French Window is a three-person exhibition project that frames a particular view of contemporary French art. The title of the exhibition is a play on ‘Fresh Widow’, Duchamp’s famous ready-made, and, in this respect, alludes to the neo-Dada strategies informing much recent art practice in Britain and France.
The work of Elizabeth Ballet, Cecile Bart and Sylvie Blocher is characterised by an inventiveness that is distinguished from a post-modernism based on appropriated images and found objects. Blocher’s Decue, la Mariee se Rehabilla (1991) again refers to a famous work of Duchamp’s (The Bride Stripped Bare...), its title translating as ‘disappointed, the bride puts her clothes back on’.
French Window is not only the first time that work by Blocher, Ballet and Bart has been seen in this country, but also the first time that the three artists have been shown together. Although formally all the exhibited work had much in common (tending to resemble manufactured furniture, industrial or architectural structures) their propositions and implications are diverse.