Artworks from des Avenue des Champs-Élysées to d’Alma – Marceau
Artworks from Alma – Marceau  to Avenue des Champs-Élysées

CONTACT AND SALES :

BEL AIR FINE ART PARIS – 190, Rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris –+33 (0)1 84 83 18 18 – rivoli@belairfineart.com

                         

Artist’s website

https://www.jenkell.com/fr/

Laurence Jenkell unwrapped

When reaching Laurence Jenkell’s workshop, on the outskirts of the village of Vallauris, one is seized by a powerful age-old feeling. Though her candies (but also their more or less direct ramifications, the iconic Wrappings, the DNAs, the Robots, the Butterflies…) have conquered the planet in only a mere dozen years , Laurence Jenkell’s art is found to be deeply rooted, not only in the history and geography of that southern land, but also specifically in the secrets of Vallauris’ very peculiar fireclay. Yet, in the beginning was the word, they say. So, let’s start with the name, her alias as Laurence Jenkell in a deserted genealogy. For a creator, choosing an alias while denying one’s family name, is to strain one’s lineage, to reject the husband’s or father’s name (often in order to remain sane). Laurence Jenkell’s course is an epiphany; clear of history,
she leaped forward on to the art stage ten years ago. Yesterday; a lifetime ago. For, beyond their creations, artists work above all to invent themselves. While manipulating an inert material until it is endowed with a spirit, the artist must first of all self-generate, reveal him or herself, literally build their own identity. This imperative overwhelmingly defines Laurence Jenkell, whose path to art has been a long, patient, determined conquest. Originating from an environment that was sparsely drawn to culture, the expectations of a first union seemingly blocking any creative possibility, until, in the secrecy of her kitchen, in a silent one-to-one with her domestic oven, true symbol of this alienation, she made mixes of melted candies, castings of sugary and syrupy colours, locked in crafted resins, the first startling paintings, chance encounters, on a scullion marble, of an ancient frustration
(deprivation of sweets) as well as a brand new liberation, that of a torrent of creativity that was now unstoppable. Similarly, the earth of Vallauris lay quietly in a fluid bed of kaolin until, during the 16th century, a handful of Genovese families amongst which a few potters, fleeing the plague, started fashioning it into “taraïettes”, miniature and archaic tableware that was easy to throw. Courage and determination, even then, were necessary to carry down this ‘culinary pottery’ on the back of a mule to the coastline of Golfe-Juan, to then ship it all over the world. Utilitarian, finally outdated by the emergence of more suitable materials such as aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, in the late 1940s, this production was replaced by fresh momentum, namely art, brought by Picasso, who settled here in 1947. In his wake, a startling artist took root here. Born as Anna, Anton Prinner wore a beret, smoked a pipe and dressed only as a man from the moment she arrived in France twenty years earlier. Picasso greeted her with a “Sir Madam”, and nicknamed her “my little woodpecker”, due to her amazing inclination to sculpt massive tree trunks in the “Tapis Vert” studios. Prinner participated fully, for almost fifteen years, in the invention of this “School of Vallauris” whose notoriety is today global. Naturally, Anton Prinner comes to mind as I observe Laurence Jenkell, on the threshold of her workshop, taking on a plexiglass block measuring close to twice her height, and weighing at least four to ten times her weight. From the sharp tip of a metal chisel, she methodically rips, one by one, these jagged plastics chips strewn over the workshop’s concrete floor. Some are merely the size of a fingernail clipping, others are as large as a clenched fist. The cuts, accidents, slits and tiny scratches that these missing pieces create in the material design the frosted and changing surface of a candy cellophane that will require months, or even years, to complete, and from which may emerge a figure that is for the moment invisible, and yet contained as a seed, imprisoned in the compact mass. The previous one, unveiled in off during the Venice Biennale in 2015, “Ice Candy Man”, is a spectacular frosted Candy with sharp ridges, from which emerges a breathtaking face, mid-way between life and death, Hibernatus hanging from an ice stalactite, as a Vanity from time immemorial, and yet terribly modern. We usually classify sculptors into three different categories: modellers, moulders and stone cutters. The first work from a deformable material, which they shape until they reach the planned shape. they use earth, wax, etc. The second ones seize a living or inanimate model, and capture its contour, which they then translate into a chosen material, bronze, cast iron, or something else. The third carve from a dense block, in general wood or stone, removing matter in order to reveal the desired volume. I truly believe that, by nature, Laurence Jenkell is not the type of woman who limits herself to a single genre. Fortunately (but certainly not fortuitously), her material of choice, plexiglass, may be the only one suitable for the entirety of these transformations. Thus Laurence Jenkell is a modeller, moulder and cutter of, on and in the plexiglass sheet. Never far away from her oven (except that now, she is the one who has tamed it, going so far as to have one custom built to accommodate the size of the sheets she manipulates), she generally heats it to a balance point that she now totally masters. There, she can successively, or even simultaneously, mould it (around an existing shape or one created by her) and model it, giving it one of her ‘wrapping’ twists that henceforth symbolizes her art and which has evolved into a spiral in the DNA series. Each gesture, each wrapping made in the warm and dry serenity of the workshop, is unique. Already in this, it carries, engraved as surely as a tree’s age is determined by its rings, sign of its irreducibility. How can one not see in this an echo of this ‘self-invention’ that sets this artist apart from others? How can one not think of the particular history of this land of Vallauris, reinvented by and for artists? How can one not evoke the figure of Anton Prinner, for whom a deeply seated certitude lead her to transform herself through the transgression of all borders, geographical, of course, historical, but also sexually, physically, to shape her personality in the same manner she shaped wood or earth? Whereas questions on identity, or the revelation of her deepest nature, are at the heart of the art of Laurence Jenkell, how can one not admit that any form created by man is the result of a ‘personal history’ and a
‘collective memory’? In that perspective, Laurence Jenkell naturally took an interest in flags. Though one of her most iconic sculptures remains the “Qatar Flag Candy” of 2010, located by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on the mythical Place de l’Etoile, the following year, the alignment of twenty ‘Candy Flags’ on the no less mythical Croisette in Cannes during the G20 summit aiming to facilitate international interaction between the 20 major world powers, is characteristic of the scale of her art. No challenge is too difficult for Laurence Jenkell, no matter is impenetrable, no distance is too great, no cultural difference insurmountable. Her art is meant to speak to everybody, or rather, like her own journey, to seek dialogue with the part of us which, since childhood, remains convinced that it is still possible to turn the tables and build a more beautiful world. Transfiguring the utility, transcending the banal to make Art with a capital ‘A’ happen, is a habit on the hills of Vallauris. Like Picasso or Prinner before her, Laurence Jenkell seized a poor material, plexiglass, and a very mundane topic, candy, but she knew how to release their throbbing nucleus from the gangue of triviality that imprisoned them, in order to disengage the universal, the unceasingly renewed unique, the troubling experience, “which is, each time, neither quite the same / neither quite another”. It seems to me her recent series of works around silhouettes of ‘Buildings’ and ‘Robots’ expresses this eagerness to build, develop, create new identities likely to represent a certain current state of the world, but also to announce, to anticipate its evolutions. From a universal archetype, the Candy, Laurence Jenkell federated, in less than ten years, a spontaneous community all around the planet. Her sculptures have brought her from Valencia to the Universal Exhibition in Milan (2016), from the Venice Biennale (2015) to Singapore, from Abu Dhabi to Azerbaijan, and now in New York, where she will be settling for one year in one of these nodes of communication, one of these hubs which she likes so much, she whose whole art is an invitation to the free circulation of desires and ideas. Already, to get to Vallauris, the visitor only needs to follow her Hansel and Gretel-like route of sweets, from the “Sweet Flying Candies” that welcome travellers in the main hall of the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and the monumental (5 metre) “Wrapping Candy” of red scarlet polyester, installed on October 9 on the side of the A8 motorway, at the Nice West junction. Undoubtedly unintentionally, Laurence Jenkell’s Candies may irresistibly be considered
(which I think has never been pointed out) as positive alter-egos of the great post-minimalist American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ packaged treats. Forged in a completely different context – the years of the AIDS epidemic – they are left at the disposal of visitors who are welcome to seize them, carry them away, consume them, ingest them. The quantity of candy is determined, in Gonzalez-Torres’ work, by the weight of the one whose mound (always placed on the ground, sometimes in a corner, sometimes spread in geometric forms on the ground) is the portrait. In a transparent allusion to Christian transubstantiation, the viewer welcomes in his own body a fragment of the work, on which he feeds himself while participating in destroying it. Laurence Jenkell’s Candies are positive alter-egos thereof because they do not share in any way the same story. Here it is not about real sweets but rather their representation, which echoes her first works in which the artist, already, strove to push away the candy by melting it, by frosting it behind an additional layer of resin, to better soothe, overcome her deadly appetite. She who was so deprived of sweets for so long, and suffered so much for it, has managed to overcome the stage of frustration to now address this topic as a ’Placebo’ (the title of a major work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres preserved at the MoMA in New York). She therefore chooses to remain within the essentially Protestant Duchampian dogma: we commemorate the Holy Supper as a meal of remembrance, we feed on Jesus,
but spiritually only. Incidentally, if viewers are perhaps depriving themselves of the ‘oral gratification’ that Felix Gonzalez-Torres evoked with humour with one of these mounds,
“USA Today”, they also escape its inevitable setback, the ‘sugar rush’… America, already… One never fails to recall the “terroir” on which Laurence Jenkell’s art blossoms, this French Riviera blessed by the Gods of creation on the shores of which art takes root so well. From Monticelli’s sumptuous flashes of light, which dazzled Van Gogh so much, to the artists of Fauvism not knowing where to look in the Estaque, then especially to the fertile 1960s when New Realism, Fluxus, then Support (s) / Surface (s) were born there, a whole history of joyful, fraternal, colourful, energetic art in France, was written here. However, even if her sculpture sometimes gives a few nods to Arman, Caesar, Fahri, Gilli or Sosno, these great sculptors of the School of Nice, for my part I would prefer relating Laurence Jenkell to John Chamberlain, the American giant who, since the end of the 1950s, sought unprecedented and surprising forms in the meanders of crumpled, folded automobile bodies. A “quintessential Artist of America”, Chamberlain claimed the car for himself just like Jenkell has claimed the candy, in order to extract from that symbol of the consumer society abundance, unsuspected plastic qualities, using in particular twists, frowns, but also of coloured ranges, shades and gradients extremely close to those of Laurence Jenkell. In the mid-1980s, Chamberlain produced little known tiny diamond sculptures (‘Foils’) that he managed to enlarge in aluminium in the mid-2000s, then transposing them into monumental formats without sacrificing either the brightness or spontaneity of the original models, dealing with sculptural questions and formal
solutions, to which Laurence Jenkell’s current proposals can undoubtedly stand comparison.

The great freedom and the no less great determination with which Laurence Jenkell conducts her research, develops her themes and enriches her repertoire of forms, forces admiration and reveals an authentic artist’s temperament. Candy remains the hard core of her creative identity, but she cleverly explores all its possibilities: “After having broken down my candy, assembled each part, composed and decomposed the ‘papillote’, the ellipse, the nucleus, gathered the various components of the core, arranged and organized the sugar crystals, dissociated the phases and associated them again, the evidence of my new line of work imposed itself on me. The spiral or twisting of two ‘papillotes’ that give my sculpture all its expression and dynamism brought me directly to the double helix of DNA, the molecule of heredity”, she says. Like sugar spins into angel hair of microscopic sections but with surprising strength, Laurence Jenkell’s practice self-generates into circumvolutive arabesques, elegant and luminous, trapping the charmed onlooker in the benevolent snare of the reflections of her spidery seductions. A self-taught woman who stayed away from the standard path of academic art, Laurence Jenkell had to draw the mad energy she generously gives to enthusiasts of her sculpture, growing in numbers every day, from her deepest core. She is a true artist, truly an artist. Every day she roams through her workshop, searching for new directions, novel solutions. She brings there her awareness of all the shortcomings of the world, and she wrings their neck in a determined act, just like this energy-consuming refrigerator, this elephant covered with the crevices of wrinkles, or this trashcan, the fate of which she turns around with a devastating twist. Laurence Jenkell is fond of materials with which one cannot cheat, materials which express the truth of a certain state of the world. Her wrapping is the equivalent, in contemporary Western sculpture, of ancient oriental calligraphy; more than a gesture it is a principle, THE principle that engenders all that exists, the fundamental force that flows in all things of the universe. Its preparation, the installation of the equipment, the choice of tools, the temperature rise of the plexiglass sheet, the selection of the vices, all that contributes to the concentration necessary for the execution of this twist which can never be corrected or erased. Thus, Laurence Jenkell’s sculpture is a martial art, the practice of which requires the most extreme focus as well as total letting go. In this single fast, precise and simple gesture, Zen and Tao must slowly make their way because, as Georges Braque professed, an idea cannot be found at the same time “in the head and at the end of the brush”. Created in 1972 by the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, the concept of the Borromean knot, knotting of three tori formed by the intertwining of the real, the symbolic and the imaginary, structures the field of analytic experience. The Borromean knot is the only form likely to unite the ‘internal hole’, that which insists, and the ‘external hole’, that which exists. Laurence Jenkell’s wrapping is nothing other than what it is, which endows it with an unimaginable symbolic power, to use the words of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa in The Leopard, allowing to find in each of us the “deeper roots in one of those reasons we call irrational because they are buried under heaps of ignorance of ourselves”. In a simultaneous gesture it brings together time and space in depth, towards a blind spot, half-turning around, and invites one to go forward again and again, sideways, as if to take one final glimpse at the world left behind. Stéphane Corréard
October-November 2017 Stéphane Corréard is an art critic and curator. He regularly contributes to periodicals (Fine Arts Magazine, Libération Next, Particules…) as well as on the show La Dispute on France Culture, and signs texts for many publishers and institutions.

Commissioner, he directed the Salon of Montrouge from 2009 to 2015, and is regularly invited to create exhibitions in institutions (Palais de Tokyo, Villa Arson, Villa Tamaris…) and galleries. In addition, he participated as an expert in the selection committees of the Marcel Duchamp Prize, at the selections of the Académie de France in Rome (Villa Medici), in the Hors-les-Murs programme of the French Institute and at the “Assises de la Jeune Création” organized by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

  • Bettencourt – Schuller Foundation, Neuilly-sur-Seine (France)
  • Bouygues Foundation, Saint-Quentin en Yvelines (France)
  • Chanel Foundation, Neuilly-sur-Seine (France)
  • Coca-Cola Museum, Atlanta (USA)
  • General Council of Alpes-Maritimes (France)
  • Copelouzos Family Art
  • Museum, Athens (Greece)
  • Cristobal Gabarron Foundation, Barcelona, Mula, (Spain)
  • Domaine Rolland De By (France)
  • Fight Aids, Monaco (Monte Carlo)
  • Fine Arts Museum, Calais (France)
  • France Art Contemporary Foundation, Breux-Jouy (France)
  • IPIC Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
  • KNEIP Foundation, Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
  • Miniatures Museum, Amsterdam (Holland)
  • Mission Childhood, Monaco (Monte-Carlo)
  • Montresso Foundation, Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Nice French Riviera Airports, Nice (France)
  • New York & New Jersey Harbor Authority (USA)
  • Soroptimist Club, Monaco (Monte Carlo)
  • Stellar International Art Foundation, Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Villa Datris Foundation, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (France)Vinci Autoroutes (France)

2019

Museum of Contemporary Art, Erarta, Saint Petersburg (Russia) November-December
Museum of Fine Arts of Chambery (France) and exhibition in city’s streets July-September «Sculpture Link», La Digue, Bel Air Fine Art Gallery, Knokke le Zoute (Belgium) June-August
« Art New York », Boccara Art Gallery, New York (United States)
« PArC », Boccara Art Gallery,Lima (Peru)
«Candy Mania », OFF 58e Venice Biennale Giardini, Bel Air Fine Art Gallery, Venice (Italy)
«Candy Nations», JFK International Airport, New York (United States)
«Candy Nations», World Trade Center campus, including One World Observatory/West Plaza, Lib- erty Park, Oculus Plaza, the West Concourse, and the Tower 2 Plaza, New York (United States)

2018

Contemporary Istanbul, Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar International Convention Center, Artmedy Gallery, Istanbul (Turkey)
«Candy Nations», Garment District, New York (United States)
«Madison Chashama Pop Up Gallery», New York (United States)

“Crossroads of the World”, Port Authority Bus Terminal, New York City (USA)
“ Crossroads of the World ”, 485 Madison Avenue, New York City (USA)
“ Crossroads of the world ” , Garment District , 209 w38th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue, Manhat- tan, New York City (USA)

2017

“Crossroads of the World”, Port Authority Bus Terminal, New York City (USA) “ArtalRoc”, Andorra Museum (Andorra)
“Art Fair Mexico”, Freites Gallery, Caracas (Venezuela)
“Candies by Jenkell”, Batra Gallery, New Dehli (India)

“Venice Biennale”, Venice (Italy)
“Sweet Candies”, Fondation Taylor, Paris (France)

2016

« Candies by Jenkell », AISM Gallery, Saint Geran and Prince Maurice Hotels (Maurice Island)
« Les Candies à Saint-Barth », Hôtel Eden Rocks, Saint-Barth (Saint-Barthélemy)
« CompArart II », International Contemporary Art Exhibition, Pérou-France 2016, Musée Centro Cultural de la Nación, Lima (Pérou)
« Bonbons Géants », Port-Grimaud avec la Galerie Paul Janssen (France)
« Artworks by Jenkell », Paul Janssen Gallery, Saint-Tropez and Grimaud (France)
« Parcours d’Art by Jenkell», Grimaud, Port Grimaud and Sainte Maxime (France)
« Expo by Jenkell », Cannes Croisette, Grand Hotel Garden, Cannes (France)
« Candy By Jenkell », Hotel Londra Palace, Venice (Italy)
« Sweety Candies », Sevildolmaci Art Consultancy, Istanbul (Turquie)
« Candies », Hôtel Eden Roc (France)
« Antalya expo 2016 », Antalya (Turquey)
« Cherry Candy », Route des Arts, La Colle Sur Loup (France)

2015

«Laurence Jenkell and Azerbaijan », World Economic Forum, Intercontinental Davos, (Switzerland) « Jenkell Candy Azerbaidjan », Exposition Universelle Milan 2015, Pavillon Azerbaidjan, Milano (Italy)
« Jenkell Flag Candies », European Games Baku, Baku (Azerbaidjan)
« Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Trophée Les 20 ans du GENIE », Wally Prince Charles de Bourbon-Siciles by Laurence Jenkell, Saint-Tropez (France)

« Jenkell Candies », Antiques and contemporary Arts Salon of Floch Avenue, Le Floch Gallery, Paris (France)

2014

« Candies by Jenkell », Opera Gallery Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
« Laurence Jenkell », Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku (Azerbaijan)
« Museum Galeria Mesta Bratislava and French Institute in Slovaquia », Bratislava (Slovaquia) with Alex Mlynarcik and Claude Viallat

2013

« Sculptrices », Villa Datris Foundation, L’Isle sur la Sorgue (France)
« Barbie Loves Jenkell », Grand Palais, Paris (France)
« Biennale Pietra Santa », Italia vs Francia, Pietrasanta (Italy)
« Laurence Jenkell », Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, (Jordania)

2012

«Laurence Jenkell for Art », Mensing Gallery, Hamburg and Berlin (Germany)
«Laurence Jenkell, Parcours de sculptures », Fine Arts Museum, Calais and City of Calais (France) «DNA Coca Cola », Olympic Games London 2012, Club France, London (United Kingdom) « Sweet », Fun- dación Cristóbal Gabarrón y Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia and Murcia (Spain)
« Sweet Flying Candies », Nice Cote d’Azur Airports, Nice, (France)

2011

« Art Palm Beach », Opera Gallery, New-York, (U.S.A.)
« AIFAF Palm Beach 2011 », Boulakia Gallery, Paris (France)
« Parcours Jenkell, sculptures in the heart of Paris », 8th district and City Hall, Paris (France) « Parcours Jenkell », sculptures in the heart of Cannes », Cannes (France)
« Flag Sculptures G20 », Cannes (France)
« Laurence Jenkell », Maruani-Noirhomme Gallery, Knokke-le-Zoute, Bruges (Belgium)
« Laurence Jenkell », Mensing Gallery, Hamburg et Berlin (Germany)

Laurence JENKELL