Charles Matton Exhibition « Espaces intérieurs » from October 20, 2017 to March 4, 2018
Haunted by the ‘urgent mystery’ of appearances, which he sees as disguising what is truly real, Matton lived his life by pursuing his own kind of aesthetic and metaphysical research. He sought out his subjects in all media and in many different forms, from seemingly realistic observations to the very limits of non-figurative art.
It was these ‘encircling’ manoeuvres that gave rise in the late 1980s to his first ‘spatial reconstitutions’, defined at the time as ‘miniature spaces’ by his friend Jean Baudrillard in the preface to a book of his work. A medium of its own alongside all the others, yet sometimes containing them as well – as in the miniature workshops that exhibit a number of his own sculptures and drawings – Matton’s boxes reveal a space-time captured in a state of immutability, the tangible and vibrant evidence of human absence, and the supremacy of the object. These aspects come to the fore in the many spaces that play with perspective to offer the artist the freedom to pursue his impassioned quest for reflections of appearances amid the interplay of mirrors and shadows.
It seemed inevitable that Lyon’s Musée Miniature et Cinéma would someday play host to the work of Charles Matton. In homage to the artist, Dan Ohlmann — founder of the museum and himself a miniaturist — chose a selection of the boxes and other works on display to assemble a series that reveals the intimacy of Matton’s creations. For example, his Theatre Palace, an immense and fantastical film theatre (with ‘Charles Matton, visiblement’, a documentary shown on Arte in 2009, projected on the screen), celebrates both the feelings of wonder felt by a child at the cinema in the 1940s and the films of Charles Matton the director — including L’Italien des Roses (1972) and Rembrandt (1999).
Alongside the ostensibly realistic ‘interior spaces’ of an everyday life steeped in mystique, a series of studios belonging to photographers, sculptors and painters (including the iconic Francis Bacon’s Studio, overflowing with a profusion of objects) reveal Matton’s dialogues with the artists of his personal pantheon.
With 17 boxes and 5 sculptures “encircled” by paintings and photographs, the Musée Cinéma & Miniature invites us, guided by the spirit of the place, to rediscover our living spaces and fantasies, beyond the intimacy of a total creation.