Hervé Télémaque: A Hopscotch of the Mind

November 4, 2022–March 26, 2023 Hervé Télémaque: A Hopscotch of the Mind

Aspen Art Museum

Hervé Télémaque, Fatalité n°2 [Fatality n°2], 1968. Metal and wood. Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, Villeneuve d’Asq. Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Born in 1937 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Hervé Télémaque left for New York in 1957, when former president François Duvalier was elected to power, to study at the Art Students League under painter Julian Edwin Levi. Entering into an art scene dominated by Abstract Expressionism, Télémaque became interested in the approaches of artists like Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg, while simultaneously feeling limited by these early influences: “this thoroughly New York school seemed inadequate for me to express where I came from and who I was.” In 1961, Télémaque moved permanently to Paris, associating with the Surrealists and later co-founding the Narrative Figuration movement in France with art critic Gérald Gassiot-Talabot and artist Bernard Rancillac through the manifesto exhibition Mythologies quotidiennes at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1964. A reaction against the dominant trend towards Abstract Art and the developing movement of Pop Art in North America, Télémaque’s Narrative Figuration often results in works with a Pop sensibility combined with an astute criticality, producing work in dialogue with current events, such as the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, US intervention in the Dominican Republic, and contemporary French politics. As the artist states: “I employed signs and consumer objects, but I did so while attempting to introduce therein something fictional, a directed...critical narrative.” In 1964, Télémaque discovered the opaque projector, which enabled him to project images directly onto the canvas

and render them with acrylic paint. This “clear line” painting technique common within cartoon illustration, involving strong lines of similar width and minimal contrast, was a style that he appropriated from the Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The graphic and cartoon-like images that developed from this moment led to the production of works loaded with political messages that still resonate powerfully today. Throughout his career, Télémaque would continue to highlight the histories and legacies of racism and colonialism with works that intimate the insidious ways that these structures continue to permeate our everyday lives. From the late 1960s through to the 90s, Télémaque continued to develop an experimental practice, bringing together sculptural and collage elements with materials such as charcoal, salvaged wood, and coffee grounds. In the 2000s, his works began to incorporate more explicit references to Haiti, his position as part of the Caribbean diaspora within France, and his African heritage. This was triggered by an interest in the literary movement of Négritude, which began among French-speaking African and Caribbean writers living in Paris in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s as a protest against colonial rule. This movement is often characterized by a self-affirmation of Black consciousness amongst the thinkers who define it. By drawing upon notions of home, returning and belonging as it relates to the African continent, several writers of the Négritude movement highlight the significance of a grounded sense of being amongst people who identify as part of the African diaspora across the world. These themes are explored in several

works by Télémaque during this period, in particular the most recent work in the exhibition Al l’en Guinée (2019). Although often explicit in their factual grounding, Télémaque’s complex compositions invite us to decode their many symbols, references, and connections like a puzzle. Recurring throughout the artist’s career regardless of medium or period are what he calls “objets devenus langage” (objects- become-language), elements such as the cane, the nail, and the bra—a group of signifiers that act as poetic shortcuts for certain narratives or trains of thought. Once deciphered, these motifs help anchor each work in the themes that are central to Télémaque’s practice. Evident throughout the works displayed are meditations on the artist’s life story; the histories and contemporary experiences of racism and colonialism; sexuality and desire; the presence of violence within the everyday; and contemporary politics and news media. As he says: “I drew on my life as a Haitian of mixed race to construct a double language based on both the political and social, the question of identity...racism, and sexuality.” This exhibition brings together works made from the early 1960s until the present day, highlighting the enduring themes of Télémaque’s work through his multifaceted practice, including seminal works and never-before-seen pieces from the artist’s studio. Rather than taking a chronological approach, A Hopscotch of the Mind proposes a non- linear exploration of Télémaque’s visual vocabulary, encouraging viewers to jump between media and periods, forming

their own associations between the disparate fragments of his idiosyncratic narration. The exhibition is an invitation for viewers to carve out their own pathways through the artist’s visual language, forming new associations based on their own experiences and perceptions. The exhibition design by artist Helen Marten references Télémaque’s play between graphic authority and painterly playfulness. Structured around motifs of recognizable architecture, which fragment between galleries, the viewing experience is one that moves in a process of construction and collapse. Familiar compositions—house, shed, window, tent, and cubicle—provide framing devices and contained environments, which mirror visual moments of perspective and exposure in the artist’s work. Following this sense of shifting viewpoints and narration within Télémaque’s compositions, the exhibition is composed using multiple facets and cut-away apertures, allowing works to be seen in collective and sequenced layers. Hervé Télémaque lives and works in Paris. His work has been shown in exhibitions in Europe and the US since the 1960s, and was the subject of a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in 2015. A Hopscotch of the Mind presented at Serpentine, London (October 7, 2021—January 30, 2022) and Aspen Art Museum (November 4, 2022—March 26, 2023) are his first institutional solo exhibitions in the UK and the US respectively. Télémaque’s works are included in numerous permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Étienne, Métropole.

Hervé Télémaque, Confidence (Secret) , 1965. Acrylic on canvas, painter’s stepladder, carpenter’s hammer, rod and ropes. 122 1/2 × 40 1/2 × 34 7/8 in (311.3 × 130 × 88.5 cm). Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Genève. Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Hervé Télémaque, Convergence, 1966. Acrylic on canvas, collage, and skipping rope. Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint Etienne Métropole. Photo: Cyrille Cauvet

GALLERY 1

Fatalité n°1 [Fatality n°1], 1968 Metal and wood 36 3/8 × 6 3/4 in (92.5 × 17 cm)

(exterior walls, clockwise)

Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, Villeneuve d’Asq. Conquérir [To conquer], 1966 Acrylic on wood 78 3/4 × 78 3/4 × 78 3/4 in (200 × 200 × 200 cm) Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris Golden Gate Story, 1979–80 Collage 60 7/8 × 24 1/4 in (154.5 × 61.5 cm) Collection Florence Half, Paris Anna, elle coïte [Anna, she coitates], 1993 Mixed media on wood 49 × 88 1/2 in (125 × 225 cm) Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris

Le Poète rêve sa mort, n° 2. [The poet dreams of his death, n° 2.], 1966 Oil on perforated hardboard 51 × 110 3/8 × 2 in (130 × 280.4 × 5.5 cm) FRAC Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France La poire de Hans, l’oeuf d’Éric [Hans’ pear, Eric’s egg], 1978 Collage on paper 71 × 23 5/8 in (180 × 60 cm) Courtesy Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris

Sans Titre [Untitled], 1994 Assemblage with paper and metal 58 × 25 in (147.5 × 63.5 cm) Courtesy the artist

Etude pour Nouvelles de France [Study for News from France], 1988 Collage on paper

(interior walls, clockwise)

Al l’en Guinée [Going to Guinea], 2019 Acrylic on canvas 78 3/4 × 378 in (200 × 960 cm) Courtesy the artist Brise [Breeze], 1965 Acrylic on canvas 63 3/4 × 40 1/2 in (162 × 130 cm) Collection Lavantes, Nice

30 5/16 × 90 1/2 in (77 × 230 cm) Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris Caraïbes II, 1993 Acrylic and sponge on wood 39 3/8 × 75 × 10 in (100 × 190 × 26 cm) Courtesy the artist

La fuite en Égypte [The flight into Egypt] , 1960 Oil on paper 4 × 27 9/16 in (11 × 70 cm) Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris

Dessein (boite à outils), [Aim (tool box)], 1993 Wood, metal, and paint 27 1/2 × 27 1/2 × 47 1/4 in (70 × 70 × 120 cm) Courtesy the artist Curatorial translation of photocopied archival material from Télémaque’s studio from André Breton, Envelope – Silence (Le Surréalisme ASDLR, n. 3, December 1931) Dry ink transfer Confidence [Secret] , 1965 Acrylic on canvas, painter’s stepladder, carpenter’s hammer, rod, and ropes 122 1/2 × 40 1/2 × 34 7/8 in (311.3 × 130 × 88.5 cm) Fondation Gandur pour l’art, Genève Carton d’Océanie [Cardboard from Oceania], 1989 Collage on paper 56 × 40 in (142 × 102 cm) Courtesy the artist

La lettre [The letter], 1968 Acrylic on canvas, wood, bulb 39 3/8 × 23 5/8 in (100 × 60 cm) Courtesy the artist

Rabat [Fold], 1998 Acrylic and coffee grounds on canvas, wood 48 × 48 3/8 in (121 × 123 cm) Collection Philippe Bern À façon, la roue [Custom-made, the wheel], 1996 Coffee grounds and acrylic on wood 19 11/16 × 48 13/16 in (50 × 124 cm) Courtesy the artist

(plinths, back to front)

Dérive n°1 [Drift n°1], 1985 Acrylic on canvas 124 × 81 in (315 × 206 cm) Private Collection, France

Croûte de peintre I [Painter’s crust I], n.d. Acrylic on metal 12 × 12 × 12 in (30 × 30 × 30 cm) Courtesy the artist Croûte de peintre II [Painter’s crust II], n.d. Acrylic on metal 12 × 12 × 12 in (30 × 30 × 30 cm) Courtesy the artist Territoire [Territory], 1968 Metal, string, paint, tape, sponge, and wood 17 1/2 × 28 3/8 × 11 3/4 in (19 × 72 × 30 cm) Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, Villeneuve d’Asq. Le désert (Retraite) [The Desert (Retreat)], 1968 Flocking on wood 27 1/2 × 27 1/2 × 39 3/8 in (70 × 70 × 100 cm) Courtesy the artist

Témoins 1 & 2 [Witnesses 1 & 2], 2001 Charcoal, pigment, and graphite on paper 44 1/2 × 132 in (113.5 × 335 cm) Courtesy the artist and Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris Le poison du temps [The poison of time], 2002 Charcoal and pigment on canvas 82 1/2 × 121 in (210 × 308 cm) Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris Etude pour la femme adultère [Study for the adulterous woman], 1995 Etude pour entre jambes VI [Study for crotch VI], 1994 Charcoal and graphite on paper 47.5 × 92 in (121 × 233.5 cm) Courtesy the artist and Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris Hôpital Royal London [Royal London Hospital], 2006 Graphite and colored pencil on paper, nails 13 × 14.5 in (33.6 × 36.7 cm) Courtesy the artist and Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris Charcoal and pigment on canvas 29 1/2 × 22 in (75.5 × 55.5 cm) Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris

Neige [Snow], 1994 Acrylic on canvas, wood, bulb 19 1/2 × 12 × 12 in (50 × 30 × 30 cm) Courtesy the artist The Love Song [T.S Eliot], 1994 Wood, coffee grounds, pigment 27 1/2 × 144 7/8 in (70 × 368 cm) Courtesy the artist

GALLERY 2

La récolte [Harvest], 1990 Assemblage 77 x 93 in (195.5 x 236 cm) Courtesy the artist

Grand Large [Big Wide], 1966 Metal, paint, wood, tissue, and cord 66 × 222 1/2 × 210 2/3 in (167.5 × 565.25 × 535 cm) Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, Villeneuve d’Asq. Mère-Afrique [Mother Africa], 1982 Collage of colored papers, leather whip, torn papers, drawing on tracing paper, black-and-white photography 34 5/8 × 60 1/4 in (88 × 153 × 5 cm) Collection Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, Bordeaux Convergence, 1966 Acrylic, glued papers and objects on canvas, skipping rope 98 × 107 1/2 in (198 × 273 cm) Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint- Étienne, Métropole

Carte du tendre [Map of Tendre], 1963 Oil on canvas, objects 41 1/3 × 102 1/3 in (105 × 260 cm) Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence

GALLERY 3

Inventaire, un homme d’intérieur [Inventory, an interior man], 1966 Acrylic on canvas 59 × 118 1/8 in (150 × 300 cm) Private collection. Courtesy Paul Coulon

Fatalité n°2 [Fatality n°2], 1968 Metal and wood 42 3/4 × 6 3/4 in (108.5 × 17 cm)

Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, Villeneuve d’Asq. Rayon la chambre noire n°2 (avec Tintin), [Radius the black room n°2 (with Tintin)], 1991 Assemblage 61 7/8 × 27 1/8 in (157 × 69 cm) Courtesy Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris Le Voyage d’Hector Hyppolite en Afrique [The voyage of Hector Hyppolite in Africa], 2000 Acrylic on canvas 63 3/4 × 96 5/8 in (162 × 243 cm) Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris Façon de Coco-fesse [Kind of Coco-fesse], 1996 Mixed media 51 × 77 in (130 × 196 cm) Courtesy the artist Etude II d’un singe d’Afrique (Study II of a monkey from Africa), 1986 Graphite, colored pencil, and collage on paper 30 × 81 in (76 × 206 cm) Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris Dérive no. 1 & 2 [Drift no.1 & 2], 1984 Graphite, colored pencils, and collage on paper 19 × 13 in (48 × 33.5 cm) Courtesy the artist Grille, où est-elle? [Grid, where is she?], 1979 Collage 9 × 25 3/4 in (23 × 65.5 cm) Courtesy Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris

Banania I, 1964 Oil on canvas 76 3/4 × 40 1/2 in (195 × 130 cm) Collection Lavantes, Nice

Josette et Jean-Michel [Josette and Jean-Michel], 1996 Lacquer and coffee ground on wood 49 × 51.5 × 30 5/16 in (125 × 130.5 × 77 cm) Courtesy the artist

Import Export, 1992 Assemblage, neon 56 3/5 in × 81 × 16 in (144 × 206 × 41 cm) Courtesy the artist

Hervé Télémaque, Carton d’Océanie [Cardboard from Oceania], 1989. Collage on paper. Courtesy the artist

Hervé Télémaque, Banania I, 1964. Oil on canvas. 76 3/4 × 40 1/2 in (195 × 130 cm). Collection Lavantes, Nice. Photo: Hugo Glendinning

ABOUT THE ASPEN ART MUSEUM Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 1979, the Aspen Art Museum is a thriving and globally engaged non-collecting contemporary art museum. Following the 2014 opening of the museum’s facility designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban, the AAM enjoys increased attendance, renewed civic interaction, and international media attention. In July 2017, the AAM was one of ten institutions to receive the United States’ National Medal for Museum and Library Services for its educational outreach to rural communities in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley and its fostering of learning partnerships with civic and cultural partners within a 100-mile radius of the museum’s Aspen location. Aspen Art Museum 637 East Hyman Avenue Aspen, Colorado 81611 aspenartmuseum.org (970) 925-8050 Hours Tuesday–Sunday, 10 AM–6 PM Closed Mondays Admission to the AAM is free courtesy of Amy and John Phelan.

AAM exhibitions are made possible by the Marx Exhibition Fund. General exhibition support is provided by the Toby Devan Lewis Visiting Artist Fund. Further support is provided by the AAM National Council. Hervé Télémaque: A Hopscotch of the Mind is the first solo exhibition of Télémaque’s work in a US museum. This exhibition was presented at Serpentine, London from October 7, 2021 to January 30, 2022. This exhibition is organized by Serpentine, London, by Joseph Constable, former Associate Exhibitions Curator, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director. In keeping with the Museum’s artist-centered approach, the presentation at Aspen Art Museum is curated by Joseph Constable, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and artist Helen Marten, who have reconceptualized the staging of the exhibition. Supplementary materials produced in collaboration with the Aspen Art Museum team. A catalog published on the occasion of the exhibition is available for purchase, and includes essays and interviews by Hervé Télémaque and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Helen Marten, C.C. McKee, Lyonel Trouillot, Françoise Vergès, and Sarah Wilson. Exhibitions Team Nicola Lees Nancy and Bob Magoon Director Simone Krug Assistant Curator Sam Hopple Curatorial Assistant Kate Marra Exhibitions Director Eric Angus Assistant Director of Installation Crew Installation Managers Charlie Childress Tim Mutrie Assistant Registrar Susan Martin Special Projects Assistant

Courtney Kenny Installation Crew Rodney Hill Alberto Vila J Carter Peter Butler Noah Williams

Additional thanks to UOVO, Superior Drywall, Inc., Russ Varley painting, and our electricians Russel Schewis and Jared Smilowitz. Editor Monica Adame Davis

Cover: Hervé Télémaque, Al l’en Guinée [Going to Guinea], 2019 (detail). Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online