Artist Talk Jean-Michel Othoniel

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Date: 19 September
Location: Fire Station Cinema

Please join international artist Jean-Michel Othoniel in a presentation of their work and conversation moderated by Head of Public Art, Abdulrahman Al-Ishaq.

Artist Biography

With a marked taste for metamorphosis, sublimation, and transmutation, Jean-Michel Othoniel (born on January 27, 1964 in Saint- Étienne / now lives and works in Paris) shows a fondness for materials with reversible properties. He started out, at the beginning of the 1990s exhibiting his works at the Kassel documenta in 1992. A turning point in his output came the following year when he began employing glass. Working with the finest glassmakers in Murano and Basel ever since, he explores the properties of a material that subsequently became a hallmark of his work. 

These days Jean-Michel Othoniel’s work has an architectural dimension and the artist has permanent installations in public and private places all over the world. Othoniel wants to re-enchant the world with his sculptures ; for him art is not a luxury but a necessity. Facing the disasters on the planet today, he sees this engagement of bringing, through his work, hope, joy and beauty as a real statement, a way to survive reality through art.

In 2011, an important retrospective exhibition, “My Way”, is held at the Centre Pompidou Paris. It was then staged at the PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, at the Macao Museum of Art, Macao, and at the Brooklyn Museum of New York.

In May 2015, the artist revealed The Beautiful Dances (Les Belles Danses), three fountain sculptures installed on the ponds of the new Water Theatre grove of the Château de Versailles, created by the landscape designer Louis Benech. It is the first permanent commission in the gardens of the Palace since Louis XVI.

Othoniel’s works are conserved in the greatest museums of contemporary art, foundations and private collections in the world.