isle of the Deads. But elaborating on the weight of the space between life and death, earth and sky they are meant to symbolise is something better left to brood over on a gloomy October day.
On this sweltering late afternoon in early July, it was all about light and lightness, archaic allure, futurisic fictions and fast-paced drama. The sun and the clouds were playing hide-and-seek, allowing art, architecture and the elements to explode into a glorious act of live abstraction. What. A. Show.
And herein lies the the beauty of an outdoor setting: you never see the same installation twice.
Until 22 July
Jean-Marie Appriou’s sculptural world is built around the myths and legends of his native Brittany and draws heavily on Symbolist art. But the Paris-based 23-year-old artist remains firmly connected to the present. His material of choice is cast alumium, and he claims to have learned his technical skills via YouTube videos. The twentysomething’s ability to sculpt his own narratives into existing archechtypes and autodidactic prowess, such as leaving the marks of the original clay model exposed, continue to leave the art world enthralled. He’s the first French artist to have joined Galerie Eva Presenhuber. The Horses, Appriou’s first institutional exhibition in the United States, opens on 11 September in Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park, New York.