Now in its fourth iteration, Elvire Bonduelle’s ongoing curatorial project “Waiting Room” transforms gallery spaces into temporary reception areas where visitors can indulge in the kind of concentrated viewing typically only possible when one has time to kill. Bonduelle sets the stage with her own sculptures, black metal benches festooned with Styrofoam in bleached hues of blue, honeydew, and buttercream, attended by oval MDF tables, finished with surfaces suggesting white marble or speckled granite. Amedeo Polazzo’s appealingly plain ceramic vessels cluster along the windowsill, while in the far corner, Émile Vappereau’s des fleurs (some flowers), 2015, stocks an oversize aluminum vase with sprigs of spray-painted wood. When it comes to the wall-mounted work, Bonduelle purposefully avoids prioritizing process over product. The paintings revel in their own simplicity, the method of their making immediately evident, even to an untrained eye. François Morellet’s La chute des angles n° 2 (The fall of angles), 2002, tests simple manipulations of L-shaped strips of black paper, while Bernard Piffaretti’s o.T., 2013, is divided down the middle, with the thick swatches of red, yellow, and green paint from one side of the canvas replicated by hand on the other. For his series “Tutti Frutti,” 2015, Nicolas Chardon applies a thin coat of white acrylic to gingham fabric, painting in sections of the patterned grid to create monochrome blocks, while Bonduelle echoes the Styrofoam waves of her benches for the diptych Frise n° 22 A, B, 2015. While there is something laudable in the attempts to advocate a more substantial engagement with the internal rhythms of seemingly quiet compositions, “Waiting Room” ultimately risks implying that these works require a captive audience.

Kate Sutton – January 2016 – Artforum - Critic's picks