I’m rather fond of the idea that things appear from the moment they are deformed, in the play between what is identical and different, between repetition, alteration, and renewal—like the movement my voice makes in its journey in front of the mountain’s belly, which allows me to measure the architecture of the mountain.
In her large-scale drawings, cast and carved sculptures, and site-specific installations, Tatiana Trouvé assesses the relationship between memory and material, pitting the ceaseless flow of time against the remarkable endurance of common objects. By pushing the very definitions of “copy,” “echo,” and “image,” she invents, even inhabits, environments that straddle studio, street, landscape, and dream.
Trouvé was born in Cosenza, Italy, and spent her childhood and early teenage years in Dakar. After graduating from the Villa Arson, Nice, France, in 1989, she moved to the Netherlands to the Ateliers 63 in Haarlem for two years. In 1994, she moved to Paris, eventually establishing her studio in Montreuil, a historically industrial suburb on the eastern periphery of the city. In 1997, while searching for a job, she began the project Bureau d’activités implicites (Bureau of Implicit Activities) (1997–2007), in which she displayed her personal documents in architectural “modules,” interspersing them with invented résumés and other fictionalized papers. This experiment in crafting and comprehending identity through a bureaucratic lens, a foundation for Trouvé’s archival impulse, allowed her to accumulate a vast collection of images and small objects that are referenced in her drawings and sculptures. In the sculptural series Polders (2000–), Trouvé scales up objects and interiors, yet often implements windows or mirrors that prevent the viewer from getting physically into the spaces. Thus, while accumulated documents reveal the fictions of identity formation in Bureau d’activités implicites, in Polders, physical limitations alienate the mind and body from seemingly familiar interiors.
Trouvé’s drawings have always been deeply intertwined with her sculptural work. Often, she projects visual fragments from the studio or from her personal archive of found and original images onto the picture plane, capturing them there in graphite to create richly detailed two-dimensional realms. In the series Intranquillity (2005–), whose title refers to Fernando Pessoa’s 1982 Book of Disquiet (Intranquillité in the French translation), Trouvé experiments with different modes of spatiotemporal shifting. The works comprising the series Remanence (Afterglow) (2008), drawn in black graphite on black paper, reveal the surprises and the inconsistencies of memory, considering the liminal space between waking and dreaming. A similar relationship exists between the series Les dessouvenus (The unremembered) (2013–) and The Great Atlas of Disorientation (2019–). To make the former, Trouvé plunges large sheets of colored paper into bleach, allowing the boundaries of each stain to provide a loose structure for complex “environmental dramas” that she then draws in pencil. To create the latter, she uses watercolor, ink, or linseed oil to defamiliarize the compositional structures of Les dessouvenus.
Trouvé was awarded the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2007, which led to 4 between 3 and 2, a 2008 solo exhibition at Centre Pompidou, Paris, featuring drawings, cast-bronze sculptures, and architectural barriers made of metal bars and glass. In 2010, the Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, presented Il grande ritratto (Larger than Life), a monumental installation wherein Trouvé transformed the museum’s lower level into a postapocalyptic landscape echoing the titular 1960 science-fiction novel by the Italian writer Dino Buzzati’s 1960 science-fiction novel of the same title by the Italian writer Dino Buzzati. That same year, the survey Tatiana Trouvé: The Longest Echo / L’écho le plus long opened at the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva. The structure of many of Trouvé’s exhibitions is echoed in the ongoing series Les indéfinis (The undefined) (2014–), which combines and reactivates works that were initially intended for past series but ended up taking on separate lives of their own. Common objects—tires, folded cardboard, macramé hangings—are cast in bronze or copper and paired with vitrines of gleaming greenish Plexiglas. As their collective title suggests, Les indéfinis resist definition, existing between the categories of Trouvé’s practice.
In 2015, the Public Art Fund commissioned Trouvé to create Desire Lines, an outdoor installation in New York’s Central Park consisting of oversize spools of rope whose respective lengths correspond with those of more than two hundred distinct pathways in the park. This tactile approach to cartography, suggesting that maps emerge from and alter bodily experience, appears in various iterations in Trouvé’s work.
More than orientation, however, Trouvé reveals the infinite potentialities of disorientation, encouraging viewers to wander, even to get lost. She continues to merge interior and exterior worlds, more explicitly taking on ecological questions by considering the ways in which public and private space, built and destroyed environments, converge
I cento titoli in 36 524 giorni (The hundred titles in 36,524 days)
November 22, 2013–January 4, 2014
Behind the Art
Tatiana Trouvé: In the Studio
Join the artist in her studio as she speaks about her new series of drawings, From March to May. Trouvé describes the genesis of the project and the essential role its creation played in keeping her connected with the outside world during the difficult months of pandemic-related lockdown.
Bourse de Commerce
William Middleton traces the development of the new institution, examining the collaboration between the collector François Pinault and the architect Tadao Ando in revitalizing the historic space. Middleton also speaks with artists Tatiana Trouvé and Albert Oehlen about Pinault’s passion as a collector, and with the Bouroullec brothers, who created design features for the interiors and exteriors of the museum.
Tatiana Trouvé: The Residents
Tatiana Trouvé discusses her installation The Residents (2021), commissioned by Artangel for the exhibition Afterness on Orford Ness, a former military testing site in Suffolk, England
Tatiana Trouvé: From March to May
A portfolio of the artist’s drawings made during lockdown. Text by Jesi Khadivi.
Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2020
The Winter 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Jenny Saville’s Prism (2020) on its cover.
Tatiana Trouvé: In Time
In upstate New York, Jenny Jaskey discovers Tatiana Trouvé’s Between sky and earth. Begun in 2012, this multifaceted installation exists as a crucial nexus in the artist’s career, both a result of her ongoing practice and a generative source for continuing investigations.
Before the Smoke Has Cleared
Angela Brown provides a glimpse into the charged ecologies of recent drawings and sculptures by Tatiana Trouvé. These works will be included in On the Eve of Never Leaving, Trouvé’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, opening in November 2019.
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2019
The Fall 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Sinking (2019) by Nathaniel Mary Quinn on its cover.
Trouvé and Grosse: Villa Medici
Tatiana Trouvé and Katharina Grosse discuss their exhibition Le numerose irregolarità, at the French Academy in Rome, Villa Medici, with curator Chiara Parisi.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2018
The Spring 2018 Gagosian Quarterly with a cover by Ed Ruscha is now available for order.
Madison Avenue Fall Gallery Walk
Saturday, October 23, 2021, 10am–6pm
Join Artnews and the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District on an autumn walk to visit over forty galleries that line Madison Avenue from East 57th to East 86th Streets. Gagosian, 976 Madison Avenue, has Tatiana Trouvé: From March to May on view. To attend the free event, register at madisonavenuebid.org.
Installation view, Tatiana Trouvé: From March to May, Gagosian, 976 Madison Avenue, New York, September 18–October 30, 2021. Artwork © Tatiana Trouvé. Photo: Rob McKeever
Tatiana Trouvé × Parley for the Oceans
Tatiana Trouvé has partnered with Parley for the Oceans, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to promoting ocean sustainability, in creating a limited-edition print based on her original drawing August (2019), with 100 percent of the proceeds funding Parley’s plastic interception and cleanups, education programs, and eco-innovation projects that help protect the oceans. The work, which began with an image of the Amazon rain forest burning in August 2019, alludes to political violence against Indigenous populations and the biodiversity of the rain forest. To inquire about purchasing a print, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tatiana Trouvé, August, 2021 © Tatiana Trouvé
Rites of Passage, Connecting Worlds
Tatiana Trouvé according to Jesi Khadivi
Tatiana Trouvé is the subject of a new essay by Jesi Khadivi, commissioned by the Fondation d’entreprise Pernod Ricard, Paris, for TextWork, its online platform that publishes monographic texts by international authors on artists from the French scene. Khadivi’s essay examines Trouvé’s body of work, including a recent series of drawings she made while in quarantine on the front pages of international newspapers from countries severely affected by the pandemic.
Tatiana Trouvé, March 21st, May 4th, The New York Times, USA, 2020, from the series Front Pages March 15–April 25, 2020, 2020 © Tatiana Trouvé. Photo: Florian Kleinefenn
Closing this Week
Tatiana Trouvé in
Through October 30, 2021
Orford Ness, Suffolk, England
Afterness is a series of new commissions by artists working across multiple mediums, created in response to the singular environment and hidden history of Orford Ness, a windswept strip of land stretching several miles along the Suffolk coast. Protected by the National Trust as a nature reserve since 1995, the Ness is a decommissioned military testing site known locally as the “island of secrets,” where research into weaponry and covert radio systems was conducted between the First World War and the Cold War. Tatiana Trouvé’s The Residents (2021) consists of several sculptures installed throughout the interior of Lab 1, a derelict structure built in the 1960s for weapons testing, now open to the elements, overgrown with vegetation, and partly underwater.
Tatiana Trouvé, The Residents, 2021, installation view, Orford Ness, Suffolk, England, commissioned and produced by Artangel, presented by Artangel in partnership with the National Trust © Tatiana Trouvé. Photo: Emile Ebrahim Kelly
Closing this Week
Tatiana Trouvé in
Le vent se lève
Through October 31, 2021
Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Vitry-sur-Seine, France
This exhibition, whose title translates to The Wind Is Rising, explores the relationships between humanity and the planet through paintings, photographs, films, and installations. Work by Tatiana Trouvé is included.
Tatiana Trouvé, Desire Lines, 2015, installation view, Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Vitry-sur-Seine, France © Tatiana Trouvé, ADAGP Paris 2020. Photo: © MAC VAL
Tatiana Trouvé in
Oeuvres in situ
Through December 31, 2021
Bourse de Commerce, Pinault Collection, Paris
This inaugural exhibition at the Bourse de Commerce, whose title translates to In Situ Works, aims to highlight the relationship that artists can have with an exhibition space, as well as their relationship to a museum and its visitors. The works, which include eight sculptures from Tatiana Trouvé’s series The Guardian, are installed outside of the museographic framework in the venue’s thoroughfares and passageways, under the dome, and at the top of the Medici Column, surprising visitors.
Tatiana Trouvé, The Guardian, 2019, installation view, Bourse de Commerce, Pinault Collection, Paris © Tatiana Trouvé, ADAGP Paris 2021
Contemporary European Art
June 9–October 10, 2021
Flughafen Tempelhof, Berlin
Presenting work by more than ninety established and emerging artists from thirty-four countries, Diversity United reflects the diversity and vitality of Europe’s contemporary art scene. The exhibition, which will travel to venues in Moscow and Paris, sheds light on subjects such as freedom, democracy, migration, territory, and political and personal identity. Work by Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Tatiana Trouvé, and Rachel Whiteread is included.
Rachel Whiteread, Untitled, 2010, installation view, Flughafen Tempelhof, Berlin © Rachel Whiteread