Nina Childress

The owl also finds his little pretty
09.21.18 - 10.21.18
Personal Exhibition — Musée Paul-Dupuy



Nina Childress Studio, preparation of the exhibition Le hibou aussi trouve ses petits jolis. © Nina Childress and Galerie Bernard Jordan, Paris/Zurich.

Sylvie, 2018 and Y.Dudes, 2017, 250×220 cm et 65×80 cm, oil on canvas. Nina Childress Studio, preparation of the exhibition Le hibou aussi trouve son petit joli. © Nina Childress and Galerie Bernard Jordan, Paris/Zurich.

Le Hibou aussi trouve ses petits jolis - simulation d'accrochage


- Benjamin Constant, Portrait d'Emmanuel Arago, 1888, huile sur toile 65 x 50 cm

collection du Musée des Augustins


- Nina Childress, 935 — BE(05) (profil), 2016, huile sur toile,  61 x 50 cm 

cadre en plume de cygne

ADAGP Nina Childress

Installation - paintings – production

In order to preserve her chicks from the Eagle's appetite, the fable tells that the Owl gives them so many airs that the Eagle, failing to recognise them from this laudatory description, devours them. In her nest at the Musée Paul-Dupuy Nina Childress broods over the chicks' revenge. She digs out works from the Musée des Augustin's reserve, the ones made by minor, forgotten or unloved artists that catch her attention for formal or thematic reasons. She then associates them with her own paintings, chosen for their objective connivance with this or that aspect of the old ones. These encounters are organised by walls and rooms in such a way that they sketch out a methodical history of woman's condition in painting and sculpture.

There is no uninteresting painting in Nina Childress's eyes: she always knows how to see something that catches her attention and retains her affection in the most neglected of them. It's not simply about a paradoxical position but a deep attachment to painting. Of the pictures she couldn't obtain, some she repainted in her own way, neither copy nor pastiche. Of another, whose subject reflected an appalling image of common machismo, she chose to present a “blurred-in-focus” version, turning it into a subtle abstract painting. In this way she exhibits and revives around forty old works of art (1501-1925) mixed with thirty of her own, pre-existing or made for the occasion. The weight of time and the confrontation of paintings brings out another way of thinking the museum, its role and its potential when artists get involved, freeing it from its old clichés of schools, styles and chronology.

Punk muse with Lucrate Milk and graffiti pioneer with Les Freres Ripoulin at the dawn of the 1980's, Nina Childress furthers the groove of Figuration Libre (“free figuration”), visits Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring in New York and imports one version of street art to France. For the past thirty

years her painting has brought into play a great porosity with popular culture and a playful yearning as much for the Classical painting canon as Impressionism or Pop images. Gustave Courbet, Gerhard Richter, David Hockney pass each other in her Pantheon. She is represented by the Bernard Jordan Gallery and questions Western representation of nudity throughout exhibitions such as L'Effet Sissi at the Mamco (Geneva) in 2011 or Magenta at the CRAC in Sète in 2015. Born in 1961 in Pasadena she lives and works in Paris.

The exhibition was conceived from works that are part of the collections of the Musée des Augustins, the Musée du Louvre, the Centre national des arts plastiques and the Galerie Bernard Jordan