Between August and November 2021, Friart Kunsthalle celebrates a double anniversary : 40 years of exhibitions and 30 years in its building at Petites-Rames 22. Through a multitude of events that link history to the present, the jubilee will be an opportunity to celebrate a place of art with a provocative and experimental tradition.
Friart is highlighting the work of Swiss artist Michel Ritter (1949–2007), who was also the founder and, between 1990 and 2002, the first director of the art centre. The exhibition focuses on several series of collages on paper made by the artist in the late 1970s. It also presents installations, sculptures and films that give an insight into the artist’s formal ingenuity aimed towards a critical view of the West.
Michel Ritter began making art at the same time whilst travelling around the world at a young age. The experiences he gathered on his travels influenced a practice that consisted in diverting the foundations of an excessive visual culture through the use of minimal expressive gestures. In a manner of poetic justice, the artist, through subtle interventions that alter the subjects depicted, takes the images out of the constant flow of current events and the particular form of amnesia that they impose. This anthropological take on the staging of everyday life is in dialogue with American art of the time, where the artist repeatedly spent longer periods.
The exhibition offers an overview of a practice that spans thirty years and marks the anachronistic rediscovery of a singular work. It has been organised in collaboration with the estate Succession Michel Ritter (Paris) and will be the subject of a first catalogue to be published in 2022.