Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury. Photo: Annik Wetter

 

Sylvie Fleury (*1961) is a contemporary Swiss artist whose installation, sculpture, and mixed media work deals with our sentimental and aesthetic attachments to consumerist culture. Emerging in the 1990s, Fleury’s early “shopping bag” installations laid the foundations for a body of work that became as provocative as it is playful. Fleury heralded a new artistic trend by subverting the codes of consumption, creating an interplay between fashion and art, while interrogating the relationship between desire and fetishism.

 

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Fleury’s work exploits the ambiguity of superficiality, exploring subversions, paradoxes, truths and values via materialistic components she deems symptomatic of our epoch— particularly luxury clothing and accessories, makeup, race cars, icons of modern and contemporary art (from Marcel Duchamp to Piet Mondrian to Andy Warhol), magazines, television and media, and other objects drawn from everyday life. Employing common modern advertising strategies, including slogans, bright colours and attention-grabbing presentation, she examines the curious interchange between high-end luxury and trash culture, all the while manipulating the visuals of the modern economy. Moreover, she openly refers to the concept of fetishism in a manner that is largely ignored by modern visual culture.

Trademark bronze sculptures of high heels and handbags are cast in chrome, radiating an atmosphere of excess while focussing on the seductive superficiality of fashion, advertising and design. Re-appropriating items and slogans from high fashion and its dedicated mass media, as well as re-appropriating ideas from high art, enables Fleury’s deft critique of these subjects in challenging the viewer to re-think their views on both fashion and art. Her attention to the banal accoutrements of consumerism pokes fun at our consumption of such objects; and the items take on a cheeky double meaning as artworks, being equally banal in nature, and yet more seductive through their association with the luxury of the art market and museum or gallery space. Her oeuvre reflects and anticipates her epoch as much as it participates within it, thus lending her work a Warholian wit and ambiguity.

If irreverence characterizes much of her work, she just as often shows her detailed knowledge of recent art history, embracing, re-appropriating, and satirising work from key artistic movements and artists, such as Duchamp, Mondrian and Warhol, modernists Daniel Buren and Donald Judd. Intriguingly, Fleury reserves her satirical approach for male artists, probing the grandiose machismo of modern art. Her commentary on gender politics works two ways, through both the art market and the relentless consumerism of our era.

 

Sylvie Fleury: Prix Meret Oppenheim 2018

 

Works
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
(Gold) Fountain PKW, 2003

Sylvie Fleury
(Gold) Fountain PKW, 2003
Gold porcelain tire, technical supplies for the installation of a fountain, lacquered wood pedestal
Durchmesser: 62cm. Höhe: 18 cm. Gewicht ca. 20kg
Diameter: 62 cm, height: 18 cm, weight: ca. 20 kg

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Hot Heels, 1999

Sylvie Fleury
Hot Heels, 1999
Neon, dark blue
200 × 150 cm
78 3/4 × 59 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
First Spaceship On Venus, 2015

Sylvie Fleury
First Spaceship On Venus, 2015
Fiberglass, paint with glitter
340 × 120 × 120 cm
133 7/8 × 47 1/4 × 47 1/4 inches

More views
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon, (First Spaceship Venus 20), 2005

Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon
(First Spaceship Venus 20)
, 2005
Large tree: Aluminium 20 mm lacquered, with 16 eyes
Small tree: Aluminium 20 mm lacquered, with 10 eyes
Rocket: brushed Inox-metal, 1.5 mm
Blue neon, soundtrack: Sound from High Heels on the Moon
Large tree: height 250 cm; width 220/220 cm; Eyes: 35/25/15cm
Small tree: height 200 cm; width 160/160 cm; eyes: 35/25/15cm
Rocket: lenght 398 cm; radius body 55 cm. radius incl. wings ca. 180 cm; neon: height 250 cm; width 405 cm

Baum gross: Höhe 250 cm; Breite 220/220 cm; Augen: 35/25/15cm
Baum klein: Höhe 200 cm; Breite 160/160 cm; Augen: 35/25/15cm
Rakete: Höhe 398 cm; Durchmesser Rumpf 55 cm. Flügeldurchmesser ca. 180 cm
Neon: Höhe 250 cm; Breite 405 cm

More views
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Fétiche (Numéro 18, novembre 2002), 2002

Sylvie Fleury
Fétiche (Numéro 18, novembre 2002), 2002
Photograph mounted on aluminium
162 × 125 cm
63 7/8 × 49 1/8 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Gucci Gold Leather Handcuff (green), 2003

Sylvie Fleury
Gucci Gold Leather Handcuff (green), 2003
Silkscreen on gold leather
77 × 38 cm each (diptych)
30 1/4 × 15 inches each (diptych)

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Naughty but Nice, 2003

Sylvie Fleury
Naughty but Nice, 2003
Neon, white
25 × 250 cm
9 7/8 × 98 3/8 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Patrick & Piet & Kenneth (II), 1996

Sylvie Fleury
Patrick & Piet & Kenneth (II), 1996
Acrylic on wood, shoes
Height: 60cm. diameter: 100 cm
Height: 23 5/8 inches, diameter: 39 3/8 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Untitled (Soft Rocket), 1995

Sylvie Fleury
Untitled (Soft Rocket), 1995
Mixed media
200 × 120 cm
78 3/4 × 47 1/4 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Pleasures On Canvases, 1997

Sylvie Fleury
Pleasures On Canvases, 1997
Acrylic on canvas
200 × 150 cm overall dimension
78 3/4 × 59 inches overall dimension

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Evian, 1998

Sylvie Fleury
Evian, 1998
Chromed bronze
31.8 × 8.5 × 8.5 cm
12 1/2 × 3 3/8 × 3 3/8 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Pucci painting. Hey Baby!, What am I gonna do with you (hey baby), 1991

Sylvie Fleury
Pucci painting. Hey Baby!
What am I gonna do with you (hey baby)
, 1991
115 × 135 cm

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Razor Blades, 2001

Sylvie Fleury
Razor Blades, 2001
Aluminium, Stainless steel
290 × 145 × 1 cm
114 1/8 × 57 × 3/8 inches

More views
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
(Quick) Secrets , 2003

Sylvie Fleury
(Quick) Secrets , 2003
Acrylic on canvas
90 × 200 cm
35 3/8 × 78 3/4 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Insolence, 2007

Sylvie Fleury
Insolence, 2007 (detail)

More views
Details
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
(Gold) Fountain PKW, 2003
Gold porcelain tire, technical supplies for the installation of a fountain, lacquered wood pedestal
Durchmesser: 62cm. Höhe: 18 cm. Gewicht ca. 20kg
Diameter: 62 cm, height: 18 cm, weight: ca. 20 kg

Sylvie Fleury
(Gold) Fountain PKW, 2003
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Hot Heels, 1999
Neon, dark blue
200 × 150 cm
78 3/4 × 59 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Hot Heels, 1999
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
First Spaceship On Venus, 2015
Fiberglass, paint with glitter
340 × 120 × 120 cm
133 7/8 × 47 1/4 × 47 1/4 inches

Sylvie Fleury
First Spaceship On Venus, 2015
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
First Spaceship on Venus, 2015
Installation view: My Life on the Road, Villa Stuck, Munich, 2016

Sylvie Fleury
Space Age III (tbc)
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon
(First Spaceship Venus 20)
, 2005
Large tree: Aluminium 20 mm lacquered, with 16 eyes
Small tree: Aluminium 20 mm lacquered, with 10 eyes
Rocket: brushed Inox-metal, 1.5 mm
Blue neon, soundtrack: Sound from High Heels on the Moon
Large tree: height 250 cm; width 220/220 cm; Eyes: 35/25/15cm
Small tree: height 200 cm; width 160/160 cm; eyes: 35/25/15cm
Rocket: lenght 398 cm; radius body 55 cm. radius incl. wings ca. 180 cm; neon: height 250 cm; width 405 cm

Baum gross: Höhe 250 cm; Breite 220/220 cm; Augen: 35/25/15cm
Baum klein: Höhe 200 cm; Breite 160/160 cm; Augen: 35/25/15cm
Rakete: Höhe 398 cm; Durchmesser Rumpf 55 cm. Flügeldurchmesser ca. 180 cm
Neon: Höhe 250 cm; Breite 405 cm

Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon, (First Spaceship Venus 20), 2005
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon
(First Spaceship Venus 20)
, 2005

Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon, (First Spaceship Venus 20), 2005
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon
(First Spaceship Venus 20)
, 2005

Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon, (First Spaceship Venus 20), 2005
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon
(First Spaceship Venus 20)
, 2005

Sylvie Fleury
High Heels On The Moon, (First Spaceship Venus 20), 2005
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Fétiche (Numéro 18, novembre 2002), 2002
Photograph mounted on aluminium
162 × 125 cm
63 7/8 × 49 1/8 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Fétiche (Numéro 18, novembre 2002), 2002
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Gucci Gold Leather Handcuff (green), 2003
Silkscreen on gold leather
77 × 38 cm each (diptych)
30 1/4 × 15 inches each (diptych)

Sylvie Fleury
Gucci Gold Leather Handcuff (green), 2003
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Naughty but Nice, 2003
Neon, white
25 × 250 cm
9 7/8 × 98 3/8 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Naughty but Nice, 2003
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Patrick & Piet & Kenneth (II), 1996
Acrylic on wood, shoes
Height: 60cm. diameter: 100 cm
Height: 23 5/8 inches, diameter: 39 3/8 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Patrick & Piet & Kenneth (II), 1996
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Untitled (Soft Rocket), 1995
Mixed media
200 × 120 cm
78 3/4 × 47 1/4 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Untitled (Soft Rocket), 1995
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Pleasures On Canvases, 1997
Acrylic on canvas
200 × 150 cm overall dimension
78 3/4 × 59 inches overall dimension

Sylvie Fleury
Pleasures On Canvases, 1997
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Evian, 1998
Chromed bronze
31.8 × 8.5 × 8.5 cm
12 1/2 × 3 3/8 × 3 3/8 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Evian, 1998
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Pucci painting. Hey Baby!
What am I gonna do with you (hey baby)
, 1991
115 × 135 cm

Sylvie Fleury
Pucci painting. Hey Baby!, What am I gonna do with you (hey baby), 1991
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Razor Blades, 2001
Aluminium, Stainless steel
290 × 145 × 1 cm
114 1/8 × 57 × 3/8 inches

Sylvie Fleury
Razor Blades, 2001
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Razor Blades, 2001 (detail)

Sylvie Fleury
Razor Blades, 2001
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Razor Blades, 2001 (detail)

Sylvie Fleury
Razor Blades, 2001
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
(Quick) Secrets , 2003
Acrylic on canvas
90 × 200 cm
35 3/8 × 78 3/4 inches

Sylvie Fleury
(Quick) Secrets , 2003
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Insolence, 2007 (detail)

Sylvie Fleury
Insolence, 2007
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
Insolence, 2007
Installation view: My Life on the Road, Villa Stuck, Munich, 2016

Sylvie Fleury
Insolence, 2007
Details
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Current and Upcoming
Sylvie Fleury
Ed Ruscha, Parking Lots, 1967/99 © Ed Ruscha

Oil. Beauty and Horror in the Petrol Age
Group Exhibition
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany
September 4, 2021–January 9, 2022

No other substance has shaped societies in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as much as petroleum. Airplanes, tanks, and spacecraft, motorways, shopping malls and suburban settlements, nylon stockings, mountains of plastic, and vinyl – key materials and technologies, lifestyles and visions of our time owe their existence to the energy density and transformability of oil. Now, however, the dusk of the “petrol age” is looming, whereby neither can its end be precisely dated, nor its consequences adequately assessed.

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Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Sylvie Fleury

Thank You For The Music (London Beat)
Saadane Afif, John Armleder, John Baldessari, Ellen Cantor, Sean Dack, Walter Dahn, Jeremy Deller, Cerith Wyn Evans, Sylvie Fleury, Liam Gillick, Dan Graham, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Christian Holstad, David Lamelas, Los Super Elegantes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Marclay, David & Albert Maysles, Jonas Mekas, , Jonathan Monk, Simon Moretti, Paul Morrissey, Dave Muller, Philippe Parreno / Liam Gillick, Phillippe Parreno, Raymond Pettibon, Zbigniew Rogalski, Steven Shearer, Hedi Slimane, Meredyth Sparks, Mika Taanila, Wolfgang Tillmans, Keith Tyson, Xavier Veilhan, Banks Violette, Lawrence Weiner, Charlotte Zwerin
curated by Johannes Fricke Waldthausen
June 30–September 2, 2006
London

Thank You For The Music addresses the recent history of music. The exhibition examines music and pop culture, their various market mechanisms, and the liberation from the traditional copyright restrictions as a ubiquitous source of artistic inspiration – one that has become a global phenomenon and a permanent aspect of everyday experience. Drawing on a selection of more then 30 contributions by contemporary international artists, filmmakers, and musicians, the project attempts to position music and culture within a larger social context.

Thank You For The Music
Saadane Afif, John Armleder, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Pash Buzari, Bruce Conner, Sean Dack, Walter Dahn, Jeremy Deller, Thomas Demand, Simon English, Cerith Wyn Evans, Sylvie Fleury, Liam Gillick, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Christian Holstad, David Lamelas, Arto Lindsay / Matthew Barney, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Marclay, Jonas Mekas, , Jonathan Monk, Simon Moretti, Paul Morrissey, Raymond Pettibon, Zbigniew Rogalski, Steven Shearer, Hedi Slimane, Frank Stella, Thaddeus Strode, Mika Taanila, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Essi Utriainen, Mayer Vaisman, Banks Violette
November 24, 2005–February 11, 2006
Munich

The exhibition Thank You For The Music examines music and pop culture, their various market mechanisms and the liberation from traditional copyright restrictions as a ubiquitous source of artistic inspiration — one that has become a global phenomenon and a permanent aspect of everyday experience. Drawing on a selection of contributions by more than 30 international artists, filmmakers and musicians, the show attempts to position intersections between visual arts, music culture and music history within a larger social context.

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
December 17, 2003–January 31, 2004
Munich

Fleury explores fetishism and power dynamics in various socio-economic contexts. Golden car tyres (glazed ceramics) prepared as fountains appear to be products of the excessive creative ambitions of motor sport fanatics who transform car parts into household objects in order to surround themselves permanently with the object of their fetish, the car.

Fetishism is based on shifts in values and the questioning of traditional power relations; it is private and is usually lived out in secret. Fleury makes it visible where one would not have suspected it.

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Shadow and Light
Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, George Condo, Walter Dahn, Olafur Eliasson, Martin Fengel, Peter Fischli  David Weiss, Dan Flavin, Sylvie Fleury, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Thomas Grünfeld, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Jenny Holzer, Axel Kasseböhmer, Stefan Kern, Karen Kilimnik, Astrid Klein, Louise Lawler, Anne Loch, Paul Morrison, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Bruce Nauman, Manuel Ocampo, Nam June Paik, Hirsch Perlman, Lari Pittman, Barbara Probst, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Frances Scholz, Andreas Schulze, Cindy Sherman, Paul Sietsema, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool, Martin Wöhrl, Philip-Lorca diCorcia
July 26–August 31, 2003
Salzburg

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers will open a temporary space in Salzburg together with their London partner Simon Lee for the duration of the Salzburg Festival. One of the main reasons for this was the fact that the galleries are traditionally closed in August and that exhibition operations are shut down, but at the same time cultural life is at its peak in Salzburg, not far from our Munich location. It makes sense to contribute something to the cultural climate with a precisely formulated group exhibition and at the same time to reach a sophisticated international audience.

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

20th Anniversary Show
John Baldessari, Alighiero Boetti, George Condo, Walter Dahn, Thomas Demand, Thea Djordjadze, Peter Fischli  David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Andreas Gursky, Jenny Holzer, Gary Hume, Axel Kasseböhmer, Karen Kilimnik, Astrid Klein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Nina Pohl, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Frances Scholz, Andreas Schulze, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Andrea Zittel, Philip-Lorca diCorcia
April 25–October 18, 2003
Cologne

In 1983, Monika Sprüth opened her Cologne based gallery with a solo show by Andreas Schulze. Starting from the idea to establish a forum for young and unknown artists, the central focus of the gallery concept was developed in the discourse of the 80s. The gallery program was completed by recourses to artistic attitudes of the last 40 years. This research, motivated by reflection on contemporary art history, was more and more realized in cooperation with Philomene Magers who directed her Bonn gallery since 1992. After a few years of loose cooperation, Monika Sprüth Gallery and Philomene Magers Gallery aligned with each other after, and together the Monika Sprüth / Philomene Magers Gallery opened up in Munich in 1999.

Reflexions
Carl André, John Armleder, John Baldessari, Sylvie Fleury, Isa Genzken, Thomas Grünfeld, Stephan Jung, Karen Kilimnik, Jeff Koons, Louise Lawler, Robert Morris, Paul Morrison, Andreas Schulze, Andy Warhol, Franz West, Heimo Zobernig
January 24–March 1, 2002
Munich

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
September 10–October 2, 1999
Munich

Some art pieces tend somewhat to summarize the main ingredients of an artist's work. Sylvie Fleury's 'Formula One Dress for Hugo Boss' certainly wraps together many topica visited and discussed by the artist through much of her production that count as a seminal contribution to todays contemporary art forum these past years. The Dress, as an art object and as a dress, is emblematic of such investigations by Sylvie Fleury which focus among various fields on art as wrapping device, art as prosthesis, art as customizing processes, art as vehicle on cruise control to the Unknown and further on, recalls the questionning of gender identity and emblems by means of sexual accessorizing and fetishism and other such themes displayed in her works.

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Sylvie Fleury
Spring
March 21–April 19, 1997
Bonn

Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

Sylvie Fleury
October 21–December 2, 1994
Bonn

Sylvie Fleury
Vital Perfection
October 1–December 1, 1991
Galerie Philomene Magers, Bonn

Sylvie Fleury
Press

Das letzte Supermodel
Das Magazin, article by Arthur Fink, March 9, 2019

Sylvie Fleury Portrait: It’s complicated
Spike, interview by Dean Kissick, Spring 2018

Sylvie Fleury Does Terrible Things to Make-Up In The Name of Art
Sleek, article by Natalie Rigg, December 12, 2017

“Be Amazing”
Interview, interview by Mareike Nieberding, April 2016

Sylvie Fleury: From Lacan’s Drive to Rodeo Drive
Parkett, article by Adrian Dannatt, Beatrix Ruf and Jutta Koether, 2000

Schade für Chanel
Spiegel Extra, article by Anuschka Roshani, October 1995

Biography

Sylvie Fleury (*1961, Geneva) lives and works in Geneva. Selected solo exhibitions include: Kunstraum Dornbirn, the Instituto Svizzero, Rome (both 2019), Villa Stuck, Munich (2016), Centre de Arte Contemporaneo, Malaga (2011), MAMCO-Musée de l’art contemporain de Genève (2008–2009), the Mozarteum, Salzburg (2005), ZKM, Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe, Le Magasin-Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble (both 2001), The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (1995). Selected group exhibitions include Jeu de Paume, Paris (2020), Grand Palais, Paris (2019), Kunsthaus Zurich (2018), Museum für angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt (2017), Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2016), Migros Museum, Zurich (2013), Belvedere, Vienna (2012), Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (2010), Chelsea Art Museum, New York (2007), PS1, New York (2006), Collection Lambert, Avignon (2003) and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2000).

Education
1981 Germain School of Photography, New York
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2018 Prix Meret Oppenheim LL
2015 The Geneva Société des Arts Prize