Edouard Malingue Gallery is pleased to present a booth featuring French artist Eric Baudart at UNSCHEDULED 2021. Baudart (b. 1972, Paris, France) is highly visible among the new generation of French artists. His works or situations proposed are not mere found objects but rather reconfigured and repurposed, composed and re-choreographed materials that have been carefully assembled or moulded to mount a delicate ballet of shapes, colour and form. For Baudart, used objects are the best materials for art as they avoid the conventional interpretation of materials, thus better presenting a spiritual dimension beyond the material itself. In the never-ending search for “objects“, Baudart has travelled around the world, from Brussels to Miami to the flea markets in Shanghai, hunting objects that can be transformed into artworks. The unconscious traces of the dust that fell over time, the damage that grew through daily use, and the marks that were left by people, are the reasons for Baudart’s fascination with the ready-mades.
This exhibition presents Baudart’s two newly-made works in 2021. The work COVID (2021) is based on the abbreviation of coronavirus. Transparent disposable medical masks are repeatedly overlaid, forming a suspended installation with a perfect curvature and metallic sheen. The intimately connected masks completely alter the perception of the medical purpose of the object and convert its form into a huge object weighing 20 kg. Baudart invites the viewer to look ”again“ by reworking materials in ways that flesh out their aesthetic possibilities in surprisingly awkward yet curious ways. In another work from the “OTS Series”, four radiator’s aluminum sheets are assembled together and extruded into a rippled pattern. Their flattened surface reflects different sources of light, revealing shimmering gloss against the dull, dense grids. Influenced by Dadaism and French Neo-Realism, Baudart exploits the production and phenomena of consumer society and industrial civilization. He inherits and expands Duchamp’s concept of the ‘ready-made’ and devolves a different path: he neither uses the ready-made to provoke the traditional aesthetics nor completely accepts it. Baudart’s works seek to recompose the ready-made to construct new contexts, proposing a reflection on people’s gradually fixed stereotypes.
Baudart also transforms the title of the exhibition or the work into a playful metaphor or an explicit message. As in Reboot 003 (2018), a used rubber boot is completely flattened and framed on an aluminum plate, leaving the boot’s original structure and logo faintly visible. The title “Reboot” has a deadpan straightforward sense of humor – it is just a boot that has been “re-boot”. This is his insight into art: most of the time, there is no need to make a new “work”. He emphasizes that his daily routine as an artist is simply to find objects then transform them.
Eric Baudart has been widely exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions at the Centre d’art Contemporaine Les Tanneries, Amilly (2019), the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard (2011) and La Maison Rouge, Paris (2007), as well as group exhibitions at the Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2014); MAMCO, Geneva (2013); La Centrale for Contemporary Art, Brussels (2013); Le Petit Palais, Paris (2007). In 2011, he was the recipient of the Meurice Prize for contemporary art. Baudart’s work is held in various notable museum collections, including the MFA, Boston and the MAMCO, Geneva.
As fairs and exhibitions resume in the wake of the pandemic’s unprecedented challenges, the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association (HKAGA) is excited to announce the return of UNSCHEDULED to showcase the strength of Hong Kong’s ever-burgeoning art scene and the city’s unique role as Asia’s international art center. The second edition will be held in the former flagship location of Topshop, in the heart of Central.
Neither a traditional art fair, nor a museum exhibition, UNSCHEDULED is a platform for selling and networking that was originally established as a response to the rise of COVID-19. The second edition will present solo exhibitions from 15 HKAGA gallery members, highlighting works by local and international artists.
UNSCHEDULED 2021 Eric Baudart
Photo by Wong Pak Hang.