Since the early 1990s, Sophie Delaporte has made airy, edgy images for fashion and design clients such as Jean Paul Gaultier and i-D magazine, which have also found a home in art galleries and books. “Postmodern Mysteries,” Delaporte’s third show at Sous Les Etoiles Gallery in New York City, which opens May 12 and runs until June 11, collects images she made in collaboration with Astier de Villatte, French designers and producers known for their ceramics, furniture and offbeat products including scented candles that evoke odd places (San Francisco’s Alcatraz smells like “yerba maté with its notes of dried hay, smoked lignum vitae and cinnamon spiced with black pepper,” according to the website). In spare, richly colored images, Delaporte stages scenes using maps, globes and rooms piled with old furniture, and starring the principals of the Paris company. Like stills from a surreal romanic comedy, Gallicly stylish men and a woman in red share a pot roast dinner or play a grown-up version of blind man’s bluff. The images are collected in a book with an essay by critic Vicki Goldberg, who also wrote the introduction to Delaporte’s 2011 book of nudes published by the gallery. The Astier de Villatte images, writes Goldberg, “involve no crime and have no solution other than anyone’s guess…The whimsy is one facet of an off-beat sense of humor that manages to combine melancholy, portents, and absurdity; cherishes fantasy; and relishes the odd and the almost ridiculous.” An artists talk at the gallery is scheduled for May 16—perhaps Delaporte will explain the inexplicable.
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