Large surface, large letters. This time in the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris for a magnificent exhibition of early 20th century paintings from the collection of Serguei Chtchoukine. One of the collector’s greatest paintings, La Danse by Matisse, was not allowed to travel from Moscow for the show. Saskia Boddeke was asked to make a video installation to take its place; and I was given a wall to create a “title page” for the installation. For many Greenaway/Boddeke productions I arrive, make a quick sketch and launch into the unknown. This time I came prepared with a little sketch, which Saskia approved. Knowing the difficulty of translating the minute into the monumental, I gridded the sketch and then the Yves Klein blue wall (using masking tape) and drew the rough shapes out in white pencil. THEN I launched into the unknown! You can see the scale of the letters. But the timescale was also a shock: the whole thing had to be finished in one day, between the painting crew on Monday and the electricians on Wednesday. I just managed it with the help of my lovely wife Nadine, who pushed the scaffolding along after each letter. The style is inspired by the shapes of the dancers in the painting. I think it came off very well indeed and suggests both the spirit of Matisse and his papercuts, and also the Russian Constructivist posters that so captivated the world when Chtchukine was assembling his unbelievable collection of modern masters.
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