Jean-Luc Moulène: More or Less Bone

    Jean-Luc Moulène: More or Less Bone

    Apr 29–Jul 29, 2019

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    SculptureCenter is pleased to premiere More or Less Bone (Formal Topological Optimization) (Paris-NY, 2018-19), a monumental new work in fiberglass and epoxy paint by Jean-Luc Moulène. The exhibition marks the artist’s first institutional exhibition in North America since 2011.

    Moulène insists that no work of art exists “without conditions and constraints...without material, economic, historic, and bodily conditions.” For More or Less Bone, Moulène pragmatically centers the production of his work on these conditions, generating form through the exploitation of advanced engineering procedures, or, as the artist describes, making “a piece that is nothing but its own condition of existence.”

    Moulène has collaborated closely with engineers from Aerospace Valley (France’s Silicon Valley) with advanced expertise in formal optimization, wherein the form of an object is defined through a process that identifies the best (most efficient, least wasteful) solution given a set of discrete variables. The “problem” devised by the artist is to produce an optimized form connecting three generic objects: a sphere (an abstract form), a spiral staircase (a constructed form), and a knucklebone (an organic form). Modeling these conditions in CATIA and other software, Moulène and the engineers introduced further constraints, manipulating the form of this “object of juncture” to account for a set volume, scale, terrestrial gravity, the material properties of fiberglass, and environmental conditions like wind and earthquakes.

    The result of this optimization, a process often employed to increase efficiency and profitability in manufacturing, is an object that looks remarkably like a bone. If a work of art as such exists alongside the social/material matrix of a certain moment in time, which could otherwise be called politics, then Moulène’s More or Less Bone posits that the conditions of optimized production drive all form toward the skeletal: fleshless, scraped clean, hard, and without waste; the absolute minimum necessary.

    Initially known for his enigmatic photographic endeavors, Moulène’s more recent projects have investigated the intersections of advanced technology and contemporary material culture. In consideration of current advances in 3D modeling and fabrication, Moulène compares this moment in the history of object making to the advent of photography and its total transformation of human experience. While photography reproduced the world as an image, we are now about to print it in 3D. His art takes part in the rapid advancement of such technologies that re/produce the world, making palpable the social and historical dimensions that are absent in its conventional objects and commodities.

    Born in 1955, Jean-Luc Moulène studied Aesthetics and Sciences of Art at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he currently lives and works. He participated in the Taipei Biennial (2016 and 2004), the Sharjah Biennial (2010), the First International Biennial of the Image (Laos, 2007), the Venice Bienniale (2003), the São Paulo Biennial (2002), and Documenta X (1997). Among the institutions that have dedicated solo exhibitions to his work are the Secession, Vienna (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016-17); Villa Medici, Rome (2015); Kunstverein Hannover (2015); Dia:Beacon, New York (2011-12); Carré d’Art-Musée d’art contemporain, Nîmes (2009); Culturgest, Lisbon (2007); Musée du Louvre, Paris (2005); and Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève (2003).

    Engineering for More or Less Bone by GDTech Engineering (Europe): Benoit Gicquel, Michael Bruyneel, Sebastien Gohy, Chiara Grappasonni, Ismael Juhoor. Fabrication by Digital Atelier (Mercerville, NJ) and Seal Reinforced Fiberglass (Copiague, NY).

    Jean-Luc Moulène: More or Less Bone is curated by Mary Ceruti, Executive Director, Walker Art Center (formerly SculptureCenter Executive Director and Chief Curator) with Sohrab Mohebbi, Curator, SculptureCenter. The project is organized by Kyle Dancewicz, Director of Exhibitions and Programs, SculptureCenter.


    Lead underwriting support of SculptureCenter’s Exhibition Fund has been generously provided by the Kraus Family Foundation with major support by Robert Soros and additional support by Toby Devan Lewis.

    Jean-Luc Moulène: More or Less Bone is supported by Kathy and Steve Guttman.

    Support for production of More or Less Bone (Formal Topological Optimization) (Paris-NY, 2018-19) is provided by Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; and Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Naples.

    Engineering for More or Less Bone by GDTech Engineering (Europe): Benoit Gicquel, Michael Bruyneel, Sebastien Gohy, Chiara Grappasonni, Ismael Juhoor. Fabrication by Digital Atelier (Mercerville, NJ) and Seal Reinforced Fiberglass (Copiague, NY).

    SculptureCenter’s programs and operating support is provided by the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the National Endowment for the Arts; Danielle and Drew Anderman; Andreas Beroutsos and Abigail Hirschhorn; Irene and Allen Brill; Laren C. and Jesse M. Brill; Lee and Robert K. Elliott; Elizabeth and Adrian Ellis; Fred Wilson; the A. Woodner Fund; New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer; and contributions from our Board of Trustees and Director’s Circle. Additional funding is provided by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation and contributions from many generous individuals.