DMA to Present Charrière Exhibit Next Month

The Dallas Museum of Art will present Concentrations 63: Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole, the first US solo museum exhibition for the multidisciplinary French-Swiss artist Julian Charrière, next month.

Based on scientific research and expeditions to remote regions of Earth, Charrière’s sculptures, photographs, and films investigate the irreversible transformation of the natural world by human activity. He references pre-human origins, global explorers of the past, present-day climate change, and the uncertain future of the planet. While his works address environmental exploitation, they also emphasize nature’s magnificence and resilience.

 Concentrations 63: Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole opens to the public on May 2, 2021, and is on view through August 8. The exhibition is included in free general admission. 

Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole, 2019. Film still. Copyright the artist; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany

“Julian Charrière is a conscious and impressively ambitious artist, and we are proud to introduce his highly relevant work to our audiences,” said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. “He is a fresh voice engaging in a long art historical tradition of documenting breathtaking encounters with nature — one example being a masterpiece of our own collection, Frederic Edwin Church’s painting The Icebergs — while bringing a 21st-century sensitivity to the impact of exploration. Visitors are sure to be fascinated by the findings of his research.” 

“Charrière’s work is as thought-provoking as it is seductive. His practice, rooted in film, sculpture, and photography, matches technical and formal achievement with conceptual rigor that situates the viewer in a rich network of scientific, art historical, and sociopolitical references. Although his art takes us on a journey to the ends of the earth and through geologic and historic time, the result is our increased awareness of interdependence and the wide-reaching impact of our actions in the here and now and on future generations,” said Dr. Anna Katherine Brodbeck, the DMA’s Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art and curator of the Dallas presentation. 

This focused exhibition brings together five important bodies of work by Charrière, culminating with the artist’s most recent video project, Towards No Earthly Pole. The featured works exemplify Charrière’s diverse and exploratory practice:  

  • The Blue Fossil Entropic Stories (2013), a series of photographs documenting the artist’s futile attempt to melt an iceberg. 
  • Tropisme (2016), an installation of tropical plants preserved by cryogenic freezing. 
  • And Beneath It All Flows Liquid Fire (2019), a video for which Charrière set a fountain aflame and recorded the dueling elements of fire and water. 
  • Not All Who Wander Are Lost (2019), a series of glacial erratic rock sculptures.  
  • Towards No Earthly Pole (2019), a 102-minute film, presented as a large-scale cinematic environment, that combines nighttime drone footage of glaciers captured by Charrière in Greenland, Iceland, and the Alps. Illuminated by a moving artificial light, the glacial landscape reveals both the seductive mystery and power of nature, as well as the rapidly increasing effects of climate change.  

“Charrière . . . endeavours to rediscover the feeling of astonishment that ancient man felt confronted by nature,” wrote Mousse magazine when Towards No Earthly Pole premiered in Switzerland at Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI), Lugano and Aargauer Kunsthaus, Arau, and at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. An exhibition catalog co-published by MASI Lugano, Aargauer Kunsthaus, and the DMA, includes an essay by Brodbeck.

Born in Morges, Switzerland, Charrière lives and works in Berlin.  He studied at the Ecole cantonale d‘art du Valais in Switzerland and the Berlin University of Arts, where he was a student of Olafur Eliasson. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions worldwide, Charrière has exhibited as a member of the Berlin-based collective Das Numen. 

Julian Charrière, Tropisme, 2016. Installation View, For They That Sow The Wind, Parasol Unit, London, United Kingdom, 2016. Copyright the artist; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany

This exhibition is part of the Museum’s Concentrations  series, which presents a recently completed body of work or site-specific installation by an emerging artist, generally as their first U.S. solo museum exhibition. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the series began in 1981 as part of the DMA’s commitment to the work of living artists. 

Concentrations 63: Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art. The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture. 

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