Michel François is a conceptual artist and makes sculptures, videos, photographs, printed matter, paintings and installations. He claims no signature style but creates a web of shifting connections between his works and in each different exhibition. The titles of his solo exhibitions often point to his interest in contemporary reality, offices, domestic environments, surveillance, psychology and the police state. To cite just a few: State of Being, Urban Placarding, Expanded Bureau, Déjà vu, Theatre of Operations and Pieces of Evidence. The meanings in his works accumulate over time and vary according to their disposition in space, or the context. In a manner similar to that of the Arte Povera artists, François uses great economy of means to transform seemingly uncomplicated objects and materials, or traces of past events, into deeply resonant carriers of meaning. His work can be seen as exploration of cause and effect, and the ways in which simple gestures can change the status of an object or have important consequences. A number of recent sculptural works, without immediately revealing their origins or the way they were made, invite the viewer to consider the degree to which the hand of the artist, or chance, played a role in their formation.
Michel François (b. 1956, Saint-Trond, Belgium) lives and works in Brussels. He represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale with Ann Veronica Janssens in 1999 and his work was included in Documenta 9 (1992). Recent museum exhibitions include Pieces of Evidence, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2013); 45.000 affiches. 1994-2011, MAC’s, Site du Grand Hornu (2011) and Plans d’évasion, SMAK, Gent (traveling exhibition 2009-10).
essays by Guillaume Desanges and Jean-Paul Jacquet, and an introduction by Philippe Van Cauteren and Nathalie Ergino, published by Roma Publications, 2010, 360 pages, English
6 October 2016—30 April 2017
La Maison Particulière, Brussels, Belgium
1 April—27 August 2017
Frac Normandie Rouen, Sotteville-lès-Rouen, France