Exhibition catalogue, Iván Navarro, Galerie Templon, Paris (France), 2007
Text by John B. Ravenal (English and French)
Editions Galerie Templon, 2007
Soft cover, 23 x 29,5 cm
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Already famous for his luminous installations, young New York artist, Ivàn Navarro, puts the Galerie Templon into darkness for his exhibit Antifurniture: a group of ready-made objects made of neon lights and mirrors exploring the boundaries between design and sculpture.
At 35, the Chilean artist has already made his mark on the New-York artistic scene with his spectacular neon sculptures that refer to minimalist artists such as Dan Flavin, Tony Smith or Ellsworth Kelly. He revisits everyday objects – doors, chairs, tools – by dressing them up with lights or by using one-way mirrors to place them in optical illusion games.
Constantly referring to art history or modernism, both have become for the artist means to expressing a subtle political critique. His black light “electric chair” inspired by Marcel Breuer may be interpreted as a denunciation of death penalty in the United States.
His toolbox “Assembly Line” opening up towards a luminous ladder explores the themes of mass production and new working conditions. Finally, his lit cupboards “Records” inspired by the famous Ikea furniture, certainly plays with Scandinavian mass design, but also evokes the secret archives held during Pinochet’s dictatorship.