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Laure Prouvost

This is the visit
September 18 - October 31, 2014
Cloître Saint-Merri, Paris

The Nathalie Obadia Gallery is very pleased to present Laure Prouvost’s first solo exhibition in France.

Winner of the prestigious Turner Prize in 2013, and the first French artist ever to have been awarded this prize, Laure Prouvost, who is based in London, will present a group of new works in the same vein as the prize-winning piece Wantee (2013) which tells the story of her fictional grandfather, a friend of Kurt Schwitters’, who is supposed to have mysteriously disappeared while digging a conceptual tunnel to Africa, and of her video Grandma’s dream, (2013) in which Laure Prouvost immerses us in the imaginary world of her likewise fictional grandmother.
As a continuation of these two major works, the artist occupies the gallery and invites us into the Visitor Center, built by her grandmother and grandchildren in honor of her husband and grandfather, still to this day, missing. Visitors follow the path of the exhibition as indicated by a platform which leads them toward installations, tapestries, paintings, videos and sculptures, plunging them into an enveloping experience of sound and light. Two of the tapestries, made using collages by the artist, are animated through a system using film projection; a spiral staircase invites the visitor to climb upwards toward a video. Panels act as markers indicating the route to be taken step-by-step. SIGN paintings deconstruct the exhibition space and suggest an alternative ideal arrangement, while the video Burrow Me invites us to follow the traces of a thrilling breakaway.

Viewers become accomplices when they enter this concocted museum and, in so doing, pay homage to the missing grandfather. The artist questions the visitor about the imprecise boundaries that separate reality from fiction, to better give him/her a central presence in the reception of her installations. By proposing a particularly innovative, singular and organic body of work, Laure Prouvost develops a coherent and penetrating narrative in her work using fantasy and humor, amongst other things.

An archivist of images, objects, words, crafts, fictions and documents, she captures the daily flow of images and texts that assail us, in order to isolate the extraordinary associations and combinations that will specifically serve her stories and the chronicle of her work in general. Through a rough and fairly unscrupulous approach to the principles of translation, a disconcerting facility for dealing with notions of appearance, hypothesis and ambiguity in the bogus myths she offers us, along with the suggestive idea that a drama, breakdown or failure is always possible (does anyone know if the grandfather will ever return?) Laure Prouvost methodically constructs a substantial and indispensable body of work.

Although she plays with the effects that these incidences and accidents provoke, the very real perspective of an ideal world can be glimpsed in the generosity and the uncontrived fantasy and exhilaration that she brings to her work.


Born in 1978 in Croix-Lille, Laure Prouvost lives and works in London.

Laure Prouvost received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Central Saint Martins, London, in 2002 and a Master of Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College, London in 2010 before becoming one of the most highly visible artists on the international contemporary art scene. <br>
Her recent solo exhibitions have been seen in prestigious institutions including: the New Museum, New York (For Forgetting, 2014), Extra City Kunsthal, Anvers (From Wantee to Some Signs, 2014), the Whitechapel Gallery, London and the Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia (Farfromwords 2013), the Fondation Morra Greco, Naples (Polpomotorino, 2013), the Tate Britain (Schwitters in Britain, 2013), the Lyon Biennial (Entretemps... Brusquement, Et ensuite, 2013), the TPW Gallery, Toronto, and the Contemporary Art Society, London (Display: Laure Prouvost, 2013), the Institute for Contemporary Art, London (The Wanderer, 2013), Frieze Projects and the Tate Britain (Art Now Lightbox: Laure Provost: It, heat, hit, 2011 and 2010 respectively). Laure Prouvost will exhibit at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin in 2014, and will do a performance for the 2014 FIAC at the Grand Palais.

Laure Prouvost was awarded the Turner Prize in 2013, the Max Mara Prize for Women in 2011, was a Principle Prize Winner in the 56th and 57th Oberhausen Short Film Festival in 2010 and 2011, and was the recipient of the EAST International Award in 2009.