Dialogue as a form of creation, waste as a potential form, void as a form of possibility
Born in 1929 in Romania, Marion Baruch now lives and works in Italy. She proposes a feminine, socially committed and daring work, which constantly seeks to question its status by opening up to new dimensions, through performances, installations and sculptures with a protesting character that is both political and poetic. His recent work continues this dialectic research between the work of art and society. Created from fabric scraps from the textile industry, these sculptures introduce a dialogue between two immaterial forces: space and memory. Dialogue as a form of creation, waste as a potential form, emptiness as a form of possibility and mediation as an act of creation are some of the rules of the game that Marion Baruch has always faithfully followed. In doing so, the artist confronts the themes of the body, the productive world, and the consumption of resources. ✦
Art Collection Roche, Basel, Switzerland
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, Italy
Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands
Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland
les Abattoirs, Musée - FRAC Occitanie Toulouse,Toulouse, France
MA*GA, Museo Arte Gallarate, Gallarate, Italy
MAM, Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris, Paris, France
MAMBO, Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
MAMCO, Musee d'art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
Migros Museum, Zürich, Switzerland
MRAC Occitanie, Regional Museum of Contemporary Art, Sérignan, France
Museion, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea, Bolzano, Italy
Link to the Video Le Temps:
Link to the Tranverse article by Anne-Marie Morice
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Marion Baruch was born in 1929 in Timisoara, Romania. At a very young age, she knew she wanted to be an artist. As a refugee in the countryside during the war, she drew every day. In 1948, she began her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest in an era strongly marked by the Stalinist regime.
At the age of 20, the young woman had the opportunity to leave Romania and decided to go to Israel. There she attended the Bezalel School of Fine Arts and studied under Mordecai Ardon, a Bauhaus artist who was also a student of Paul Klee.
Four years later, Marion Baruch had her first solo exhibition with large drawings at the Micra-Studio gallery in Tel Aviv. As a result of this exposure and the positive reviews she received at the exhibition, she received a scholarship and moved to Italy. She studied painting at the Beaux-Arts in Rome and began to work for the textile industry designing prints.
In the 1960s Marion Baruch turned to abstraction and in the 1970s the artist moved on to large-scale sculpture. She creates metal sculptures in a style that is reminiscent of modern architecture. She also met the designer A. G. Fronzoni, with whom she created experimental design works. They collaborated on the works entitled Abito-Contenitore and Contenitore-Ambiente. The latter work consists of a large Plexiglas ball that can hold a person and roll around. The images of this work taken by the photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin will travel the world.
This incursion into the world of design will mark Marion Baruch's practice and lead her towards conceptual art. She also developed an interest in industrial production.
In the 1990s, Marion Baruch became involved in the artistic movement known as relational art, whose practice is based on the question of relationship. As described by the art critic Nicolas Bourriaud, the idea behind this concept was to theorise contemporary practices that "take as their theoretical and/or practical starting point the sphere of human relationships. His meeting with the gallery owner Luciano Inga Pin was to mark a turning point in his career. For four years, the artist was propelled into the art market. Her work was presented at the most important art fairs such as ArtBasel and ArtCologne.
It was also at this time that the artist created Name Diffusion, a commercial enterprise that would later become an association. Under this label, Marion Baruch will carry out collective artistic actions that deal with socio-political issues, mobility, migratory globalisation and exile. As Noah Stolz, one of the curators of the retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Luzern, explains: "The label becomes something that institutionalizes the artist, but at the same time it allows her to free up relational space.
In 2007, the artist moved to Gallarate, near Milan. Suffering from macular degeneration, she had to renew her practice. As described by the curator, Marion Baruch "began a radical change in her approach, returning to the basic elements of artistic practice such as colours, shapes and contrasts. New references and priorities are offered to her and two immaterial forces are now in dialogue in her works: space and memory.
It was during this period that Marion Baruch began to work on fabric, which she uses as a cultural memory of diversity. Cultural diversity has always challenged her. She worked with migrants and organised workshops during which she offered the participants the possibility of composing objects, chains and links with the collected fabrics. She discovered that these fabric scraps could be transformed into works of art.
From 2013, the artist will work on fabric scraps from which skirts, sleeves, trousers, etc. have been cut. In an intuitive way, she will select and arrange these scraps by tying, knotting or braiding them. These pieces will then be hung from the ceiling or pinned to the wall. They will take shape at random, thanks to the weight and flexibility of the fabric.
For Noah Stolz, "Marion Baruch is having fun reliving her love of art and weaving links. It is by working with the material that she sees a form appear and if that form suits her, she will give it a title." "She operates on a material that is waste but she gives it a life cycle. It is representation at the most simplified stage possible.
After its transformation, the fabric becomes a visual work of art, at once a sculpture, a portrait or an architectural element. Marion Baruch observes inner worlds and outer spaces. She considers the emptiness of her works as a free space into which the visitor can enter.
Marion Baruch has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions (Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany...). Her works are part of several public collections such as the MAMCO, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Geneva, the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Rome, the Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris and the MIGROS Museum (Zurich).