When Olivier Mosset painted those words on canvas in 1964, the reference inescapably tapped into the zeitgeist of various “ends” –the end of history, the end of art, the end of painting.
Turns out, it was just the beginning.
Olivier Mosset was at the genesis of a new art, an art that questioned authenticity, representation and the commodification of art. This was an art that heralded in a new era of minimal, conceptual and process-oriented work.
Throughout his prolific life as an artist, Mosset has questioned authenticity and originality with a true punk sensibility, while at the same time contributing to the highest echelons of the modernist painting project. The tension embedded in this paradoxical position has ensured Mosset’s continued relevance and his propensity to be “rediscovered” each decade, cementing his currency among each new generation of artists.
His own oeuvre, and his brilliantly simple self-reflexive challenge of questioning the nature of representation, is marked by extreme clarity and cohesion. But the ability for the work to gain and regain new meaning over time is not diminished, demonstrating our continued fascination with the power of monochromatic abstraction.
This fall, MOCA is pleased to present The Artist as Collector: Olivier Mosset, a variation on an exhibition that has been traveling across Europe over the past couple of years, Portrait of the Artist as a Biker.
Private collections are interesting for what they can tell us about the collector, and none more so than the private collection of an artist, which can shed additional light on that artist’s creative practice. Mosset’s collection is comprised of the work of his compatriots, collaborators, admirers, students, teachers and friends. It tells the story of a life engaged with art and artists in the latter half of the 20th century into the turn of the 21st. At MOCA, we love to subvert the narratives produced by professional curators by allowing artists the opportunity to curate. The interesting juxtapositions of work—freed from the tyranny of art historical conventions—allow fresh observations and interpretations of well-known work, and provide an opportunity for new narratives to emerge.