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Press Release

Sean Kelly is delighted to present Élysée, a new film by Laurent Grasso. This will be the first time the work will be shown in the US. The opening reception will take place on Friday, May 5 from 6-8 pm. The artist will be present.

In Élysée, Grasso creates an intimate and profoundly elegant portrait of power through a sweeping visual exploration of the Salon Doré (or Golden Room), the office of the President of the French Republic at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Grasso was invited to create the work by the Archives Nationales for the exhibition Le Secret de l’Etat (The Secret of the State) at the Hôtel de Soubise in Paris and was the first artist to receive special authorization to film inside this historic and enigmatic room, where the future of the nation is decided.

In this immersive and spellbinding film, the camera slowly and methodically pans over the sumptuous surfaces of the Salon Doré, relishing its gilded splendor. It is a transcendent and disorienting visual feast of royal regalia, interrupted only by the presence of routine office items––piles of paperwork, a telephone, ballpoint pens, etc. The juxtaposition of fantasy and reality, past and present, interrogates the continuity of power, primarily how it exists above and beyond its incarnation manifested in any one individual.

The first of a series of films that Grasso plans to devote to places of power, Élysée was produced by a professional film crew and features an original score composed by Nicolas Godin, one half of the critically-acclaimed French electronica duo Air. Hypnotic and mesmerizing, the film offers a poignant reflection on the aesthetics of authority during an era of political upheaval and uncertainty––from the impact of Brexit to the unknown outcome of the current French elections.

Grasso’s work has been exhibited worldwide, with recent solo exhibitions at the Palais Fesch - musée des Beaux-Arts, Ajaccio, France (2016); Fondation Hermès, Tokyo, Japan (2015); Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz Switzerland (2013); Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montréal, Canada (2013), which traveled from the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France (2012); the Bass Museum, Miami (2011) and at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2011). He has also been featured in major group shows at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts; the Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France; the Centro National de las Artes, Mexico City; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, California; Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona, Spain; and at ZKM, Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany, amongst others. Grasso has created several public installations, including Solar Wind, which was inaugurated in early 2016. A monumental light installation mapping the cosmic flow of charged particles from the Sun, the work is projected onto the walls of a pair of concrete silos next to the Boulevard Périphérique in Paris’ 13th arrondissement. Grasso’s work has been included in numerous international biennials, including the Gwangju Biennial, South Korea; the Moscow Bienniale, Russia; and the Sharjah Biennale, United Arab Emirates, amongst others. Most recently, Grasso was selected to participate in the 21st Biennale of Sydney in 2018.

In 2016, Grasso was the subject of a major solo exhibition, Paramuseum, at the Musée des beaux-arts au Palais Fesch in Ajaccio, Corsica. The accompanying catalogue, featuring Élysée and related works, will be available for purchase at the gallery during the exhibition.

Élysée was co-produced with Archives Nationales, France, and Edouard Malingue Gallery; with support from Digital District ART.

Concurrent with Elysée, Sean Kelly will present Kehinde Wiley: Trickster in the main upstairs and front gallery spaces.

For media inquiries, please contact: Christine McMonagle at 212.239.1181 or

For all other inquiries, please contact: Cecile Panzieri at 212.239.1181 or

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11am until 6pm and Saturday from 10am until 6pm