Jan Kaps is delighted to present a group exhibition of works by Jean-Marie Appriou, Berenice Olmedo, Rasha Omar, and Minh Lan Tran. Addressing issues of identity, health care systems, and mythology, each work on view expresses a form of resistance to society’s norms and its desire to assign fixed roles. The presentation also testifies to the artists’ engagement with the limits of embodiment and perception, leading to new reflections on the autonomy of sculpture and painting today.
Paris-based artist Jean-Marie Appriou is known for his surreal figurative sculptures that combine archaic and futuristic worlds. With an alchemical approach, he often combines materials such as aluminum, bronze and hand-blown glass to create intricate, detail-obsessed works. His sculptures, inspired by the depths of mythology, science fiction and cinema, act as gateways to another dimension where post-human and other sentient creatures intermingle. From mythical tales to subcultures, his works bridge reality and fantasy in a breathtaking, hallucinatory exploration.
Aluminium and glass
131 x 62 x 81 cm (51 9⁄16 x 24 6⁄16 x 31 14⁄16 inches)
Jean-Marie Appriou’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Langhe Monferrato Roero, Piedmont; Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles; Le Abattoirs, Toulouse; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Le Consortium, Dijon; Public Art Fund, Central Park, New York; Villa Medici, Rome; Lyon Biennale; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Château de Versailles; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; and the Vienna Biennale.
There is no stigma of disability in the world I propose, but only variations of existence, variations of movement, variations of slowness and speed.
– Berenice Olmedo
Berenice Olmedo is known for her sculptures and kinetic objects, in which she often integrates prostheses and orthotics. Her fusions of body parts challenge the notion of human wholeness and draw attention to the political dimensions of disability, illness and care. The artist engages with standardized expectations of our bodies and explores the extent to which external aids are essential to human existence. By reusing forms and materials from the medical field, she challenges the pursuit of efficiency and seamless perfection in favor of a more physical, political, and existential contemporary experience.
Stiff Orthoprosthetic and surgical-grade steel traumatology instruments
Berenice Olmedo’s works have been exhibited at the Kunsthalle Basel; the ICA Boston, Boston; the Boros Collection, Berlin; the Dortmunder Kunstverein; the TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Tenerife; the Eres Foundation, Munich; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Monterrey; the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts; the Krannert Art Museum, Chicago; the Museum für moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt; the Simian, Copenhagen; the Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; the Haus Mödrath - Räume für Kunst, Kerpen and the Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte (MUCA), Mexico City; CAPC Musée d’art Contemporain de Bordeaux.
The Land of Dilmun is a bright place
– Firas al-Sawwah
Rasha Omar’s paintings reflect the intricate interplay of life’s unpredictability and the profound impact of her upbringing in Syria, a place marked by the upheaval and civil war. In her art, she embraces the notion of giving coincidence a chance, emphasizing that unscripted moments and the array of emotions they evoke are what define our everyday life. Faces, for Omar, serve as a canvas to depict the complex self-image of humanity. She views them as open letters, rich with narratives of joy, sorrow, success, failure, depth, and shallowness. Born into circumstances beyond one’s control, she underscores the role of societal and environmental factors in shaping an individual’s identity. The specter of war looms in Omar’s work. It compels her to amplify emotions, challenging stereotypes associated with societies characterized by violence. Her art becomes a medium to articulate the conflicts, loss of safety, fear, burdens, and pressures experienced in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Acrylic on canvas
120 x 100 cm
47 1/4 x 39 3/8 in
Rasha Omar has studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus. In November, she will open her first solo exhibition at Jan Kaps, Cologne. She has previously exhibited her work at various venues in Syria, Iraq and Vienna.
Minh Lan Tran’s practice encompasses painting, writing, and performance, exploring the interplay and resistance between language, movement, and matter. Beginning with calligraphy, writing forms an important foundation of her artistic process. Embracing the principles of choreography, Tran carefully distributes different intensities, resulting in compositions that embody the fluidity of physicality. Rooted in diverse traditions and histories, her art addresses themes of social unrest and channels spiritual-political expressions of protest, including self-immolations. Through the convergence of these elements, the artist prioritizes embodiment over representation.
Egg tempera, charcoal and rice paper on linen
Minh Lan Tran’s works have been exhibited at venues including Harlesden High Street, London; the Museum of the Home, London; the Royal College of Art, London; the House of Annetta, London and the San Mei Gallery, London. She studied Art History at the Ecole du Louvre, Paris and the University of Oxford. She holds an MA in Byzantine studies and visual theology from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2020) and an MA in Painting from The Royal College of Art, London (2023).