Monday, July 1, 2013

Pierre Cordier & Gundi Falk at Von Lintel

Cordier & Falk, CH 17/9/11 Pair-Impair, 2011

Pierre Cordier and Gundi Falk have been collaborating in Brussels on new chemigrams for nearly two years, and now are presenting a selection of them in the group show called Unique, at the Von Lintel Gallery in New York until July 12, 2013.  In keeping with the theme, all the works exhibited are one-of-a-kind - there is no editioning here, no labels saying archival pigment print.  Whether that is a good thing or not is debatable, but one thing is certain: it serves to keep prices high and the collectors' interest still higher.  Indeed, the two Cordier-Falk pieces in the main room were sold to a major midwestern collector before the show even opened.

 Cordier & Falk, CH 20/9/11 Impair-Pair, 2011

What can we say about these new chemigrams?  That they harken back to the best, most vigorous Cordier style of grid-based work of 30 or 40 years ago?  This is true.  He is a master and a master is entitled.  But there are other rewards.  If you look closely (and what chemigram doesn't demand that?) you will see the delicate nuances and sly choices that gives his work its special character and make it vibrant and seem so very new.  When to stop a bubble from growing?  What shape must a line have?  How many squares are enough?  Momentous questions that lead to the meaning of art perhaps.  One also feels a muted, defining presence of Falk in this but it is hard to be more specific; how these two coordinate responsibilities reportedly varies from project to project and yet, to my eyes, appears seamless.

Cordier & Falk, CH 27/4/13 Musigramme contemporain, 2013
Cordier & Falk, CH 9/11/12 Musigramme contemporain, 2012
It's an important show to catch for the chance to see the Cordier-Falk collaborations, really for the first time in America.  Let us hope there will be more.
Pierre and Gundi taking a rest on 23rd Street, 2013