CLAIRE TABOURET & NATHAN THELEN
ADAA: THE ART SHOW
Park Avenue Armory
November 1 - 5, 2023
For this year’s iteration of The Art Show, Perrotin is pleased to present a dual solo booth by Claire Tabouret and Nathan Thelen. Tabouret’s painting and sculpture practice focuses on the construction and transformation of identity across various scales—individual, communal, and societal. Her partner, Thelen, is a woodworker, whose practice consists of hand-carved furniture and objects, often made from Californian sycamore, walnut, and African mahogany.
Tabouret and Thelen's collaborations follow in the tradition of the Bauhaus movement, in particular drawing inspiration from the non-hierarchical approach to art and craft as well as a utopic vision for unity between artistic disciplines. The pair will present wooden chairs crafted by Thelen which are delicately integrated with wood blocks carved by Tabouret. These same wood blocks are used to print on paper, creating the prints included in the presentation, while also retaining the traces of ink and colors from their first use in the printing process. The two artists bring to life Tabouret’s protagonists, crafting artworks that intimately appose viewer and subject.
On view will be a series of wall-mounted wooden altars adorned with stained glass and brass candleholders. Constructed in carefully chosen woods, the materials accentuate Tabouret’s palette, which oscillates between vibrant synthetic hues and subdued earthly tones. Bridging the fields of sculpture and furniture, the works interplay between the haptic and visual.
Here, the protagonist is Isabelle Eberhardt, a writer and explorer who has frequently appeared in Tabouret's work. Born and raised in Switzerland in the 1870's, Eberhardt rebelled against her upbringing to immerse herself in North African culture. She converted to Islam, spoke Arabic, dressed and passed as a man, and traveled throughout Algeria, eventually becoming a nuisance to French authorities whose colonial government she criticized in her writing. These portraits belong to a larger series by Tabouret that depict artists and writers who chose to remove themselves from public life. Using loose brushstrokes and a color palette that creates the feeling of an eclipse, Tabouret creates an apt metaphor for disappearance and ever-changing identity.