Arts and Design

A brush with… Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

Ben Luke talks to Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster about her influences—from other artists to writers, film-makers and musicians—and the cultural experiences that have shaped her life and work.

An installation view of Metapanorama (2022), part of the exhibition Alienarium 5 at Serpentine South Photo: Hugo Glendinning; © The artist and Serpentine, 2022

Gonzalez-Foerster is one of the leading European artists of her generation. Born in 1965 in Strasbourg, France, she works primarily with installation but her artistic language is enormously diverse, taking in film and video, sculpture, holograms, sound, virtual reality and even smell.

Dominique Gonzalez Foerster’s Opera QM.15 (2016) © Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster / Adagp, Paris, 2022 / Pinault Collection

Her pieces range from spectacular immersive environments to enigmatic neon texts, and they draw on a wealth of references, from literature and cinema to opera and architecture.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s TH.2058 (2008) on view as part of The Unilever Series: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: TH.2058 at Tate Modern, London in 2008–09 Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022; Photo © Tate Photography, London

In the conversation, she discusses her early fascination with the Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris and with historic forms of public entertainment. She reflects on the “almost traumatic” impact of seeing Marcel Duchamp’s work for the first time, her friendship with Felix Gonzalez-Torres, reading Peter Pan, her late discovery of opera and her abiding love of film.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: Alienarium 5, Serpentine South Gallery, London, until 4 September. Her work OPERA (QM.15) (2016) is at the Bourse de Commerce, Paris, until 2 January 2023

Series 10 of A brush with… runs from 1-22 June, with episodes released on Wednesdays. You can download and subscribe to the podcast here. This podcast is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects.


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