Messe Basel

Art Unlimited
Michel Parmentier

The largest work that Michel Parmentier left to posterity was on tracing-paper, 14 février 1990. It comprises an ensemble of 36 strips in a progressive sequence going from 1 to 8. When exhibited, the work is 16,875 meters long. It was made for the exhibition ‘Buren Parmentier’ (1991) at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Daniel Buren and Parmentier were their own curators.

When asked why their exhibition was not held in France, Parmentier replied: ‘...  in France, our project would have more than likely have become an event; that, cultural prejudices aside, our  work would have been read only in relation to our shared past, our quarrel, etc. In other words, not at all.’ Parmentier, alongside Buren, Olivier Mosset, and Niele Toroni formed the group Buren – Mosset – Parmentier – Toroni in 1966, radically changing the history of painting  in Europe forevermore.

Michel Parmentier (born 1938 in Paris; died 2000 in Paris) was an active and influential figure within the postwar critique of traditional modes of art-making. Grounding his practice on a denial of gesture or narrative, he is best known for the highly standardized, horizontally-striped canvases painted between 1965 and 1968.