November 15-December 23, 2018
Opening reception: Thursday, November 15, 6-8pm
Nicelle Beauchene Gallery is pleased to present Recreation by Louise Despont, the artist’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. While continuing to render her drawings on antique ledger book pages, Despont’s latest body of work focuses on the educational and psychological effects of recreational games, while also nodding to the title’s etymology: meaning to create again, renew, or to recover.
Each game within Recreation is depicted and characterized by their tools, inviting a sense of interactivity. However, the gameplay has changed as new rules and parameters have been defined for them in this exhibition. The symmetry, geometry, and spatial mapping inherent in a pinball machine, building blocks, or kites now overlap with the yantras, mandalas, and mapping systems that have informed Despont’s work throughout her career.
The starting point for the exhibition was the largest multipage work, Observatory Board Game, measuring nearly twelve feet long. In the center is an astronomical park, Jantar Mantar, which brought Despont to India almost a decade ago. To the left is a cityscape reminiscent of the New York skyline where she was born and to the right, is a mountain range that resembles her current home in Bali. A path winds its way through the pages, tracing the places where the artist has lived and traveled.
Many of the works in the exhibition are abstracted references to games, but the single page Division Board series is more literal. Structured like the Indonesian gambling game Kocokan, each work contains a simple grid with six boxes. Colorful radiating circles split within each box and morph together like cells dividing—a motif she repeats across the entire series.
Louise Despont received her BA in Art Semiotics at Brown University in 2006. Her work has been presented internationally in public and private venues including The Drawing Center, New York; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, Spain; American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; VI,VII, Oslo; Petit Palais, Paris; The Museum of Arts and Design; New York; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Galerie Isa, Mumbai; Foxy Production; New York; and Ibid Projects, London, among numerous others. The artist is the recipient of the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Weston Price Film Award from Brown University, Princess Grace Grant recipient and is a MacDowell fellow. She lives and works in Bali and New York.