The Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris is presenting the first retrospective devoted to Anita Molinero in an official Paris venue. This exhibition traces the different phases of her artistic development, from her early works in the late 1980s – some of which have been destroyed and are reproduced in photographs – to her latest, including several pieces created specifically for the occasion.
The title of the exhibition, with its science fiction ring, refers both to one of the artist's sculptural practices – "extrude" means "to shape a material such as metal or plastic by forcing it through a die – and to one of her favourite materials: extruded polystyrene.
Born in 1953 in Floirac (France), Anita Molinero graduated in 1977 from the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Marseille. Her work has been exhibited since the late 1990s in major institutions including MAMCO in Geneva and Le Consortium in Dijon.She has also carried out public commissions, notably for the City of Paris and for the Ile de France Region, with the Porte de la Villette tram stop in 2012. Throughout her career, she has taught in various art schools in France.
Molinero is one of the few French artists of her generation to express herself exclusively through sculpture. Often monumental and chaotic, her works disfigure everyday objects and cheap materials: trash cans, exhaust pipes, rebars, extruded polystyrene and other consumer society detritus. In transforming her materials she succeeds in bringing out all their brutality and instability. This mainly chronological exhibition is divided into two parts. The first, a retrospective, focuses on the gestures characteristic of Molinero's work, while the second is dedicated to new creations which anchor her work in a futuristic world.
Echoing the forty or so works presented in the exhibition rooms, other areas of the museum – notably the pool on the esplanade between the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d'Art Moderne – will be occupied by monumental installations. In addition, Extrudia 3D, the experimental 3D film directed by José Eon, presents Anita Molinero's studio work in fictional form.
A lavishly illustrated catalogue (in French) confronts complementary points of view from theorists and art world professionals, while situating the artist's work in the history of art and the contemporary art scene in essays by Anne Giffon-Selle (director of CRAC 19 Montbéliard) and Paul Bernard (specialist advisor to the exhibition and curator at MAMCO Geneva). In addition, an interview between the artist and Olivia Gaultier-Jeanroy (curator of the exhibition) addresses the issue of the future of sculpture.
The specific character of Molinero's practice is considered in a text by artist Stéphanie Cherpin and her marked cinematic influences are gone into by film critic Eugénie Filho. These essays are punctuated by commentaries on Molinero's works by artist Nina Childress, collector Natalie Seroussi and author Alain Damasio.
Sans titre (La Rose), 2003 [detail]
Frac Bourgogne Collection
© Adagp, Paris, 2022. Photograph: Romain Moncet