The Musée Paul Valéry in Sète sets the stage for a groundbreaking showcase, heralding the very first museum retrospective dedicated to the exceptional French independent artist, Orsten Groom. Opening its doors from December 2nd, 2023, to February 25th, 2024. This exhibition stands as a testament to Groom’s artistic journey.
Groom’s vibrant and captivating paintings, laden with diverse references, dominate expansive canvases teeming with intricately interwoven figures, saturated with signs and pure colors. The exhibited collection features around fifty paintings, including three major series by the artist: ORBE (2019), CHROME DINETTE (2021), and ODRADEK (2022), alongside unpublished recent works.
Born in 1982 in Guyana to a Polish-Russian family, Orsten GROOM (Simon Leibovitz-Grzeszczak) encountered a life-altering aneurysm in 2002, rendering him epileptic and amnesic. During his convalescence, he discovered his latent talent as a painter, leading him back to the Beaux-Arts de Paris, where he graduated in 2009 (studios of François Boisrond and Jean-Michel Alberola) and later the Fresnoy – Studio des arts contemporains in 2011.
Orsten Groom comes from caves and the Middle Ages, keeping history vivid in contemporary art. He comes from the future.
Embracing an independent career between alternative circles and international institutions, Groom swiftly ascended to become a pivotal figure in the contemporary pictorial scene. His radical and independent approach manifests in a multidisciplinary art form, encompassing a prolific body of work that garnered attention through notable exhibitions in France and abroad.
Collaborations with filmmaker Guy Maddin and translator André Markowicz have added intriguing dimensions to his versatile portfolio. Groom’s resilience and innovation thrived even amidst the pandemic’s constraints, leading to the clandestine establishment of the Cabinet Chrome Dinette in 2021 with Olivier Kaeppelin.
The retrospective also brings forth public conversations throughout its duration, featuring painters Hervé di Rosa and Vincent Corpet, along with the writer-curator Olivier Kaeppelin. Additionally, an exclusive catalogue curated for this occasion, boasting a text by Olivier Kaeppelin, serves as a companion, enriching the exploration of Groom’s artistic odyssey beyond the confines of the exhibition halls.
Groom’s biography is equally compelling, showcasing a tumultuous journey intertwined with artistic revelation. From an obscure birth in the Guyanese jungle to transformative events like Tchernobyl and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Groom’s life narrative resonates within his artistry. His leap into the art world despite the aneurysm’s aftermath highlights his unwavering determination and creative resilience.
The exhibition not only reflects Groom’s evolution as an artist but also serves as a testament to his unwavering dedication, resilience, and unparalleled contribution to the contemporary art landscape. This retrospective at the Musée Paul Valéry in Sète promises to be a profound exploration of Groom’s captivating artistic universe, inviting visitors into a world where colors, forms, and stories intermingle, transcending boundaries and inspiring thought.
As Groom continues to shine within the vibrant tapestry of contemporary art, this retrospective stands as a celebration of his unwavering spirit, artistic innovation, and resilience in the face of adversity.