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.

 

Read more

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
icon_fullscreen
1 of 15

 

Current and Upcoming
Sylvie Fleury
Andreas Gursky
Amazon, 2016

Le supermarché des images
Sylvie Fleury
February 11–June 7, 2020
Jeu de Paume, Paris

In light of recent developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), exhibitions, events and talks are subject to change

We live in a world that is increasingly saturated with images. Their number is growing so exponentially – each day more than three billion images are shared on social networks – that the space of visibility seems to be literally inundated. As if it can no longer contain the images that constitute it. As if there were no more room, no more interstices between the images. Faced with such an overproduction of images, questions need to be asked, more than ever before, about their storage, management, transportation (even if it is electronic) and the paths they follow, their weight, the fluidity or viscosity of their exchanges, their fluctuating values – in short, questions about their economy. The works and artists chosen for the exhibition cast a keen and watchful eye over these issues. On the one hand, they reflect the upheavals that currently affect the economy in general, whether in terms of unprecedentedly large storage spaces, the scarcity of raw materials, labour and its mutations into intangible forms, or in terms of value and its new manifestations, such as cryptocurrencies.

Link
Sylvie Fleury
John Armleder
Photo: Annik Wetter

It Never Ends – curated by John M Armleder
Sylvie Fleury
September 24, 2020–April 25, 2021
KANAL-Centre Pompidou, Brussels

In light of recent developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), exhibitions, events and talks are subject to change.

With It Never Ends, a carte blanche given to the Swiss artist John M Armleder, KANAL-Centre Pompidou will open the six floors of its Showroom one last time before its renovation and reopening, scheduled for 2023. With this carte blanche given to one of the leading artists of contemporary art, KANAL-Centre Pompidou confirms its desire to grow by continuing to experiment, following the example of KANAL Brut.

Link
Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
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.

Read more

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.

Read more
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury

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

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