The sculptures, paintings, ceramic works, performances, and texts of Mai-Thu Perret (b. 1976, Geneva) exist at the intersection of contemporary culture, art historical critique, and visceral materiality. She explores (and generates) feminist narratives and counter-narratives that cast the role of the art object in new light, introducing utilitarian, symbolic, and even mystical possibilities in contexts that are often limited to formalist readings. In her encompassing vision, for instance, the development of modernism appears not only as a story about increasing abstraction, but as the outgrowth of biological and neurological patterns that have informed human expression throughout the globe for thousands of years. Perret’s work shows how bodies are always implicit subjects of artistic discourse, and how impulses for utopian transcendence (aesthetic, political, or otherwise) can always be traced back to the physicality of desire.
Mai-Thu Perret has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including Istituto Svizzero, Rome (2022); Le Portique – centre régional d’art contemporain du Havre, France (2020); MAMCO Geneva (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain), Geneva (2019); Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany (2019); Spike Island, Bristol, England (2019); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2016); Le Magasin, Grenoble, France (2012); Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2011); University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (2010); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2008); and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2006). Recent group exhibitions include New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, California (2021); The Musical Brain, High Line, New York (2021); New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2019); and Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now), Met Breuer, New York (2018). Her work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Collection Aargauer Kunsthaus, Arau, Switzerland; Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Perret lives and works in Geneva.