When quarantine was announced, newspapers from countries around the world that were being ravaged by the pandemic took on new meaning. I began, each day, to draw on the front page of a newspaper—it was a way of escaping the confinement, and of being connected to the strange atmosphere that was spreading around the globe with the virus. This world tour via headlines and front pages was like a journey in reverse. Suddenly, I could no longer meet the world unless the world came to me, through the newspapers.
Gagosian is pleased to present From March to May, a never-before-seen body of work by Tatiana Trouvé produced in direct response to the pandemic era.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine in March 2020, Trouvé, isolated in Paris, began a series of daily drawings using inkjet-printed reproductions of various international newspaper front pages as her starting point. As the pandemic marched on, spreading instability and uncertainty throughout the world, Trouvé continued to work ever more methodically in graphite, ink, and linseed oil.
Trouvé’s project is linked to certain modernist traditions. Connecting daily realities to poetry and the Symbolist movement, Pablo Picasso utilized scraps of Le Figaro in Cubist drawings and collages that used aleatory haphazardness to literally dematerialize neatly formatted columns of type into a chaotic jumble. In Hannah Höch’s provocative collages, newspaper cut-ups represent a feminist challenge to and reclamation of society’s dominant images and narrative.
From March to May extends these themes and connects them to Trouvé’s own temporality, while also underscoring the role that technological reproduction and human intervention play in shaping aesthetic experience. In another departure from her modernist forebears, Trouvé’s drawings are fundamentally rooted in today’s digital age; they acknowledge the instant and universal connection that online newspaper editions provided during the pandemic. As print issues became increasingly difficult to obtain in a world halted by quarantine, it was the ubiquity of digital media that allowed the news to circulate into people’s homes and lives despite the constrictive realities of isolation, thus taking on an even more precious and profound status.
Trouvé uses the newspaper like a serialized canvas, layering lines and figurative drawings over each formatted and printed front page from around the world. Beneath drawn and painted marks, ominous headlines swirl in and out of legibility, and familiar photographs mix surreally with Trouvé’s visions. Her drawings are both guided and interrupted by the arbitrary form of the printed page, inflecting the pragmatic character of newsprint with a dreamlike quality. In this suite of fifty-six works on paper, exterior and interior worlds fuse into one. Like Trouvé’s large-scale installations and sculptures, From March to May tests the exchange between memory and matter, combining abstract and quotidian elements. Sometimes immersive, sometimes setting the viewer at a distance, Trouvé’s art creates both real and imagined spaces that unsettle and distort standardized structures and perceptions of time.
To mark the New York exhibition, Gagosian will produce a special edition of From March to May in the form of a newspaper, underscoring the medium’s persistent presence as a vehicle for engagement with the outside world at large.
The Residents, a site-specific installation by Trouvé for Artangel in Orford Ness, England, opened on July 1, 2021. A major solo exhibition at Centre Pompidou, Paris, will open in June 2022.
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.
Tatiana Trouvé: From March to May
A portfolio of the artist’s drawings made during lockdown. Text by Jesi Khadivi.
Tatiana Trouvé: Le grand atlas de la désorientation
In this video, Tatiana Trouvé provides an overview of her latest installation, presented at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The exhibition, whose title translates to The Great Atlas of Disorientation, includes a selection of drawings and sculptures that create fantastical landscapes where reality engages in infinite exchanges with its doubles.
Tatiana Trouvé and Jean-Michel Geneste
Tatiana Trouvé speaks with Jean-Michel Geneste, archaeologist and curator, about the paradoxes of her practice: absence and presence, the ancient and the contemporary, the natural and the human-made.
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
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.
April 6–12, 2022
In her cast and carved sculptures, site-specific installations, and large-scale drawings, Tatiana Trouvé assesses the relationship between memory and material, pitting the ceaseless flow of time against the remarkable endurance of common objects. She invents, even inhabits, environments that straddle studio, street, landscape, and dream.
Photo: Roberta Valerio
Madison Avenue Fall Gallery Walk 2021
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