Marc Chaimowicz

Born 1947

“Chaimowicz exhibited a number of video works, installation and performance artworks that included video as a central component. He was a productive artist during the early LVA period, participating in the relevant video exhibitions. His writing around the conceptual aspects of his work in the LVA catalogue of 1978, p. 9 dealt with the intuitive and existential qualities of video technologies – video took a physical role in his work, the camera as performer and an ‘engaged’ element.” – J.Hatfield

“..to try to integrate ideas of the counter-culture with practice. This was naturally my choice and was why I was drawn away from the claustrophobia of pre-existent forms towards activities that were then as yet unnamed or ill formed like an emergent language.” – Marc Camille Chaimowicz, 1999, Live in Your Head, Concept and Experiment In Britain, 1965-75, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 4 February – 2 April 2000, p. 56

Marc Camille Chaimowicz was born in post-war Paris, but moved in childhood to the suburban new town of Stevenage, England in 1954. He studied painting at Ealing School of Art and later at Camberwell College of Arts in London. After a visit to Paris in 1968, Chaimowicz abandoned work as painter, overwhelmed by the complexity of the painting he had seen and magnetised by the socio-political ferment of Paris at that time. At the Slade School of Fine Art he began to make performances and installations, but his first ambitious and extrovert manifestations culminated again in a reassessment of the essential nature of his activity as an artist, a retreat into privacy. Chaimowicz began to draw on the imagery of his own intimate world which can be glimpsed but never fully grasped by any but its creator. His use of the camera was personal and specific. The images were carefully constructed, cultured, synthetic, giving substance to the fugitive and insubstantial: the play of shadow on a wall, sunlight filtered through a gauze curtain, the dip of a flower stem, the meeting point of object and image on a mirrored surface. The artist, author and subject of the work was a discreet presence.

After his first degree at the Camberwell School of art Marc Camille Chaimowicz went to the Slade School of Fine Art at University College, London for his M.A in painting. After tumulus questioning he there decided to cease painting… Thus begun his redefinition of practice in two areas of new activity which were then attractive partly because these were, as then unnamed but soon to be called Installation and Performance. This then young artist, suddenly found himself, perhaps to his bemusement, somewhat startled by the degree of international attention his work was attracting.

Ten years on, and culminating in the showing of Partial Eclipse at the Tate Gallery in 1981, he stopped working with Performance and, perhaps preferring the shadowlands, withdrew to work on a major bookwork ‘Cafe Du Reve’ which was co-published by Edition du Regard, Paris and Thames & Hudson, London in 1984.

He was in parallel increasingly engaged in questioning the role of the artist and this resulted in a wide range of projects within the realm of design and the decorative arts. Materials have included leather, glass, plywood, velvet, lead and printed fabrics. The Arts Council Four Rooms exhibition shown at Liberty’s and elsewhere is such an example. As do voluntary exiles, he began a reappraisal of painting in the mid-eighties and this remains of central concern. The one activity informs the other yet they remain in tangent. He enjoys the dialectic between the Fine Arts and Design.

He contributes currently to the M.F.A. Course At Reading and is visiting consultant at L’Ecole National des Beaux Arts, Dijon.

A dozen monographs have been published and Public Collections include:

The Arts Council of Great Britain
The British Council
The Tate Gallery
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The National Gallery of Australia
Le fonds National D’Art Contemporain, Paris.
FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon.

  • Interview of Marc Chaimowicz

    View the interview transcript here

  • Exhibitions:

    SOLO EXHIBITIONS

    1970
    Random Landscape Approximation (nine Venues in London – unspecified)
    Banquet (Camden Arts Centre)

    1971
    Sweetness, Sigi Krauss Gallery, London – installation

    1972
    Enough Tyranni, Serpentine Gallery, London
    Celebration? Realife, Inaugural Show, Gallery House, London

    1977
    Galleria Cavallino, Venice
    Dream…an anecdote, Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London

    1978
    Galleria Cannaviello, Rome and Milan

    1979
    Screens…, Nigel Greenwood Inc. Ltd., London

    1980
    Partial Eclipse, De Appel Gallery, Amsterdam

    1981
    Maquettes…, Nigel Greenwood Inc. Ltd., London

    1982
    Galerie H. Air, Vienna
    Galleria Cavallino, Venice

    1983
    12 Decor Textiles, Galerie Bertin, Lyon
    Past Imperfect, 1972-82, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool; Orchard Gallery, Derry
    John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, and Leeds City Art Gallery (1984)

    1984
    Six Works, Musee d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva and Le Consortium, Dijon

    1985
    Cafe du Reve, Galerie de France, Paris
    Recent paintings and sketches, Nigel Greenwood Gallery

    1986
    Galerie Optica, Montreal
    Centre de Gravure, Geneva
    Eric Franck Gallery, Geneva

    1987
    Autour de cinq Paravents, Musee des Beaux Arts, Dijon
    Chapelle des Brigittines, Bruxelles (A British Season)

    1988
    Recent Drawings and Prints, Robert Steele Gallery, Adelaide
    Chemins de Croix, Pour l’Art Contemporain, Bourbon-Lancy

    1989
    Fine and Applied Art, The Showroom, London

    1990
    Oeuvres sur papier et sur toile, Galerie Gill Favre, Lyon

    1990
    Cinq paravents, Musee historique des tissus, Lyon
    Oevres sur Papier, Art Concept Galerie, Nice
    Beaux Arts et Arts Appliques, Musse de Cosne sur Loire

    1992
    Musee Victor-Chareton, Bourgoin-Jallieu
    Galerie Joseph Dutertre, Rennes

    1993
    The Warsaw Suite, Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw

    1994
    Peintures & Objets, Le Consortium Centre D’Art Contemporain, Dijon
    Peintures & Objets, Le Quartier, Centre D’Art Contemporain, Quimper

    1996
    Peintures & Objets, Joseph Dutertre Galerie, Rennes
    Au Quotidien des choses, Interface, Apartment Gallery, Dijon

    1997
    La Suite de Varsovie de Marc Camille Chaimowicz, FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon

    1998
    Painting Amongst Other Things, L’Artotheque de Nantes
    The British School at Rome

    2000
    Celebration? Realife Revisited, Cabinet, London
    Galerie Joseph Dutertre, Rennes

    2002
    Ikon, Bimringham La Chapelle de l’H-Dieu de Cluny

    2003
    Cabinet, London

    2004
    Partial Eclipse…, Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin
    Partial Eclipse…, Studio Lucy Mc Kenzie, Glasgow

    GROUP EXHIBITIONS

    1971
    Waste? Piece 3, Art Spectrum, Alexandra Palace, London

    1972
    Between Revolt and Revolution, City Museum, Bologna
    Genug Tyranei, Second Graz Art Fair, Austria

    1973
    Biennale de Paris, (British Audio Visual Section)
    Fluxus Tour, MOMA, Oxford

    1975
    Inaugural show – AIR Gallery, London
    Sur les Marches du Palais, with S Potter and C Tisdall, AIR Gallery, London

    1977
    10th Paris Biennale des Jeunes, Paris

    1978
    International Performance Festival, Osterreichische, Kunstverein, Vienna
    Hayward Annual, Hayward Gallery, London
    Rites and Roles, Arnolfini, Bristol

    1979
    Un Certain Art Anglais, ARC, Paris, (British Council)
    Galerie Nachst St.Stephan, Vienna

    1981
    Photography as Medium, British Council touring exhibition
    3rd Tolly Cobbold Eastern Arts Exhibition (prize winner)
    Perspective ’81, Basel Art Fair, Basel
    Partial Eclipse, Artists and Performance, Tate Gallery, London

    1982
    Paris 1960-80, Museum of the 20th Century, Vienna
    Works on Paper from the Modern Collection, Tate Gallery, London

    1984
    British Art Show 2…Old Allegiances and New Directions 1979-84, City Art Gallery Birmingham and ACGB tour
    Four Rooms, Arts Coucil touring exhibition, Libertys, London and national tour
    An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York

    1986
    Four Rooms, The Adelaide Festival, Adelaide

    1987
    Drapeau d’Artists, Artists Flags, Musee d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva
    Under the Sign of Saturn, Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London
    Tandem, Creation/Industrie, Musee de Romans

    1988
    Art in the Garden, Glasgow Garden Festival
    La Double transparence, CNAP, Paris and tour

    1989
    Prospect ’89, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt

    1991
    Works on Paper, Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London
    Le Consortium Collectionne, Chateau d’Oiron

    1992
    Creer avec la Tradition, Centre Culturel de L’Yonne, Auxerre
    The Furnished Landscape, Crafts Council Gallery, London
    Nigel Greenwood London

    1993
    Creer avec la Tradition, Musee Municipal de Nevers

    1994
    l’hotel bouhier de savigny, recoit le FRAC, Dijon

    1996
    Morceaux Choisis – 2, Espace des Arts, Chalon sur Saone

    1997
    13th International Biennial of Small Objects, Murka Sobota, Slovenia
    Museum for Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt, German

    1998
    Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979,
    The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
    Lovecraft, South London Gallery, London
    Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979,
    The Mack, Vienna
    Artists From The British School at Rome, Villa Crispi, Naples
    Percezione Angolare, Change, Rome
    Acquisitions 1998, L’Artoteque, Nantes
    Biennale Dei Parchi Natura e Ambiente, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome
    Le Consortium Dijon, L’Usine Dijon
    50M3, Interface, Dijon

    2000
    Live In Your Head, Concept & Experiment in Britain, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

    2001
    Live In Your Head, Museu do Chiado, Lisbon
    Nadia Wallis et Marc C. Chaimowicz, Galerie Joseph Duterte, Rennes
    Art I Accio El Museu D’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
    Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979
    Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
    Bankside Browser, Tate Gallery of Modern Art
    Portrait D’Une Collection Rapide, Interface, Dijon
    Village Disco, Cabinet, London

    2002
    Jean Cocteau, Norwich Gallery, Norwich School of Art & Design
    The Rule of Hospitality, Galerie Neu, Berlin (curated by Cabinet, London)
    New Religious Art, 1992-2002, Henry Peacock Gallery, London
    St. Petrischnee, Migros Museum, Zuric

    2004
    It’s all an illusion, migros museum, Zurich
    Jean Cocteau, Angel Row, Nottingham
    Like beads on an Abacus Designed to Calculate Infinity, Rockwell, London

  • Videography:

    1971
    Sweetness (installation, Sigi Krauss Gallery, London)

    1972
    Celebration? Realife,(Inaugural Show, Gallery House, London)
    Enough Tyranni, (Serpentine Gallery, London)

    1974
    Table Tableau, (Garage, London; touring to Turin, Bologna and Rome)

    1976
    Fade
    Meas

    1977
    Doubts, a Sketch for Video Camera and Audience

    1982
    Partial Views of An Interior

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