The work of Brussels-based artist Xavier Mary demonstrates a hybrid formal language, all while retaining a clear-cut sculptural aesthetic. The tonality of his pieces seems to be adrift somewhere between the ancient, the brand new and yet-to-come.
Sun Tower - 2022
Past, present and future are entangled in non-linear ways that are a trademark of the contemporary artistic climate. What we find crystallized in the work of Xavier Mary can be termed as ‘modernism 2.0.’ or ‘modernism reloaded’, which goes by many other names (‘altermodernism’, ‘metamodernism’, etc.). Mary’s position as an artist is one of constant negotiation between different regimes, connecting tradition and avant-garde, sincerity and irony, past and future, actual and virtual. Xavier Mary transforms highway guardrails into entangled rings, or turns road lights into Frank Stella-like canvases, geometrical shapes and Platonic solids. Everything that is usually just whooshing by on the highway, mediated through a cage of steel, is meticulously turned into monumental sculptures.