French Artist Eric Michel Brings the Light in His First San Francisco
Solo Exhibition La Lumière Parle at 836M
From left to right: FluoBlue Trip; la Lumière Parle and FluoGold Trip by Eric Michel
Focused on light as his medium of choice, Michel describes what he does as exploring the frontier of the material and immaterial; the artist who currently lives in Paris after spending years in Tokyo and Rome and has created commissioned works for the Yves Klein Archives as well as a permanent light installations at the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC) in Nice sees mounting a solo exhibition on the West Coast as a rare and personally meaningful opportunity to show work in the birthplace of light art, and continue the tradition blazed by his artist heroes James Turrell, Dan Flavin, and Doug Wheeler
La Lumière Parle (The Light Speaks) runs from February 14 through June 8 at 836M Gallery; opening reception, February 13, 6-9pm
January 23, San Francisco, CA – 836M Gallery in San Francisco is proud to present the first ever solo exhibition in San Francisco of French artist Eric Michel. Michel has worked in a variety of mediums over the course of his career—which has included time spent in international finance as well stints as a musician—but his main focus for many years has been light and light installations. “Light is what flows through our lives,” says Eric Michel. “It irrigates our universe. And because light as a quantum object is both corpuscular and undulatory, material and immaterial, it is the perfect medium for me. Light talks. I hear it.”
La Lumière Parle (in English, The Light Speaks) will feature close to 30 works of the artist, including 22 photographs produced specifically for the show, a mural, and 4 light sculptures/installations, videos, as well as several situations around the gallery environment that will redirect available light from skylights, windows and other light sources onto walls and other surfaces. “I have lived and worked in Paris, Rome and in Japan, and the light in each place feels different. The light in San Francisco is particular and exquisite, so I wanted to take the opportunity to work with it directly.”
836M which began in 2013 when it exhibited Banksy’s The Haight Street Rat, is known for showcasing local and international artists, with a particular focus on those who build a bridge between Paris and San Francisco. La Lumière Parle certainly qualifies as what gallery owners Sébastien and Julie Lépinard along with gallery curator Agnès Faure refer to in their native French as a “coup de coeur” project, which loosely translates to “things we love.”
La Lumière Parle is the gallery’s first exhibit dedicated to light and space, and was co-curated by Agnès Faure along with independent gallerist Vanessa Suchar Marcus. The objective of the show is to produce what Michel calls a “total work,” one that includes light, colors and sound in dialogue with the space—both gallery and surrounding office/work space—creating a sense of harmony through various media: fluorescent sculpture, photography, painting, video and colored films tinting natural and artificial light throughout the day.
For his part, Michel has long looked forward to mounting a solo exhibition on the West Coast as an opportunity to show work in the birthplace of light art, and continue the tradition blazed by such as artist heroes James Turrell, Dan Flavin, and Doug Wheeler.
“It is an honor for me,” says Michel, “to be able to deploy a “light & space” installation in California at the very place of origin of this artistic movement nearly half a century ago.”
Eric Michel will be in residence at the gallery from January 31 until February 17.
“We at 836M are so pleased to bring Eric and his rigorous, yet often playful and sometimes mysterious work to San Francisco for his first solo show here,” say gallery cofounder Julie Lépinard and cofounder/curator Agnès Faure. "Bringing exceptional artists to the city is always our mission, so this is a great way to begin 2018."
What:La Lumière Parle (The Light Talks) When: February 14 – June 8th Where: 836M Gallery, located at 836 Montgomery Street, San Francisco Private/Press Reception: February 13 from 6-9pm Regular Gallery Hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11am to 6pm; otherwise by appointment
Path of Light by Eric Michel Link to All High-Res Images HERE
About Eric Michel
Eric Michel was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1962. He started to learn music and painting at the age of nine through Martenot artistic education method. After advanced studies in mathematics and economy, he started a career in international finance, while pursuing his artistic activities.
He has made numerous exhibitions in Tokyo where he was living until 2002 as president of an American financial firm. In December 2003 his work was presented at "Senza Frontiere" international biennale art exhibition in Kawasaki, and since then, his video works and light sculptures are regularly shown at museum, galleries and contemporary art events around the world.
In November 2007 his video work Swimming Fluo was presented at Shanghai Museum for Contemporary Art (MOCA), as well as most contemporary art museum around China, at the occasion of Sport in Art exhibition sponsored by Beijing 2008 Olympic Committee. In 2009, he created two multimedia installations successively for Yves Klein Archives in Paris, and for the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art (MAMAC) in Nice.
Since 2011 his large-scale permanent lighting installation Les Moulins de Lumière is visible every evening until midnight in the skyline north of Paris on the neo-industrial site called Les Grands Moulins de Pantin. His monumental monochrome of light Fluo Blue has entered in 2011 the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art in Nice. His neon work la lumiére parle was exhibited in 2012 at La Maison Rouge Fondation in Paris. In 2013 his exhibition Passeur de Lumière offered a dialogue with Le Corbusier’s architecture at La Tourette convent near Lyon and in 2014 he was invited to create a monumental lighting installation to surround Yves Klein’s Monotone-Silence Symphony at the Philharmony in Luxembourg.
Following a path opened by Yves Klein, James Turrell and Dan Flavin, his work, and particularly his fluorescent neon installations and videos, creates a vibrating space, in search for immateriality. www.ericmichel.net
836M is an innovative, non-profit gallery that combines artistic excellence with philanthropic impact. The gallery—cofounded by Sébastien and Julie Lépinard along with curator Agnès Faure—pairs renowned artists and evocative themes to enthrall and inspire those who visit. Throughout the year, 836M offers a carefully curated selection of art, conversations and events to private and public audiences alike in a modern, contemporary and warm space. 836M’s founders believe that by experiencing the arts together, we can share new ideas, create a community and broaden our social awareness. Housed in the middle of vibrant Jackson Square, 836M showcases artists who push boundaries and create astonishing art. The carefully curated exhibits and events are designed to reflect the scope of contemporary art and broaden social awareness. 836M is located at 836 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. More information www.836m.org
About Vanessa Suchar Marcus
Eric Michel, is represented by Vanessa Suchar Marcus, Galeriste sans Galerie and founder of Le Salon For Art Collectors since 1998, an innovative and highly specialized contemporary arts concept, dedicated to the development and promotion of talented young and emerging artists from around the world through private art shows and international art fairs. She has been working with Eric since the early days of his career, and has shown his work at select events in Paris, London, Brussels, NYC, and Miami. Website (under construction): vannessasucharmarcus.co; firstname.lastname@example.org