Partner event

Caroline Achaintre - Fantômas

De La Warr Pavilion, First Floor Gallery

Fantômas is an exhibition of new works by artist Caroline Achaintre. Her visually striking, witty ceramic sculptures and hand-tufted wall hangings incorporate diverse references such as catwalk fashion, carnival, and death-metal iconography, as well as Primitivism and Expressionism - early twentieth-century Western art movements that borrowed heavily from non-Western and prehistoric imagery to find new ways of representing the modern world.

Achaintre's sculptures often resemble masks. Appearing in cultures throughout the world, masks have the potential to take on a life of their own, conjuring 'characters' in the mind of the viewer. The title of this exhibition refers to the mask worn by the shape-shifting French criminal Fantômas, invented by writers Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre in 1911. In the 1960s, a TV adaptation of the novel was made, in which Fantômas' face was hidden by a rigid-looking blue mask. For Achaintre, the mask is a place where fantasy and reality can exist at the same time.

For Fantômas, Achaintre will make a series of new ceramics, accompanied by new wall hangings. She will create the ceramics whilst on a joint residency between the De La Warr Pavilion and West Dean College, an arts and conservation college founded by British poet Edward James, a keen art collector known for his patronage of the Surrealist movement.

Watch a short video of Caroline talking about her work from the Baltic.

Caroline is giving a Free talk at West Dean College on Monday 27 November, Register here

Caroline Achaintre, M.Ennuie 2016 Ceramic 29.5 x 23 cm
Caroline Achaintre, Emandjay 2016 Ceramic 35.5 x24.5 cm
Caroline Achaintre, Berber 2017 Ceramic 40 x 24 x 12
Caroline Achaintre, Mad Cap 2017 hand tufted wool 270 x 204 cm
Caroline Achaintre, Lord Lard 2016 hand tufted wool 470 x310 cm
Caroline Achaintre, Brutus 2016 hand tufted wool 223 x 180 cm