Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Toulouse, FRAC Midi-Pyrénées

Marion Baruch

A Retrospective
From 16 December 2020 to 19 september 2021
les Abattoirs
Marion Baruch, Lasciar cadere, 2018. Voile de polyester, 260 x  560 cm. Courtesy Sammlung Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

Marion Baruch gives pride of place to her fabrics, free from functionality. Selected for their colour or material, the artist pulls these fabrics tight, suspends them, or stretches them, thus employing them as a backdrop for her reflection on the environment and overconsumption in the fashion world. The exhibition spans a period of time from the 60s to the 80s and builds on the artist’s questioning of herself as a brand.

Marion Baruch (born in 1929 in Timișoara, Romania) first came into contact with fabric in the 1970s. She stitched a piece of black material into a geometric shape and then wore it in the streets of Milan. In the context of the debate on the liberation of the body, in particular women’s bodies, wearing this dress-blanket that entirely covered her signalled the beginning of her critical thinking around movement, the body, the face, identity, and the self. By focusing on fabric in fashion, an economic world most often reserved for men, Marion Baruch questions the ties between the manufacturing industry and art.

Today, in a reflection on the environment and a debate on overconsumption, the artist retrieves off-cuts from textile and garment factories in the Rue du Sentier neighbourhood in Paris and in Italy. The defects in these fabrics, which come from production lots that the industry cannot use, become their very strengths. Now that they are no longer functional, the only things that can make a new artwork possible are the colours and materials. The artist takes them in her hand, touches them, cuts them up, and then, most especially, stretches them or lets them hang, allowing them to fill in or trace the void, as if, paradoxically, all of space could be contained and revealed in these fleshless shapes.

This exhibition is part of the season of fabric at Les Abattoirs.

To go further: the association AWARE (Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions) has published a documented page on Marion Baruch

In partnership with the Kunstmuseum Luzern.

With the support of the AG2R LA MONDIALE company foundation for artistic vitality.