Mai-Thu Perret, ‘Needle and Mustard Seed Meet’, 2013, TWO x TWO

Perret conceptually grounds her practice on a 14-year-old, non-linear chronicle of a fictional feminist commune in the New Mexican desert that survives by producing unique sculptures, paintings, videos, and textile works. In this glazed ceramic piece, Needle and Mustard Seed Meet, Perret brings clay into a direct relationship with painting.

Internationally acclaimed Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret conceptually grounds her practice on a fourteen year-old, non-linear narrative project called The Crystal Frontier. The multi-disciplinary fiction chronicles the lives of a feminist commune of women residing in the New Mexican desert. It survives by producing unique sculptures, paintings, videos, and textile works via feminist methods of creation. In this glazed ceramic piece, Needle and Mustard Seed Meet, Perret brings clay into a direct relationship with painting. Vertical impressions in the clay make up this modernist composition that is akin to artistic predecessors like Agnes Martin. Mai-Thu Perret was included in the 54th Venice Biennale. Perret has been awarded the Zurich Art Prize and had a solo exhibition at Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich. Other solo exhibitions have been presented at Mamco, Geneva; Le Magasin, Grenoble; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor; Aspen Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and The Kitchen, New York. Perret's work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions at venues such as Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Arnhem; Malmö Konsthall, Malmö; Haus der Kunst, Munich; 2nd Athens Biennial; and Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.

About Mai-Thu Perret

Citing influences such as utopian feminist literature, art theory, Russian Constructivism, and the Arts & Crafts movement, Mai-Thu Perret’s diverse body of work encompasses sculpture, painting, video, and installation. Since 1999, Perret has worked on a series called "The Crystal Frontier," which documents her participation in a women’s commune based in New Mexico. Through diary entries, abstract paintings, and artisanal objects, Perret constructs a piecemeal narrative describing life at the commune. By focusing on the fragment as a narrative device, Perret invokes the pastiche technique employed in postmodern literature and demonstrates her interest in the structure of language. Her relationship with language and narrative is epitomized in text works such as Society is a Hole (2009), in which ambiguous musings are spelled out in bright pink lettering, inviting the viewer to fill in the gaps in the implied narrative.

Swiss, b. 1976, Geneva, Switzerland, based in Geneva, Switzerland