Past Exhibitions
Past Exhibitions
For Immediate Release.
Annette Messager: Daily 
April 1 –April 30, 2016
Opening reception, Friday April 1st 6-8 pm 

Marian Goodman Gallery New York is pleased to announce an exhibition of Annette Messager, Daily, which will open on Friday, April 1st and remain on view though Saturday, April 30th, 2016. 

In this exhibition Annette Messager creates a dramatic incursion into the space with her installation, Daily, a monumental work presented on the Third Floor Project Space in conjunction with recent works, Le crabe cancer, Le bras chaussure, En equilibre, L’oiseau, Jambes oiseau, and new Pole Dance drawings, which are shown in the adjacent room.  These works provide a platform for a reinvention of her practice of creating hybrid forms drawn from personal memory and daily life, inspired by fiction and fantasy. As Messager says, “For me, the fantastic is in daily life; real life is more extraordinary than all of the imagination.”    

In Daily, we see “simple and utilitarian constituent parts which appear on the one hand to be marked by their functionality - scissors, a hanger, a key, tweezers, a hammer - and on the other hand, are like spectres of our everyday life, so important, so derisory.   Made in skaï, and wrapped in black, they float like sadomasochistic elements hanging on black ropes, voluminous and disproportionate, at least, in our heads.  These elements are perhaps akin to Alice in Wonderland today.   In opposition, it is us, we humans, who like marionettes hang on these objects.  Our figures are flesh-colored, a little bit grey, like meat sometimes, with pieces of our inside appearing vaguely turned inside out: arteries, organs, veins.   Moreover, we see mice and rats hanging on as well, very low, in traps within the nets.”  
-Annette Messager, 2016 

Annette Messager is currently presenting her work in a double exhibition in the French city of Calais in Dessus Dessous ("Upside Down"), on view at Musée des Beaux Arts de Calais and Cité de la mode et de la dentelle, through May 2016.  Messager, who was born in nearby Berck-sur-Mer, France in 1943, visited Calais as a child with her family and was witness to works such as Rodin’s Les Bourgeois de Calais: “The outsized and terrifying key held by the figure of Jean d’Aire served as a model for all the everyday objects she was later to present in her work,” writes the Director of the Calais museums.  The recent show marked an anniversary of an exhibition of the seminal Les Chimeres (The Chimeras), 1982, shown over thirty years prior, in which the artist’s first assemblages were seen, enlarged from  images of everyday objects and body parts: “invading the space with mysterious and monstrous creatures:  spiders, bat, hydra, strange fish, but also scissors or shoes.”  One can see these as antecedents to the new works which also allude to the human condition as much as to “the memory of Rodin, and to fashion, seamstresses, tights, and bras.”           

From the 1970s onward, Annette Messager’s work has been known for a heterogeneity of form and subject matter, ranging from the personal to the fictional, the social to the universal.   Through an embrace of everyday materials, and principles of assemblage, collection and theatrical display, her diverse media has included construction, documents, language, objects,  taxidermy,  drawings,  photographs, fabric, embroidery, image collections, albums, sculpture and installation.  Early works were based on hand made objects, itemized inventories, notebooks, journals, and invented scenarios in relation to childhood and the domestic.  These gave way to albums-collection, accumulations, and dreamscapes of bestiary and female forms such as the les Chimeres, made of torn and painted photographs.  The stuffed toy creatures and 2D cut out forms of Mes Effigies, and the  picture constructions of  Pieces Montées were followed by Mes Trophees,  Mes Ouvrages and Mes Vœux, composed of appropriated images of body parts, turning the private public. Paradigms of museum display, as in Story of Dresses, or themes of violence and protest, as in Les Piques explored the idea of social space.  Messager has explored fairy tales, mythology and doppelgangers throughout her œuvre. Large scale works such as Casino, inspired by Pinocchio’s quest to become a human boy, and which won the Golden Lion Award at the 51st Venice Biennal (2005), draws from a shared public mythology.  Other works, such as Motion/Emotion or Inflated/Deflated, incorporate motion and the kinetic via pneumatic devices.  Both are examples of Messager’s multiplicity in large scale installation works.  Her expansive installations give us hybrid forms in dramatic formation or suspension, tableaux vivants which transform physical space and provide immersive experiences to the viewer.  

Recent exhibitions include the aforementioned Musée des Beaux Arts de Calais and La Cite Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode, Calais, France (2015-2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2014) for which a major catalogue, Motion/Emotion, was published; K20 StÓ“ndehaus, Dussledorf, Germany (2014) and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg (2012). She represented France at the 51st Venice Biennial and was awarded the Golden Lion for her project in 2005. Other important solo exhibitions have been held at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Monterrey, Mexico (2010), Multimedia Complex of Actual Arts, Moscow (2010), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2008), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2007), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2004), Palazzo Velasquez (1999), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Chicago Institute of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1995).

Messager recently designed costumes for the opera La Double Coquette by Ensemble Amarillis (Antoine Dauvergne, Gérard Pesson, Héloïse Gaillard & Violaine Cochard). The opera began its tour in Hong Kong on May 2, 2015, and has since traveled through parts of France. This year the opera will be in Hanover, Germany on May 21, 2016, and in Charleston, South Carolina on May 28 -June 1, 2016, and in Montclair, New Jersey on June 4-5, 2016. 

Please join us at the opening reception for the artist on Friday, April 1st from 6-8 pm.

For press inquiries,  please contact : Linda Pellegrini at  For further information, please contact the Gallery at : (212) 977 -7160, or visit