Based on the myth of Argos Panoptes, a giant covered with a miriad of eyes, the exhibition The Panoptes Project by Laurent Grasso at Olivier Malingue in London is a turbine of artworks that gazes at the visitors with all their creepy eyes. The exhibition highlights Grasso’s long-standing interest for the Foucauldian surveillance gaze with Visibility is a Trap (2012), as well as systems for astrological observation, like Specola Vaticana (2014) or the entoptic vision with Vertigo (2007).
Laurent Grasso has decided for this exhibition to put historical pieces by Max Ernst, René Magritte, Francis Picabia, and Odilon Redon among his new and old artworks in a very blury manner. The visitors are trapped in a juxtaposition of eyes that can be connected to the free association of Surrealism, creating a distorted atmosphere through the disturbing presence of inquisitive eyes all around the visitors.
Grasso has already combined historical pieces, especially Surrealists, with his works in other occasions, in this case he creates a path between the concept of seeing with scientific Renaissance treatises about the eye’s anatomy, Surrealist approaches to vision as spirituality, and materialist conceptions of the eye as a physical, concrete organ.
The opening in October 2017 will coincide with the gallery’s first participation in international art fair Frieze Masters. The fair will take place in Regent’s Park and will feature great masters and art galleries, and Frieze Masters Talks featuring Marina Abramović and Lynda Benglis.
Laurent Grasso lives and works between Paris and New York. His exhibitions include: at Palais Fesch-Musée
des Beaux-Arts, Ajaccio; Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Tokyo; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal; Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel; Bass Museum, Miami; The Black Box Theatre of the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C; Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His work has been selected for group exhibitions including at Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; MASS MoCA, Massachusetts; Pompidou-Metz, Metz, as well as international biennials, like Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012); Manifesta 8, Carthagene and Murcie, Spain (2010); the 9th Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2009); the Moscow Biennale, Moscow, Russia (2009) and Busan Biennale, South Korea (2006 and 2004).