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Xavier Mary

The work of Brussels-based artist Xavier Mary demonstrates a hybrid formal language, all while retaining a clear-cut sculptural aesthetic. The tonality of his pieces seems to be adrift somewhere between the ancient, the brand new and yet-to-come. Past, present and future are entangled in non-linear ways that are a trademark of the contemporary artistic climate.
What we find crystallised in the work of Xavier Mary can be termed as ‘modernism 2.0.’ or ‘modernism reloaded’, which goes by many other names (‘altermodernism’, ‘metamodernism’, etc.). Mary’s position as an artist is one of constant negotiation between different regimes, connecting tradition and avant-garde, sincerity and irony, past and future, actual and virtual. Not only do we find this exemplified in his sculptures and installations, but also in other recognizable gestures, where he is cleverly playing around with his signature and initials.
Xavier Mary transforms highway guardrails into entangled rings, or turns road lights into Frank Stella-like canvases, geometrical shapes and Platonic solids. Everything that is usually just whooshing by on the highway, mediated through a cage of steel, is meticulously turned into monumental sculptures.

Pieter Vermeulen

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