Unité celebrates the work of a new generation of French artists.
Projects by French artists: Saadane Afif / Delphone Coindet / Bruno Peinado /Jean-Francois Moriceau / Petra Mrzyk
Paris Calling was an initiative by the French Embassy in London that involved exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford, Tate Modern, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, Camden Arts Centre, the Hayward Gallery and Turner Contemporary.
The invited Unité artists were all well known in France where each have held solo exhibitions at prestigious institutions but have had little or no exposure in Britain.
Each utilise a pop aesthetic in various ways and to varying degrees. Their cartoon imagery, primary colour, funfair forms and rock and roll complement Margate's ‘gaudy’ seaside signage. They are representative of an emerging cultural pluralism. Culturally, France was once considered to be one of the most centralised nations and yet the artists participating in Unité live and work in different French towns and cities, and abroad.
Alongside the exhibition, Bob and Roberta Smith created a series of banners that were hung in Margate High Street.
Appropriating the tradition of hand painted signwriting in an array of colours, Bob and Roberta Smith introduced a series of direct questions onto banners on Margate High Street, ‘Britain or Brittany?’, ‘Turner or Terry?’. These questions at first glance appear as non-sensical, yet their very simplicity is thought-provoking and hints at the wider role that art can play in daily life.
Saadane Afif (b. 1970) lives and works in Berlin and Paris. Solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005); Museum Folkwang, Essen (2004). Represented by Galerie Michel Rein (Paris).
Delphine Coindet (b. 1969) lives and works in Paris. Solo exhibitions at CREDAC, Ivry-sur-Seine (2004); Synagogue de Delme; Le Hall de L'Ecole National des Beaux Arts de Lyon (both 2003). Represented by Galerie Laurent Godin (Paris), Galerie Evergreene (Geneva).
Jean-Francois Moriceau (b. 1974) and Petra Mrzyk (b. 1973) live and work together in Chatillon-sur-Indre. Solo exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2005).
Bob and Roberta Smith’s work has been exhibited widely, and are represented by Hales Gallery, London