Published by Actes Sud. Text by Johannes Nilo, Lawrence Rinder.
This volume presents the obsidian sculptures of French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel (born 1964). Othoniel first discovered the volcanic glass in the early 1990s, and has returned to it in recent years, making huge, angular totems out of obsidian, wood and concrete.
During his 2012 residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel (born 1964) delved into the archives of the magnificent garden that Isabella Stewart Gardner, the first American woman to graduate with a degree in horticulture, cultivated around her residence. Othoniel examined the museum (where nothing has been moved since its owners died) and photographed the flowers in the tapestries, ironwork, architecture, furnishings and paintings, in such masterpieces as van Dyck's "Portrait of a Woman" with its innocuous rose, Piermatteo d'Amelia's "Annunciation" with its majestic lily and Bartolomé Bermejo's "Saint Engracia" with its enigmatic palm. This giftworthy volume presents his art-historical ABC of these flowers, from Acanthus to Zea Mays.
The first monograph in English devoted to Jean-Michel Othoniel, a singular and secretive artist. This volume follows the evolution of Othoniel’s atypical approach as he creates a world inhabited by dreams and enchantment, but also haunted by melancholy.
Catherine Grenier is director of contemporary collections at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris.