Gilles BARBIER - L’œuvre boîte, 2018

Gilles Barbier - L’œuvre boîte, Les Extatiques 2020 © Martin Argyroglo


Born in 1965 in Vanuatu, South Pacific. Lives and works in Marseille, France

Gilles Barbier has been exhibiting his work since 1994 in France, Europe and the United States.
Arriving in France at the age of twenty, he sets up a work that he defines as fiction.

In Barbier's work there is a window into a cosmos as singular as it is infinite, a thought that leads to a system as formidable as it is generous for re-enchanting the world.

With the rigorous copying of the dictionary as a background, his work is filled with clones, pawns, bedridden superheroes, but also feasts, "corrected" worlds or artists "Lost in the Landscape". Anxious to associate to this corpus the rigour of his theoretical work, his "rethinking", Gilles Barbier feeds a continuous flow of drawings and images with texts and tools for reflection. He is currently preparing a major retrospective based on the Dictionary project at the HAB in Nantes for 2021, as well as his twelfth solo exhibition at the Galerie GP & N Vallois for the new school year.

The work for Paris La Défense

Here, the artist borrows from the cosmogonic narratives that underpin Melanesian or Polynesian beliefs, such as those compiled by Teuira Henry in his Tahitian Myths. The shark's fin is at the same time what is partly hidden, what slips between two waters, what hunts. It is a graphic, cartoon-like element, immediately recognizable and associated with the Pacific. Here Gilles Barbier transforms the everyday object that is the box opener into a shark ready to hunt the art lover and the stroller on the large esplanade of La Défense. The Banc de Requins is here both playful and serious, seductive and radical.

L’OEUVRE BOÎTE, 2018-2020
Powder-coated aluminium, three elements
Edition of 3 + 2 E. A.
Courtesy Galerie Georges-Philippe and Nathalie Vallois, Paris

Click to enlarge

  • Gilles Barbier - L’œuvre boîte, Les Extatiques 2020
  • Gilles Barbier - L’œuvre boîte, Les Extatiques 2020
  • Gilles Barbier - L’œuvre boîte, Les Extatiques 2020