Work from the Collection

Five Conversations

Artist: Xavier Antin
Date: 2012
Medium: Mixed media
Materials: Wood, Canework, Sheet, Rubber, Polyurethane foam, Polyester resin, Varnish, Air vent, Glass, UV glue
Dimensions: 38 x 38 x 38 cm
Collection: Lafayette anticipations - Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin

These five cubes misappropriate several icons of modern design: the “Thonet cube” is based on a cane armchair by Marcel Breuer, a German design pioneer from the Bauhaus in the 1930s. Each cube is industrially manufactured with highly technical materials, for example polyurethane foam used for the manufacture of surfboards, but here the materials are freed from the function for which they are usually destined to become quasi-abstract avatars, conversation pieces as the title of the work suggests. Xavier Antin claims to be a descendant of William Morris, one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts movement born in England at the end of the nineteenth century, one of whose ambitions was to bring art and beauty to the people through design and decoration. The artist nevertheless goes beyond this filiation by questioning modern technologies and by asking an essential question for him, that of the “reappropriation of the means of production.”

Text written by Marianne Tricoire as part of the partnership between the École du Louvre and Lafayette Anticipations – Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin.


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