February 18th, 2015

Pierre Huyghe is something of a master of ceremonies for his own art: he lays the ground, sets the scene and then lets things unfold as they will. A self-declared biology fiend and a graduate of Paris’s École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, the French artist has dedicated his career to de-emphasizing the primacy of the art object in favor of more fluid forms of production, constructing “situations” rather than finished artworks.

Time-based and context-contingent, Huyghe’s works often involve manipulated ecosystems—and they unspool in real time according to loosely delineated conditions, integrating installation, performance and film. The outdoor garden he created for Documenta 13 in a large park in Kassel, Germany, for example, featured a live dog with a painted-pink leg, a beehive, and an ant colony. On view through Feb. 22 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the artist’s first retrospective in the United States is nearly unrecognizable as an exhibition. More aptly described as a sprawling mise-en-scène, it draws some 60 works the artist made over the past 25 years into a single environment for exploration.…

Writes by Emily Nathan in Art In America

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