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Martin Barré
January 8 – February 12, 2011

Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce its second exhibition of works by the French artist Martin Barré.  The show is comprised of a single series of works (10 paintings in total) specially conceived and executed by the artist in 1991 for the first Biennale d’Art Contemporain in Lyon, where it was shown that same year.  The present installation is based on the original one in Lyon, as devised by the artist.

A major figure of abstract art in France, Martin Barré questioned the fundamental components of painting in an analytical mode akin to that of his contemporaries Gerhard Richter and Robert Ryman which informed his process/decisions from gesture, line, color-plane, and format all the way to installation of the works.

From 1972 Barré's work was developed in a serial manner, each series based on different rules and procedures utilizing a different vocabulary of geometric forms and colors.

Born in 1924, Martin Barré died in 1993. His work is included in major museums such as the Guggenheim in New York, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, The Städel Museum in Frankfurt and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Several retrospectives of his work have been organized since 1979, including one at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume.  And in the last five years the work has been featured in contemporary gallery exhibitions - notably at the Nathalie Obadia Galerie in Paris and the Daniel Buchholz in Cologne.

The 2008 exhibition of Martin Barré in the Andrew Kreps Gallery was his first one-man show in New York City since 1961 and the discovery of this body of work by a new generation of artists has confirmed its growing relevance.  The affirmation of this was the inclusion of one of the paintings in a show entitled Oranges and Sardines curated by Wade Guyton at the Hammer Museum in 2009 as an important marker of his generation, and has been a great influence on contemporary artists such as Cheyney Thompson and Rebecca Quaytman.

An essay written by Yve-Alain Bois was translated into English and included in a comprehensive monograph published in 2008 in conjunction with a show at the gallery; it was co-edited by the Daniel Buchholz, the Nathalie Obadia and the Andrew Kreps Galleries with Thea Westreich and Ethan Wagner.