"I'm the pedlar of chimaeras, the pedlar of simian dreams, of arachnid deliriums...I'm the trickster, a trickster with overpainted photos, distorting enlargements, overprintings, out-of-focus close-ups, concatenated images, distorting lenses...I'm the teller of lies, the messenger of false premonitions, of dubious loves, of suspect memories, the woman who tames paper spiders..."--Annette Messager
Annette Messager's original use of form and poetic power of communication place her among Europe's leading contemporary artists. Born and brought up in the small town of Berck in Northern France where "everybody made art," in the early 1960s she went to study at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. There she quickly rejected any hierarchical notion of art form in favor of a freedom of expression inspired initially by Jean Dubuffet and the "outside" art he promoted. Since the late 1960s, she has experimented with and combined a wide variety of media, from painting and sculpture to assemblage, photograph, film and embroidery, often culminating in installations of great potency. Her work is at once intimate and universal, using familiar objects (toys, fishing nets, gloves) in a manner that challenges us to look at our comfortable world with fresh eyes.
For this first monograph on Annette Messager, the author has worked closely with the artist to produce a strong, visual work that provides a clear picture of the creative development of a major artist working today. Fully illustrated, including a 34-page introductory portfolio featuring key installations, the book offers a thematically organized text incorporating first-hand interviews with the artist as well as analyses of the significance of individual works. Completed by a full exhibitions history and extensive bibliography, Annette Messager is a must-read for anyone interested in current artistic developments in Europe.