Olivier Mosset

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Olivier Mosset
Olivier Mosset (2003).png
Olivier Mosset, 2003
Known forPainting

Olivier Mosset (born 1944 in Bern, Switzerland) is a Swiss visual artist.[1] He lives and works in Tucson, Arizona.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Mosset has spent considerable time in New York and Paris. In Paris in the 1960s he was a member of the BMPT (art group), along with Daniel Buren, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni,[2] their initials reflected in their collective acronym. The group questioned notions of authorship and originality, implying that they often did each other's works, and that the art object was more important than its authorship. They sought to democratize art through their radical procedures and by repeating a specific compositional device across multiple grounds: Mosset focused on the circle, which he painted in some two hundred iterations between 1966 and 1974.[3] As a young artist, Mosset was an assistant to both Jean Tinguely and Daniel Spoerri.[4] In the Fall 1968 edition of "The Paris Review" appeared "Reproductions of five paintings by Olivier Mosset." The five halftone photogravures of paintings of concentric circles centered on square grounds, reproduced the same size, looked identical.[5][6]

Later, in New York in the late 1970s, Mosset undertook a long series of monochrome paintings, during the heyday of Neo-expressionism. He became a founding member of the New York Radical Painting group, radical referring both to an implied radical social stance, as well as a returning to the radical “root” of painting. This re-assertion of social relevance for abstraction, and even the monochrome, hadn't been emphasized to such a degree since Kazimir Malevich and Alexander Rodchenko.

In the 1980s neo-geo artists, such as Peter Halley who asserted a socially relevant, critical role for geometric abstraction, cited Mosset as an influence.

Mosset represented Switzerland at the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990 and participated in the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 2008.[7]

In 2007, Olivier Mosset donated 171 works from his own collection to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de La Chaux-de-Fonds (MBAC) in Switzerland.[8]

In 2012 the artist created stage designs for a ballet, entitled Sous Apparence, at the Paris Opera Ballet.[9]

Mosset's works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCO) in Geneva, and the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, among other public collections.

Style Analysis[edit]

Mosset is inspired by abstract, conceptual, and minimalist art. He is well-recognized for his monochrome, shaped, minimalist paintings, in particular the series of over 200 oil paintings that were all identical.[10] Those paintings Mosset realized from 1966 to 1974 all consist of a square white canvas measuring 100 cm by 100 cm, with a black circle painted in the middle. Three of those identical paintings have been shown together by the Pinault Collection: "A black ring in the center of a square canvas breaks the harmony of an immaculate surface."[11][12]

Olivier Mosset coats his surfaces evenly with semigloss enamel - not so thick, however, that it entirely conceals the slub of the canvas beneath it - a big one all black, a smaller one all white. The hard enamel creates a shiny plane so light-catching that it tends to dematerialize as you look at it.[13]

Mosset developed his own style, sometimes even using objects or walls[14] he transformed into monochrome paintings. One such example, as he recalled in an interview, was notably a fridge, consisting of two canvases with the same dimensions as a refrigerator and freezer compartment. Mosset mentioned an interesting fact: “I remember that the fridge I used for the work came from a piece by Bertrand Lavier, which was also shown at the gallery, in which Bertrand had placed the fridge on something else, a safe or something like that…”[15][16]

Mosset is also well known for his sculptures. From 1993 onwards he has created "Toblerones", which are meant to reference the Swiss anti-tank barrages and are also known worldwide as a type of chocolate of a very specific triangular shape by the name Toblerone. He exhibited a large selection of his Toblerones at his 2003 retrospective at the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts in Lausanne.[17] In 2003, Mosset also created a version of Toberlones in ice for Eispavillon (Ice Pavilion) in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, presented the following year in 2004, at Art Unlimited in Art Basel.[18] In 2014, the artist re-created a version of his Toblerones in ice again for the Elevation 1049 exhibition in Gstaad.[19]

Selected Public Collections[edit]

Selected Solo Exhibitions[edit]

Selected Group Exhibitions[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Olivier Mosset: Biography" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine Campoli Presti Gallery, Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  2. ^ Williams, Nicola (2005). France. Lonely Planet. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-74059-923-8.
  3. ^ "2008 WHITNEY BIENNIAL". whitney.org. Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  4. ^ Schmerler, Sarah."Olivier Mosset" Art in America, Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  5. ^ Paris Review Vol 11, No 44, Fall 1968, pp 102-107
  6. ^ Mosset, Olivier (1968). "Five Paintings". Vol. Fall 1968, no. 44. ISSN 0031-2037. Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  7. ^ "2008 WHITNEY BIENNIAL". whitney.org. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  8. ^ "The Olivier Mosset collection". Musée des beaux-arts La Chaux-de-Fonds. 2021-11-06. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  9. ^ Sulcas, Rosyln."A Shining Star at the Paris Opera Ballet" The New York Times, Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Olivier Mosset: Looking Beyond the Painting". Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  11. ^ a b "Olivier Mosset | Pinault Collection". lesoeuvres.pinaultcollection.com. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  12. ^ "Sans titre | Pinault Collection". lesoeuvres.pinaultcollection.com. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  13. ^ Glueck, Grace (1983-02-18). "NEW YORK IS A GALLERY OF THE BEST BY LIVING ARTISTS". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  14. ^ GG. "Olivier Mosset | Zérodeux / 02" (in French). Retrieved 2023-02-26.
  15. ^ "A MEETING WITH OLIVIER MOSSET - CRASH Magazine". www.crash.fr. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  16. ^ "Bertrand Lavier | Biography". www.mutualart.com. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  17. ^ Stroun, Fabrice."Olivier Mosset" Frieze, Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  18. ^ "eispavillion exhibition - Olivier Mosset"
  19. ^ "Elevation 1049: Between Heaven and Hell" Mousse Contemporary Art Magazine, Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  20. ^ "The Collection: Olivier Mosset" Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Centre Pompidou Virtuel - Olivier Mosset" Retrieved 21 February 2014
  22. ^ "(Sans titre) | Paris Musées". www.parismuseescollections.paris.fr. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  23. ^ "Olivier Mosset". www.mumok.at. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  24. ^ "Collection". Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst. Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  25. ^ "Mercedes-Benz Art Collection". Mercedes-Benz Art Collection (in German). Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  26. ^ "Untitled | Buffalo AKG Art Museum". buffaloakg.org. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  27. ^ "Pink Star". Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts. Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  28. ^ "Search results | Musée d'art contemporain". www.mac-lyon.com. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  29. ^ "MAMCO Genève - Collection - Catalogue - Olivier Mosset, Sans titre, 1974". www.mamco.ch. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  30. ^ "Olivier Mosset". www.hauskonstruktiv.ch. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  31. ^ "Olivier Mosset Yellow Wall, National Gallery of Canada, 2013".
  32. ^ "Search". Musée des beaux-arts La Chaux-de-Fonds. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  33. ^ "1993 Olivier Mosset Solo Exhibition, Le Consortium, Dijon, France".
  34. ^ "Olivier Mosset, Musée cantonal des beaux-arts, Sion, Switzerland".
  35. ^ "MAMCO Genève - Expositions - Olivier Mosset". www.mamco.ch. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  36. ^ "Olivier Mosset". MACT/CACT Arte Contemporanea Ticino (in Italian). Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  37. ^ "olivier mosset - Expositions". Carré d’Art (in French). Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  38. ^ "A Step Backwards / Bob's Kitchen... | Musée d'art contemporain". www.mac-lyon.com. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  39. ^ "Olivier Mosset". Kunsthalle Bern. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  40. ^ "Olivier Mosset ++ Leaving the Museum - Announcements - e-flux". www.e-flux.com. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  41. ^ "Olivier Mosset at INDIPENDENZA Studio, Rome". Contemporary Art Library. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  42. ^ Carter, Felicity. "'Abstraction' By Olivier Mosset". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  43. ^ Fused (2018-06-29). "OLIVIER MOSSET " UNTITLED "". Fused Magazine. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  44. ^ "Olivier Mosset, 2019". www.hauskonstruktiv.ch. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  45. ^ "MAMCO Genève - Expositions - Olivier Mosset". www.mamco.ch. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  46. ^ "Olivier Mosset – Tucson Museum of Art". Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  47. ^ "Tucson Museum of Art Presents OLIVIER MOSSET, a Contemplative & Mystifying Exhibition of the Artist's Expansive Body of Work – Tucson Museum of Art". Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  48. ^ "The Riddle of May '68: Collectivity and Protest in the Salon de la Jeune Peinture".
  49. ^ "Slow Art: Painting in New York Now | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  50. ^ "The Painted World | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  51. ^ "2008 WHITNEY BIENNIAL". whitney.org. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  52. ^ "John Armleder and Olivier Mosset" at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis".
  53. ^ "Artists - Manifesta10". manifesta10.org. Retrieved 2023-02-25.