Philippe Parreno

Biography of Philippe Parreno

Born 1964 in Algeria, Philippe Parreno is a hugely influential artist and part of a group of European artists that includes Pierre Huyghe. Critically acclaimed, Parreno rose to prominence in the 1990s. The French avant-garde artist and filmmaker is perhaps most widely known for a feature film documentary about a French football player–Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.


Philippe Parreno’s practice focuses on exhibitions as a medium, expanding the possibilities of the gallery space by turning his shows into a cohesive whole rather than a set of individual pieces. Using sound, light, and video work, Parreno creates interactive and transformative journeys for visitors. His films feature a variety of subjects. Large gatherings of people and scenes are shown in semi-darkness, adding to the deliberate loss of orientation for his audience.


Parreno is also frequent collaborator with other artists and curators such as Liam Gillick and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, but also with musicians, arrchitects, writers, and scientists. One of his most prominent exhibitions, “Dancing around the Bride”, 2012 featured soundtracks set to iconic works by Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg. Shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the exhibition’s eponymous predecessor featured at London’s Serpentine Gallery in 2010.


As well as 2013 exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the Barbican in London, Parreno has presented major works with Fondation Beyeler at Art Basel in 2011 and 2012 and at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Anywhen, 2016-2017 Parreno’s commission for the prestigious Turbine Hall in Tate Modern, London included a bewildering variety of elements, from floating balloon fish to yeast and even a ventriloquist. His multidisciplinary and highly conceptual works ensure Parreno remains one of the most exciting artists of our time.

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