Catherine Sicot

Project Curator 2013 to 2016

On the morning of May 12, 2016, in the Chemin du Montparnasse where Villa Vassilieff is located, artist Iris Häussler is vigorously washing two solid oak doors that she found in the gardens of the Maison Nationale des Artistes in Nogent-sur-Marne. This estate, in the suburbs of Paris, was donated to the French Government by the artists and patrons Madeleine and Jeanne Smith. It was also here that Marie Vassilieff, as well as Sophie La Rosière, passed away soon after the Second World War...

Rui Mateus Amaral

Curator Scrap Metal Gallery

For the last 7 years, artist Iris Häussler has been unfastening doors from their hinges— bedroom doors, wardrobe doors, cupboard doors and closet doors. She releases them from their function as safe-keeping devices, leaving in their absence a tangle of memories, longings and secrets that disperse into the world. But Häussler reminds us that doors, too, absorb the histories they once guarded. Their layers of paint are bandages that conceal the effects of time and use; they are discoloured, bruised, and punctured. In her newest body of work, exhibited for the first time at Scrap Metal, Häussler presents a series of X-ray scans that uncover doors pregnant with expressionist paintings buried beneath coats of black wax.

Philip Monk

Curator, Exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University

The AGYU has spared no expense to ship to Toronto and reconstruct the interior of the studio of French artist Sophie La Rosière (1867-1948), which has lain abandoned for over ninety years. It is appropriate since Toronto had a hand in the discovery of this unknown artist in the first place. Long story short: thinking that they had purchased two modern monochrome paintings by a sixties French artist while on a trip to Paris, two Toronto collectors accidentally discover that the works actually are by an unknown painter who worked earlier in the century. In January 2016, as a result of similar works discovered at the Maison Nationale des Artistes in Nogent-sur-Marne, France, they engage the C2RMF—Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France—to x-ray the encaustic panels. The x-rays surprisingly reveal two erotic paintings hidden beneath the black encaustic...