galerie les Chantiers Boite Noire

Hadrien Gérenton

French Sculptor Hadrien Gerenton makes works thet play with notions of verisimilitude and casting, natural and artificial materiel, replica and found object. Whilequestions of realistic depiction and verisimilitude linger between much representational art, the sculptor’s task of representing objects and things using other things presents a particulary acute or heightened instance of questions concerning replication and display. Gerenton’s works are often knowingly prop-like. For instance, « this End Up (Moving Cardboard) » (2015) is a resin and polyester construction that resembles a moving box. Yet the item, which displays a « This end up » sign, is in fact upside down – mirroring the inversion between real and imagined that is present in work itself. The apparent seriousness of Gerenton’s diligent studies into the conditions of replication contain a slightly quixotic bent. To Gerenton, casting is about transforming the nature of things rather than a method of mimesis.

In one recent project, Gerenton took agave cactuses and created life-size cast replicas. In theseseries of works, the artist is playing with notions of anthropomorphism, abstraction, and figuration in its purest form : the creation of a figure. Cactuses, of course, are known for their capacity to contain water, lasting for great spans of time in regions without rain. Gerenton turns this into a conceit  about the sculptural possibility of stored value, for instance, or the contradictory aims of object making that are derived from, yet stand in contrastto, the asymtotic limits of finitude and time. Gerenton places special attention into replication of natural phenomena – such as the colour and substance of a succulent leaf – reckoning with the relationship between sculptural form and visual convincingness.

« I Have No Longer Inspirations, Only Memories (Totem) » (2016) is a wall work made of plyester resin, sand, pigment, ashes ans steel. The abstract shape with a piece of steel through it stands like a totem as though sigificant, yeti s tense with a lulling abstraction, perhaps the blank « memories » mentioned in the work’s title.

There is a sly humour in the works of Gerenton. « Essiggurke » (2015), a pickle constructed out of resin, points to the futility of human enterprise and the foly of representation, and the forms of pickling thet comprise all plastic arts. For « Deep state », Gerenton will present a new group of stragely shaped or semi-anthropomorphic sculptures, diffusing the hierarchies between art, furniture, display and architecture.


Deep State, DeAtelier, offspring 2017, Amsterdam