The artist duo Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil (b. 1975, Luxemburg / b. 1964, Paris) established themselves in Luxembourg before becoming more widely recognised in Europe. Since 2008 they have created a body of work that is distinguished by the richness of its visual vocabulary and its socially conscious scrutiny of the contemporary world. Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean has commissioned the artists to produce a new installation for its Jardin des sculptures.
Reflecting upon the legacy of modernism and the avant-gardes of the first half of the twentieth century, the work of Feipel and Bechameil has referenced variously the histories of Cubism, Constructivism, the Bauhaus, the style of Art Deco and the techniques of kinetic art. By freely appropriating these aesthetic and thematic vocabularies, their installations offer an immersive, physical and perceptual experience that combines the illusory with the imaginary.
Feipel and Bechameil’s work also addresses another aspect of modernity and the contemporary world: the automatisation of industry and everyday life. This increasingly prevalent mechanisation of our societies is evident in their sculptures which often depict cogs and other machine parts, treated with resin or synthetic plaster to look like petrified remains devoid of functionality. By creating forms that invoke industrial modernity, Feipel and Bechameil also examine the ‘mechanisms’ of contemporary lifestyles, together with their social and collective settings, in order to establish ‘spaces of possibility’.
Their works often take as their starting point the history of a place or the analysis of a specific context, but their visual power is derived from the artists’ ability to create theatrical environments, enhanced by subtle yet dramatic lighting. The installation that Feipel and Bechameil will create for Mudam’s Jardin des sculptures will involve a suite of works that combine to form a theatrical setting through slow motion and rustling sound.
Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil (b. 1975, Luxemburg / b. 1964, Paris) have held monographic exhibitions at HAB Galerie, Nantes (2020); Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain, Luxembourg (2017); Cercle Cité, Luxembourg (2015) ; Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Paris (2014); Le Creux de l’enfer, Thiers, France (2013); Centre d’art Nei Liicht, Dudelange, Luxembourg (2010); Centre des Arts Pluriels, Ettelbruck, Luxembourg (2010) and Værnedamsvej, Copenhagen (2008). They are represented in the Mudam Collection by a major installation, Le Cercle fermé (2011). In 2014 they exhibited their large-scale sculpture Many Dreams (2012) in the Park Dräi Eechelen which neighbours the museum. In 2011 they represented Luxembourg at the 54th Venice Biennale. Their work is held in major public collections including Mudam Luxembourg; MNHA – Musée National d’Art et d’Histoire, Luxembourg, and Frac Lorraine, Metz, France. They live and work in Brussels.