Galerie Nathalie Obadia is delighted to present Enfances (Childhoods), a group exhibition bringing together the works of nineteen artists represented by the gallery. Photographs, sculptures, paintings, drawings and installations converse around a common theme: childhood. We gradually leave behind the real world, as we wander through hostile and fantastical territories.


In The Painter of Modern Life (Le Peintre de la vie moderne, 1863), Charles Baudelaire defines children as "creatures of sensations" for whom "sensibility occupies the entire being." Most modern artists and writers draw their inspiration from the French poet, trying to renew with the child's profound and joyous curiosity. However, children's social status has not always been what it is today: adults have often projected their ideologies, fantasies and worldviews onto them. The way we look at children is thus deeply linked to the times in which they lived. Their representations in painting and literature attest to their different evolutions.


So what does it mean to be a child in the 20th and 21st centuries? How do contemporary artists tackle this timeless subject? The exhibition Enfances is steeped in the universe of these lives of sensations. The figure of the child appears alone or in a group, mysteriously slipping away, sometimes even splintering under the artist's brushstroke. When it is absent, a whole iconographic universe replaces it: accessories, stuffed toys, dolls, and other games punctuate these realms of fantasy, reflecting the child's boundless imagination.


Enfances was conceived by Maimiti Cazalis, Executive Director of Galerie Nathalie Obadia.


With works by Brook Andrew, Valérie Belin, Carole Benzaken, Luc Delahaye, Patrick Faigenbaum, Roger-Edgar Gillet, Laura Henno, Fabrice Hyber, Seydou Keïta, Sophie Kuijken, Benoît Maire, Laure Prouvost, Antoine Renard, Sarkis, Andres Serrano, Joris Van de Moortel, Agnès Varda, Wang Keping and Jérôme Zonder.