Marc Camille Chaimowicz
"Your Place or Mine …"
New York, 1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
This large-scale survey presents Chaimowicz’s work in painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, installation, furniture, lighting, ceramics, textiles, and wallpaper made between 1978 and 2018, including never before exhibited pieces and three new commissions.
Chaimowicz emerged in the early 1970s London art scene with the groundbreaking, performative installations Celebration? Real Life and Enough Tirrany (both 1972), that infused everyday life with art and politics, and that stood at the intersection of the gay liberation and feminist movements. In the years that followed, the artist moved his activities into his own home, the starting point for Your Place or Mine…. Associate Curator Kelly Taxter, organizer of the exhibition, notes that the “slyly provocative title positions the exhibition as a temporary connection between visitor and artist, who extends an invitation to enter his world.”
Chaimowicz was born in postwar Paris to a Polish Jewish father and French Catholic mother. The family moved to England when the artist was eight years old and soon settled in London, where he still lives and works. He returned to Paris in May 1968 to witness the student uprisings there, events that shaped his career. The interplay of two cultures, languages, and cities, as well as his rebelliousness enfolded in beauty, resonates across his life and work, and finds its place in this exhibition.
The Jewish Museum is housed in what was previously a family home. The Museum’s once-lived-in rooms, with their ornamental flourishes, offer the perfect setting for this artist, so preoccupied with the psychological, imaginative dimensions of domestic spaces, objects, and rituals. These act as source and subject of his work, which brings value to decoration, intimacy, and the interior life of the artist.
On view for the first time are 70 maquettes for possible and produced furniture, made between 1975 and 2018. These are displayed in l’Archive, a small niche specially constructed for this jewel-box presentation. Contrary to the impeccable finishes and luxurious materials of Chaimowicz’s fully realized works, these maquettes reveal the artist’s early musings on design, and its purposeful subversion.
The exhibition is on view through August 5, 2018.