Olivier Mosset

24 January - 10 March 2018

Massimo De Carlo, Milan


Massimo De Carlo is pleased to start the New Year with an exhibition by Swiss artist Olivier Mosset, based in Tucson Arizona, with whom Massimo De Carlo has collaborated for 30 years, since 1987. 

Olivier Mosset is well known for his minimalist practice that investigates conceptual abstraction through painting. The artist explores a variety of monochrome colour blocks, surfaces, geometrical patterns, dimensions via methodical repetition of gestures and a radical approach to the canvas; removed from any type of subjectivity. 

The exhibition is structured as a small retrospective, where the artist has selected a number of works from different periods of his career. The iconic circle oil paintings (here from the 1970s), which are part of a series of 200 identical canvases that Mosset produced between 1966 and 1974 and epitomize his radical approach to art making, are shown alongside a new body of work, created for this exhibition: four large-scale thought-provoking black monochromes that continue the artists exploration of the relationship between void and ego. 

A series of monumental works from the first exhibition Olivier Mosset had at Massimo De Carlo’s first gallery space in Milan in 1987 illustrate the artist’s investigation of scale and painterly gesture. Here the artist uses a colour palette composed by lightshades and nightshades to create immanent canvases that convey Olivier Mosset’s discussions around authorship and the role of the artist as a maker, cherished by the minimalist 1960’s Paris based collective BMPT (which Mosset was a founder of) that also included Daniel Buren, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni. Repetition and object-hood are key theme for Olivier Mosset’s as he questions the function of paintings. The 1988 white and light blue rectangular surfaces GLSNST and CNVRS and the burning orange canvases (2002) render tangible use of repetition of minimal geometrical forms, gestures and patterns that are essential in order for the artist to ban subjectivity of the work. 

Combining playfulness with austere rigour Olivier Mosset’s practice creates auto sufficient paintings that exist for themselves; the viewer is subsequently allowed to look at these vast colourful surfaces and observe for as long as they want the canvases, looking into what they decide to look into. With this exhibition Olivier Mosset once again masters not only painting but also the creation of unprecedented ways of seeing.

Olivier Mosset, Sun City, 1987


Olivier Mosset was born in Bern in Switzerland in 1944. He lives and works in Tucson in Arizona. Recent solo exhibitions include: Power Station, Dallas, Texas, US (2015); Centre Culturele Suisse, Parigi, FR (2014); Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, CH (2011); doART Beijing, Beijing, PRC (2008); Palais de Tokyo, Parigi, FR (2006); Musée d’art moderne et Contemporain, Ginevra, CH; mostra personale Padiglione Svizzero alla 44esima Biennale di Venezia, Venezia, IT (1990). Jim Hodges’s work is included in prestigious collective exhibitions such as: Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni n'exposent pas, Hunter College Art Galleries, NewYork, US (2016); Manifesta 10, The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, RU (2014); Painting, or how to get rid of it, French Academy of Art in Rome, Villa Medici, Roma, IT (2014); A Sunday in the Mountains, curated by Gianni Jetzer, Swiss Institute, New York, US (2013); The Artist as Collector: Olivier Mosset, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, US (2010); The Painted World, PS1, New York, US (2006).

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