Olivier Mosset: Retrospective

Collection :

Monographs & Artists’ Books

Editor(s) :

Lionel Bovier

Author(s) :

Arnauld PierreLionel BovierMarcia HafifPaul BernardVincent Pécoil

Cover type :


Dimensions :

225 x 305 mm

Pages :


Pictures :

80 colors and 20 b/w

Price :

CHF49 / €40 / £36 / $48

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An extensive overview of Olivier Mosset's six-decade painting practice

Olivier Mosset (b. 1944, Bern; lives in Tucson, Arizona, and Switzerland) 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 characterized by his continual questioning of the medium of painting itself and the means by which it resists the repeated assaults of “spectacle” and reification.

Published on the occasion of the artist’s retrospective at MAMCO Geneva, 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 and 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, the book proposes a journey through the rooms of the exhibition and the successive steps of Mosset’s art, thanks to generous documentation and the life-size reproduction of the paintings’ details. The book’s cover is silkscreened and reproduces a life-size detail of one of Mosset’s most iconic paintings.

Introduced and edited by MAMCO director Lionel Bovier, the 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”; art critic Vincent Pécoil on his idiosyncratic vision of painting; and two essays by fellow painter Marcia Hafif—they met in 1978 in New York—which 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, February 25–December 12, 2020.

Olivier Mosset

Olivier Mosset is one of the central figures of postwar abstract painting, and an essential reference for several generations of European and American painters. First associated with Daniel Buren, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni in the ephemeral constellation B.M.P.T., his series of circles repeated tirelessly during the 1960s is among the most frequently referenced works of that period.

Mosset has lived in the United States since 1977, and has been part of New York art scene since the 1980s. With the same analytical rigor that characterized his early work, his more recent painting explores the fields of monochrome or geometric abstraction. Mosset is one of the few European painters to be part of the legacy of great American painting alongside figures such as Frank Stella, Robert Ryman, and Barnet Newman. This has not prevented him from remaining attentive to developments elsewhere in the art world, and from supporting the practices of artists different from his own.

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