Claudia Wieser But round my chair the children run 2023 Glazed ceramic tiles, copper sheets on Mestä Wood Plywood Panels, 313 x 293 x 232 cm
As part of La Cinquième Saison (Engl.: The Fifth Season), by Paris+ par Art Basel, a group exhibition at Jardin des Tuileries produced in collaboration with the Musée du Louvre and curated by Annabelle Ténèze.
Claudia Wieser’s practice often draws inspiration from architecture, history, and the sites of its presentation, exploring the intersection of art and design. This is no different with But round my chair the children run, 2023, a new piece specially created for the exhibition at Jardin des Tuileries, the former district of tile factories that occupied the area in the Middle Ages.
The sculpture's minimal and geometric form, yet imposing presence, coupled with its blank and partly polished materiality, presents an intriguing juxtaposition against the opulent backdrop of the garden and surrounding Palais. The rectangular base grows into a roughly 3-meter-tall diagonal shape with a small, chimney-like extension, reminiscing the silhouette of an idealized or simplified factory building.
Its design also incorporates functional elements such as seating possibilities that invite the public to rest on elevated ledges and contemplate the interplay between art and architecture, the nearby river Seine and the enchanting Jardin de Tuileries. As often in Wieser’s work, this generosity allows visitors to directly engage with the artwork, here in the spirit of the monarchs, that transformed the area over decades into what became later, in 1667, the first French royal garden open to the public.
The work’s surface is compiled of roughly 2000 hand-glazed tiles imposing a colorful mosaic of geometrical shapes or an abstract painting when seen from a distance. The composition is complemented by polished copper plates reflecting the sunlight and capturing the dynamic movement of the city and flâneurs in the park. Wieser’s attention to detail is evident in each tile she designs, bearing traces of her meticulous brushstrokes: another reference to the past and a celebration of what was once a handcraft decorating the homes and palaces of the privileged to the wealthy.
This dialogue between past and present sparks new interpretations, encouraging viewers to contemplate the relationship between art, architecture, and nothing less than the history of Paris itself.
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