The 88-year-old artist, born in Romania and based in the Italian town Gallarate near Milan, creates artworks from the remnants of textile companies. It was looking at such monochromatic scraps of fabric, and the negative shapes that remain after clothing had been cut out, that Baruch had an epiphany. The shapes reminded her of Klee's paintings and marvelling at this unexpected artistry gave her the idea to use the remnants to make artworks.

Baruch works in sensual ways: it is by touching and feeling the remnants that they seem to speak to her, suggesting a composition. So she sews, assembles and invents monochromatic artworks from the immense bags of fabrics that she receives. Her completed works, either pinned against the wall like paintings, or suspended, hovering, in the space like sculptures, take on a dynamic presence.

Exhibition view: Marion Baruch, « Le parti pris des nuages », galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and the gallery
Mostly abstract but sometimes figurative, such as suggesting a face or a pair of eyes, the sculptural works enliven Galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou. This is Baruch's first solo show at the gallery, and it gives a new reading of the space as the works interact with the architectural framework with joyful musicality. The question of whether the visitor is looking at the negative or positive shape, the outline or the emptiness, is conveyed in the title of the exhibition, which refers to the forms of clouds.

The fact that Baruch was born 20 years after Italian artist Lucio Fontana is no coincidence. Fontana, famous for his 'Concetti spaziali' (Spatial Concepts) of slashed canvases, altered the perception of painting from something two-dimensional to three-dimensional. In a diametrically opposite manner, Baruch takes slashed fabrics and creates pictorial compositions. The violence happened prior to Baruch's intervention and her resulting artworks, whilst certainly not hiding how the elements were once cut out and tossed aside, gives them a new lease of life and an elevated status.

Exhibition view: Marion Baruch, « Le parti pris des nuages », galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and the gallery
Marion Baruch, Cage, 2012, tissu, 155 x 100 cm, crédit photo Noah Stolz, courtesy de l’artiste et galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou
Marion Baruch, En plein, 2016, tissu, 92 x 53 cm, crédit photo Noah Stolz, courtesy de l’artiste et galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou
Marion Baruch, Continent du vide, 2017, tissu, 355 x 155 cm, crédit photo Noah Stolz, courtesy de l’artiste et galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou