Erro and Jean-Jacques Lebel

Galerie Ernst Hilger

March 3, 2011

ERRÓ / Jean Jacques LEBEL

18 March 2011, 7 p.m.

19 March–7 May 2011

1100 Vienna, Austria
Absberggasse 27 / Stair 1
T +43-1-512 53 15
F +43-1-512 53 32
brot [​at​]
Opening hours:
Thu–Sat 12 pm–6 pm

The friendship between Erró and Jean-Jacques Lebel began in Florence, Italy. There was a “Mensa”, a cheap cafeteria for students. It is there that they met. The two artists had very different childhoods. Jean-Jacques was in New York with his family, on the knees of Marcel Duchamp and Andre Breton. And during this time Erró was running behind sheeps, cows, and horses on a farm in Iceland. So the two of them not only have different backgrounds but also a different way of looking at life. And it is because of this that they have been friends since 1955.

HilgerBROTKunsthalle is happy to announce that these two outstanding artists will again work together at the occasion of their show ERRÓ / JEAN-JACQUES LEBEL 1955-2011, opening on Friday, March 18, 2011 at 7 p.m.

The two artists have been collaborating since practically the first day, 55 years ago.

Their first important collaboration was in 1960 when they did a large collective anti-fascist canvas of 5 meters by 4. And for our show here in Vienna, they have created four pieces of work together. So Jean-Jacques Lebel told Erró: “I will show you the photos to see if you are alright with them”. Erró responded to that “No, no, I want it to be a surprise at the exposition. You can do whatever you want.” This is an absolutely marvelous way of collaborating with a friend of 55 years. It is very rare in the world of art, that someone would give you four canvases and say “here, you can do whatever you want with it, and we will see what it will give us.” It is a taste of adventure…

There are not only thematic differences. There are also technical differences. Erró uses the same types of imagery as the Pop artists (for example Wonder Woman) but he completely transforms, critiques and diverts them. A Pop artist takes the dollar sign and glorifies it (keywords: Wall Street and capitalism). In Erró’s works the dollar sign appears in an extremely critiqued and ironic context. Jean-Jacques Lebel on the other hand does not take the thematic approach he does. He does things less thematic.

(texts in passages from the interview: Erró & Jean-Jacques Lebel
Die Wege einer Freundschaft / The path of a friendship)
Ein Gespräch von Heinz-Norbert Jocks)

*Image above:
Courtesy of Hilger modern/contemporary, Vienna.
Copyright: the artists.