Olivier Mosset


Olivier Mosset (b. 1944, Bern) is one of the central figures in postwar abstract painting, and a pivotal reference for generations of Swiss, European, and American painters.

The acute historical awareness of Mosset’s practice is characterised by his continual questioning of the medium of painting itself and the means by which it resists the repeated assaults of ‘spectacle’ and reification.

This publication offers an extensive overview of his six-decade transatlantic painting practice: from his first experiments in Paris in the 1960s within the BMPT collective (along with Daniel Buren, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni), to his famous ‘Circle Paintings’ to his shaped canvases from the 1980s, and his recent monumental works, exploring ‘appropriation’, ‘radical painting’, and his interest in experimental cinema along the way.

Designed by Gavillet & Cie, and with a special silkscreen print cover, this book proposes a journey through the rooms of the MAMCO exhibition and the successive steps of Mosset’s art, thanks to generous documentation and the life-size reproduction of the paintings’ details.

Introduced and edited by MAMCO director Lionel Bovier, this book features three essays focusing on specific aspects of Mosset’s practice: MAMCO’s curator Paul Bernard on the artist’s filmmaking activities and how cinema constituted a visual model for Mosset; art historian Arnauld Pierre on his ‘Striped Paintings’; and art critic Vincent Pécoil on his idiosyncratic vision of painting.

Two additional essays by fellow painter, Marcia Hafif decipher why Mosset’s painting acted as a form of resistance to the figurative and decorative wave that swept the art scene in the late 1970s.

Published with MAMCO Geneva on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition, ‘Olivier Mosset’ (25 February – 12 December 2020).

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