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Benoît Maire, Thebes

10th August 2018

Categories: Latest News

6 October to 9 December 2018
Preview: Friday 5 October, 6–9pm

Benoît Maire can be described as a visual philosopher, taking inspiration from a range of disciplines including geometry, sociology and mythology. His major solo exhibition Thebes at Spike Island features more than ninety works ranging from paintings and sculptures to furniture, everyday objects and films.

Benoît Maire Origin of numbers (2017) Courtesy the artist 


Thebes continues Maire’s exploration of François Lyotard’s concept of the ‘differend’ – a notion based on the insurmountable conflict between saying and seeing. In the exhibition space, Maire sees the potential for meaning to exist without language; where the image can take the place of the word. His Cloud Paintings (a series he began in 2012), draw a parallel between painting and the ever changing forms of clouds, passing through figuration and abstraction and allowing for leaps of the imagination.


A recurring theme in this exhibition is the question of the origin of humankind and the objects we produce. The exhibition owes its title, Thebes, to the Greek city renowned in mythology for its Sphinx, whose riddles held the inhabitants of the city hostage. Benoît Maire’s exhibition is a puzzle in which the enigmatic quality of the objects—whether manufactured by the artist himself or by others—see their uncertain origin matched by their disconcerting juxtaposition.


With additional works by Pierre Dariel, Jean Derval, Lito S. Freeman, French artist (anonymous), Greek artist (anonymous), Josef Hoffmann, Jacques Innocenti, Alberto Korda, Robert Mallet-Stevens.

Thebes was originally commissioned by CAPC musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux.

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