Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland
24 October 2009 – 07 February 201o
Valérie Favre has assembled a bizarre troupe of she-bunnies, little girls, so-called ‘idiots’, cockroaches seen under a magnifying glass, Füssli’s three witches, an actual Secret Service for the Queen (the title of one of her pictures), to develop enigmatic stories in her mostly large-format paintings. ‘Basically,’ the artist said recently, ‘I keep writing the same novel.’ It plays out between deserted car parks and Grimm-like fairy-tale forests, and moves along the ridge that separates the big emotions from the latent absurdity of the world, always aware of the abyss of everyday madness.
Valérie Favre’s serial working method testifies to the significance of the media of literature, theatre and film to her work and, along with the violent painting, to an intense engagement with her subject-matter. After a career in theatre and film in Paris, including some time in the circle around Jean-Luc Godard, the artist, born in French-speaking Switzerland in 1959, found her way back to painting. She did so as the consequence of a deliberate act of transformation from interpreter to author. Since 1998 the artist has lived and worked in Berlin.
This first comprehensive exhibition by Valérie Favre includes over 100 paintings, some of them large-format, from the past 15 years, and also includes a number of drawings as well as an object. This is also her first appearance in a Swiss museum.