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Finding One's Self At Galerie Perrotin

By Andrew Belonsky

Pictured: Creten's “Bi-Boy"; Otheniel's “Le Nœud de Babel"; Vermeersch's 'Wall Painting'

The three very different visual artists currently on view at Galerie Perrotin in Paris have one thing in common: their work's continued and concerted exploration of identity.

"The Vivisector," a showing of ceramics art star Johan Creten's glazed stonewares, gets its name from the Patrick White' 1970 novel in which an artist attempts, like so many before him, to unravel the mysteries of existence. The chronologically confounding pieces, owl-like down to the knowing gaze, study you as you step toward the more human though no less ambiguous pieces "Bi-Boy" and "Deep Stains."

Elsewhere in the gallery, Pieter Vermeersch series of untitled paintings capture the "negative" light from photos of the sky, turning the optimistic blue into a haunting orange and giving viewers a look at the unseen side of a familiar sight. And John-Michel Othoniel's mirrored sculptures raise what the artist calls "the question of the lost body."

"It's a matter of creating a volume of absence," Othoniel says of his work, which can be read as either secular or sacred, depending on the light and one's interpretation of his showing's name, "Les Nœuds de Babel."

Personal interpretation is also invited for a piece called "Precious Stonewall," which consists of five glass brick murals hanged separately.

It's little wonder Viktor & Rolf, the design duo who go by one name, called Galerie Perrotin one of their favorite places in Paris.

SLIDESHOW: Images of the artworks on display in the galleries

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