Lisson Gallery

Francis Alÿs

London, 15 May – 30 June 2001

Francis Alÿs

“Manet’s Olympia is the first painting to which the public reacted with uproarious laughter (...) We should never forget this infamous birth of Modern Art.”
- Georges Bataille

Francis Alÿs works with painting, drawing, sculpture, video and animation. In this, his second exhibition at Lisson Gallery, he will be showing his installation The Last Clown, a pointed and ironic testimony to his use of varied media and shift between different artistic activities.

The work brings together small paintings, a number of drawings and studies and an animation. A walk, an accident and a meeting form the central components of the work against a backdrop of music and canned laughter. At the origin of this ensemble is a commonplace but personal story of a fall in Hyde Park taken by a friend of Alÿs which gave rise to a discussion between the two on the ambiguity of the role of the artist nowadays. The Last Clown, to some extent, represents the artist who finds himself performing on a stage. The atmosphere of jazz and circus music cut suddenly to canned laughter serves to dramatize the comic aspect of his performance.

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52 Bell Street

Opening Times:
Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am – 5:00pm

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