Jean-Marie Appriou

Communionem Elementaris

Installation view, 2022

For this new edition of Art Basel, Perrotin presents Communionem Elementaris by Jean-Marie Appriou, a new series of bronze, aluminum and glass sculptures. Inspired by painter Arnold Bocklin, these figures of sea creatures and fish highlight the symbiotic connection between earth, air and water. Starting June 25, the artist will unveil another new series of sculptures in the gardens of the Villa Medici in Rome.

Communionem Elementaris (The sword of the north), 2022

For Art Basel, Jean-Marie Appriou set out to create an experience: a universe full of marine animals inspired by Saint Anthony Preaching to the Fish by Basel painter Arnold Böcklin. The artist wants to highlight the symbiotic link between living beings – aquatic and terrestrial – but also between the elements “air” and “water”, which the artist uses to create an invisible decor from which the marine animals and fish emerge. Jean-Marie Appriou’s project enters into dialogue with Böcklin’s work, like a returning wave, a rising tide in which the marine fauna finally has its say. The artist eulogizes the power of the still-mysterious aquatic universe. In Appriou’s work, water is a symbol of passage, a portal to a higher state of consciousness.

Communionem Elementaris (The horizon watcher), 2022

Communionem Elementaris (The curious mackerel), 2022

The sea creatures emerge from the depths of an imaginary sea, not to listen to a monastic sermon, but to meet the spectators, to make them aware of their similarities, of the analogy and correlation of their existences. When asked about this vision made material, Jean-Marie Appriou insists that “we all come from the sea: marine mammals and fish impel us to explore our own genealogy, even beyond living beings, when, in time immemorial, the primordial earth was still a liquid magma of metals and minerals, and glass rained on lakes of molten iron.”

Jean-Marie Appriou
Communionem Elementaris
Art Basel | Booth L25
June 2022

Photo: Claire Dorn
Courtesy: the artist and Perrotin