Fondation Cartier presents The Valley, a large monographic exhibition devoted to the painting of Fabrice Hyber. In his tentatively painted canvases, the French artist reveals a free and lively consciousness. Bringing together some sixty works, including almost twenty pieces produced specially for this exhibition, Hyber creates a school open to all hypotheses at the heart of the Fondation Cartier. Visitors are invited to explore the different “classrooms” according to a layout that follows the artist’s meandering thoughts.
A place of learning, experimentation, and a refuge, the Valley has become the matrix and source of inspiration for all the artist’s work. Hyber willingly compares his practice to the organic growth of living beings: “Basically I do the same thing with artworks, I sow trees just as I sow signs and images. They are there, I sow seeds of thought that are visible, they develop, and grow. I am no longer in control.”
Among the wide variety of Hyber’s artistic practices, none evokes the action of sowing more than painting. A starting point for each of his projects, containing the seeds of future work, this medium occupies a fundamental place in the artist’s practice. On large-format canvases set up in his studio, Hyber formulates hypotheses, juxtaposes ideas, invents forms, and plays with words.
If Fabrice Hyber imagined this exhibition as a kind of school, it is precisely in an effort to share this other way of learning, born in particular in the Valley. The exhibition’s scenography is reminiscent of classrooms as well as playgrounds.
It encourages visitors to learn, move around, open doors, look over windows, step over shapes, play, but also sit on a bench or in front of a desk to look at the canvases that replace the traditional blackboard. Fabrice Hyber stages various ways of learning from a painting. In the short videos that accompany the works, the artist reveals the mental journey that presided over their creation. He invites visitors to rely on the resonances evoked by his canvases to formulate their own hypotheses and make their own associations: “What is important in a school, in my opinion, even more than learning things, is learning how to look at things, and observing how these evolve.”
Fabrice Hyber, The Valley
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris
December 8, 2022 – April 30, 2023