Moriceau + Mrzyk: Quantum of Solace
Apr 30 - Jun 14, 2008
Quantum of Solace
Moriceau + Mrzyk
Quantum of Solace installation (detail)

Quantum of Solace

Ritter/Zamet is pleased to present Quantum of Solace, the second solo exhibition at the gallery by French artist couple Jean François Moriceau + Petra Mrzyk.

Since their collaboration began in Nantes in 1998, Moriceau + Mrzyk’s wholly characteristic black-and-white drawings have enveloped walls, contorted around corners, appropriated and encompassed entire rooms and sprung to life as morphing hand-animated films and video projections. Across an extensive oeuvre that directly and intuitively twists the familiar into absurdity, Moriceau + Mrzyk have generated a unique imaginary realm that is as formally beguiling as it is conceptually complex.

Although it is possible to draw references from a whole tradition of Gallic comic strips and animation spanning Topor to Tintin, as well as clear affiliations with graphic artists, R. Crumb and Raymond Pettibon, Moriceau and Mrzyk present a consummately complete visual perception that is entirely their own. Forging subjects from obscure banalities of the everyday, they experiment playfully with specific objects, scenes and incidents either by focusing on seemingly random details, or by recombining them within unexpected and incongruous contexts.  Certain themes and motifs recur throughout as they continually modify and re-mix their subjects in order to reveal their hidden and equivocal connotations with more than a hint of innuendo and surreal witticism. It is a world peopled by an absurd and seductive cast of characters: a puff of smoke inhales on its own cigarette while disembodied eyes peer out from dark enchanted forests and man-eating plants with fierce jaws loop their tendrils around sparkle-eyed starlets. Meanwhile a woman sleeps as her hair grows Repunzel-like across a table and a crowd of body-suited spectators gaze outwards across the horizon, joyfully parading their naked behinds.

Continuing their trademark reference to the titles of James Bond films, the exhibition Quantum of Solace presents some 30 circular framed drawings of various dimensions mounted on top of numerous layers of their two-dimensional wall-painted counterparts. With each spherical image functioning like a porthole to a singular action, location or frame, the viewer is thrown into a dizzying macrocosm of narratives and associations that expand, interweave and interact across multiple planes.

Since 1998 the artists have exhibited internationally at venues including the Kunstmuseum Wiesbaden, the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, the Seoul Museum of Art, the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Connecticut and the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Lyon (in association with the Lyon Biennial 2007). 2006 saw their inclusion in the exhibition Notre Histoire at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris as well as their first major US solo show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Their solo exhibition Golden Eyes has just recently closed at the Fundació ”La Caixa” in Barcelona.