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ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER | ‘Eurydice’, ‘Fragility’, ‘Gradiva’ and ‘Sex’
July 22nd 2021
Intrigued by the link between the present and past civilisations, Anne and Patrick Poirier absorb an array of thoughts which go on and inspire their creations. Found objects and memories become artworks presenting the fragility of the passing of time: the ruins of a roman temple deteriorating over millennia; a citrus fruit mouldering in a week; or a flower petal breaking up within a day. As artists, architects, and archaeologists, the Poiriers consider their life as a series of journeys, and their works intrinsically linked to each and every one of them. Four photographic editions illustrate the different ways in which the Poiriers throughout the course of their fifty-year partnership have remained focused on one reoccurring theme of cultural memory - and the very real fragility of it.
by Henrik Riis
NEWS FROM EYESTORM
When a young man from Halicarnassus, an eastern part of ancient Greece, wrote the first few lines of his book ‘The Histories’ in 430 BC, he would change how the world went on to record important incidents. From the people close the conflicts between the Ionian tyrants and the Greek city states at the time, Herodotus (c 484 - c 425 BC) wrote down detailed first-hand accounts of the Greco-Persian wars, ensuring the battles and events into the cultural memory for future generations.

Aware of memories becoming selective over time, the Greek writer found it his calling to document both sides in an attempt to avoid the creation of myths; stories of legendary battles and heroism rising from the ashes and rubble of war. Centuries on, the Romans applauded Herodotus as the father of history and one of the important writers of ancient time. But even the great Herodotus was occasionally overcome by the appeal of myths, serenading their way into his writing and dividing modern historians seeking to filter out the fiction from the facts.
ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER
Gradiva, 1999

Edition of 350
45(w) x 56(h) cm
17.72(w) x 22.05(h) inches
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ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER
Gradiva, 1999

Edition of 350
45(w) x 56(h) cm
17.72(w) x 22.05(h) inches
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Anne and Patrick Poirier (French, b. 1942)

Gradiva , 1999

45(w) x 56(h) cm
17.72(w) x 22.05(h) inches
Gloss Cibachrome print.

Signed on front, numbered on verso.
Edition of 350
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
$ 505.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
Inspired by the writing of Herodotus and the ruins of Nero’s Roman palace, Domus Aurea, the Poiriers created ‘Ausée’ in 1978; a work for a project exhibition at Museum of Modern Art in New York. A miniature city - large in size, but small in relative scale - was constructed from thousands of pieces of burnt wood, giving a view of the imaginary lake-side city, ‘Ausée’, destroyed by fire; buildings blackened by smoke and flames, reduced to ruins and abandoned by its inhabitants. The written material accompanying the model, describing various parts in careful detail, formed an extensive mythological history of the city, placing the history of Ausée somewhere between fact and fiction. Which parts might be authentic was up to the viewer to reflect upon. As one of the artists’ earliest works, ‘Ausée’ is trailblazing for their later practice, giving an insight to both the physical creation and the thought process of the artist duo.

The Poiriers both grew up in France in a country recovering from the devastation of the second World War; an environment that possibly inspired much of their interest in cultural history and its destruction through acts of conflict. Having moved to Rome in 1967 as part of a Prix de Rome award, the couple abandoned their solo artistic pursuits to establish a joint practice, motivated by their shared interest in classical antiquity and Roman ruins. The first projects as a duo began with the investigation of particular archaeological sites. Using similar working methods to professional archaeologists, they carefully collected ‘memories’ of the site, including samples of dirt, stone, plants, and architectural fragments. They took photographs and notes, drew maps and diagrams, and made casts of walls and statues using damp paper. Each of these fragments was a physical memory of the site, echoing its past splendour, but also revealing its current degraded state - a reminder of the fragile nature of our cultures and histories.
ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER
Fragility, 1996

Edition of 350
46(w) x 56(h) cm
18.11(w) x 22.05(h) inches
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Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
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ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER
Fragility, 1996

Edition of 350
46(w) x 56(h) cm
18.11(w) x 22.05(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
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Anne and Patrick Poirier (French, b. 1942)

Fragility , 1996

46(w) x 56(h) cm
18.11(w) x 22.05(h) inches
Gloss Cibachrome print.

Signed on front, numbered on verso.
Edition of 350
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
$ 630.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
Preferring not to call themselves ‘artists’, but rather ‘architects’ and ‘archaeologists’, the creation of each new work went through two main phases. One where they were simply surveyors and collectors: a phase where no plan or end-project was in mind and the artists were never aware what item or object would be used in the final artwork. From here the construction of a new installation or work took over. Relying on the memories and emotions that the collected material triggered, the Poiriers used the found objects in various ways to create a series of works around the theme of cultural memory. Artworks took the form of anything from constructed photographs; installations of found objects; miniature models representing entire cities, like ‘Ausée’; or giant life size sculptures imitating colossal ancient structures. While some of the artworks may appear as architectural models or carefully designed scenes, they were never an attempt to reconstruct a site with scientific accuracy, and were often in fact, more inspired by mythology and imagination, than they were grounded in reality.

In the late nineties the artist duo started working on a number of photographic works, including a series themed ‘fragility’ that featured dried petals inscribed with words such as ‘SEX’, ‘RUINS’ and ‘WOUNDS’. These photographs referenced a previous series that was created from rose petals collected at the Villa Adriana at Tivoli; a vast retreat built in the second century AD by the Roman emperor Hadrian. Inscribed with the words ‘villa/Adriana/utopie’, works such as ‘Villa Adriana, In Memory of Antinous (1979)’, combined these rose petals with other objects in a much larger installation, now part of the Tate Modern’s permanent collection in London. One of the works was Sex.
ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER
Sex, 1996

Edition of 350
46(w) x 56(h) cm
18.11(w) x 22.05(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
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ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER
Sex, 1996

Edition of 350
46(w) x 56(h) cm
18.11(w) x 22.05(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
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Any Comment? *
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Anne and Patrick Poirier (French, b. 1942)

Sex , 1996

46(w) x 56(h) cm
18.11(w) x 22.05(h) inches
Gloss Cibachrome print.

Signed on front, numbered on verso.
Edition of 350
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
$ 690.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
Captured as a photograph, Sex shows a rose petal with the word ‘SEX’ written onto it and enlarged significantly so that it appears as if it was observed through a microscope. The extreme close-up highlights the fragility of the petal, which seems to be on the verge of disintegration. Indeed, while the photographs may forever document and remain, the petals themselves would eventually degrade and the inscriptions disappear. The artists’ reference to the fragility of memory.

The duo created a number of still life photographs using withered and decaying objects such as punctured globes, mouldering fruit, and dead flowers. In Eurydice, the artists reference the Greek mythological story of Orpheus and his wife Eurydice who tragically died and was unable to be saved from the grasps of the Underworld. The arranged objects appear like a neglected memorial to someone or something that has long passed. Perhaps previously beautiful, but now withered and dying, the state of these objects could symbolise distant memories, and their inevitable disintegration over time.

Other photographs mix the remnants of past times with the revived. In Gradiva, the mythological figure walks in from the right, as memorably depicted in an ancient Greek relief from the fourth century. However, in Poiriers’ photograph she has come back to life. Draped in her recognisable long linen cloth, Gradiva appears among statuettes lined up in a Roman columned corridor. She, rejuvenated and blurred by her movement, and they, frozen in marble poses with missing body parts, dirty from air pollution and waiting to get their place in the museum.
ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER
Eurydice, 1999

Edition of 350
44(w) x 55(h) cm
17.52(w) x 21.89(h) inches
MAKE AN OFFER
Art is about talking with each other and via ‘Make an Offer’ you can have a direct conversation with us and suggest a price for this artwork.
Your Offer *
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ANNE AND PATRICK POIRIER
Eurydice, 1999

Edition of 350
44(w) x 55(h) cm
17.52(w) x 21.89(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
Name *
Email *
Phone number *
Any Comment? *
* Required fields
Anne and Patrick Poirier (French, b. 1942)

Eurydice , 1999

44(w) x 55(h) cm
17.52(w) x 21.89(h) inches
Gloss Cibachrome print.

Signed on front, numbered on verso.
Edition of 350
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
$ 630.00
MAKE AN OFFER
Find art trends here >
Working in a variety of media including photography, drawing, installation, and public sculpture, the couple’s fifty-year partnership continue to explore themes of cultural memory, loss, fragility, construction, and destruction. The works by the duo have been widely exhibited around the world, including several prestigious museum shows and retrospectives such as: MoMA P.S.1, New York (1978); Tate Modern, London (1979); and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1997). From 1976, the French pavilion included works by the artists the in three consecutive Venice Biennales, a significant achievement at the beginning of the career. The Poiriers live and work in Paris.

Representing exhibitions such as ‘Fragility’ (1999), ‘Shadow of Gradiva’(1999) and ‘Villa Adriana, In Memory of Antinous’ (1979), four photographic editions were released in 2000 in an exclusive collaboration between Anne and Patrick Poirier and Eyestorm. Eurydice, Fragility, Gradiva and Sex are each edition of 350, printed as gloss Cibachrome, signed on front and numbered on verso. Of the editions, only 50 were printed and signed.

You can find more information about the photographic series, and see each work in further details, on Anne and Patrick Poirier’s artist page here.
 
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DO YOU OWN A DAMIEN HIRST PRINT EDITION YOU WISH TO SELL?
Valium
With two major exhibitions during the Venice Biennale, 2017 was a year which increased the awareness of Damien Hirst. With Hirst still actively releasing new print editions, many collectors focus on his earlier work from 2000 and before, such as Valium, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), Opium, Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint (Spin) and Painting-by-Numbers.

If you have one of the above prints that you are potentially interested in selling, please do get in touch with us via the Contact page, which you can find here.
 
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