Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

Critical Dictionary. In Homage to G. Bataille - Exhibitions

Critical Dictionary. In Homage to G. Bataille

Gagosian Gallery

Paris, France

June 1 — July 28, 2018


Right, Helen Frankenthaler, Grasses, 1992, acrylic on canvas, 45 1/2 x 83 1/2 inches, 115.6 x 212.1 cm (unframed) © 2018 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Left, Dan Flavin, Untitled (ultraviolet and blue fluorescent light), 1966, ultraviolet and blue fluorescent light, 96 7/8 x 24 x 7 7/8 inches 246 x 61 x 20 cm. Edition of 3. Permission from ADAGP to reproduce this installation image not secured. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery, photograph by Thomas Lannes.

Press Release / Info

A dictionary should be made with the words. Thus "formless" is not only an adjective with a certain meaning, but a term serving to deprecate, implying the general demand that everything should have a form. -Georges Bataille, 1929


Gagosian is pleased to present Critical Dictionary: In homage to G. Bataille, a group exhibition that takes its title from Georges Bataille's deconstructive text and juxtaposes artworks of different time periods and styles.


For Battle, words and images were subject to infinite conflicts and variations, transforming according to their use and context. While his Critical Dictionary (1929-30) explores the subject of "materialism" to "spittle" through circuitous, free-associating paragraphs, the exhibition puts into question the hierarchies and chronologies of art history by grouping classical sculpture, postwar vanguard painting, and key contemporary works. Focused primarily on the dialogue between sculpture and painting, the combinations reveal the ways in which proximity can confer new meaning on objects.


Louise Bourgeois, Joe Bradley, Alberto Burri, Dan Flavin, Helen Frankenthaler, Duane Hanson, Donald Judd, Wassily Kandinsky, Anish Kapoor, Rene Magritte, Paolo Schiavo, Guido Reni, Frank Stella, and Mary Weatherford as a chitcheri sakwa , a clan shrine made in Togo circa 1900, and a Roman sculpture from the second century.


Please click here to view the installation video by Nikolaï Saoulski courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.