Jean-Michel Othoniel

French, b. 1964

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Jean-Michel Othoniel

French, b. 1964

533
Followers
Biography

Jean-Michel Othoniel creates resplendent, large-scale glass sculptures that explore themes of fragility, transformation, and ephemerality below their shiny surfaces. “I want to seduce you with their beauty and then lead you to other themes,” he says. Having come of age as an artist during the AIDS crisis, Othoniel deploys various strategies to hint at loss and despair—cracks in his objects’ perfect surfaces, scenes of uncanny whimsy, negative spaces, and, early in his career, transient materials like sulfur. Most identifiable are Othoniel’s jewel-like glass sculptures that function like outsized necklaces, hung in public gardens or twisted in improbable contortions in galleries. He is particularly interested in glass for its ability to be manipulated and transformed, having also used the material to spell out texts and craft opulent installations, like a canopy bed of glass orbs and a public mis-en-scène of puppets. Othoniel cites Constantin Brancusi, Sophie Calle, and Félix González-Torres among his influences.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 4 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 1 more
Biography

Jean-Michel Othoniel creates resplendent, large-scale glass sculptures that explore themes of fragility, transformation, and ephemerality below their shiny surfaces. “I want to seduce you with their beauty and then lead you to other themes,” he says. Having come of age as an artist during the AIDS crisis, Othoniel deploys various strategies to hint at loss and despair—cracks in his objects’ perfect surfaces, scenes of uncanny whimsy, negative spaces, and, early in his career, transient materials like sulfur. Most identifiable are Othoniel’s jewel-like glass sculptures that function like outsized necklaces, hung in public gardens or twisted in improbable contortions in galleries. He is particularly interested in glass for its ability to be manipulated and transformed, having also used the material to spell out texts and craft opulent installations, like a canopy bed of glass orbs and a public mis-en-scène of puppets. Othoniel cites Constantin Brancusi, Sophie Calle, and Félix González-Torres among his influences.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 4 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Jean-Michel Othoniel
Articles Featuring Jean-Michel Othoniel
Galerie Perrotin: Not to be Missed at Art Basel in Hong Kong (or Anywhere Else)
May 13th, 2014
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