16 Juillet 1988


Strokes of leaden nibs on paper

Overall dimensions: 307.5 x 687.5 cm (121 1/16 x 270 11/16 in.)

16 juillet 1988 (16 July 1998) is a monumental work comprised of twenty-five folded widths of paper, which evoke both Chinese scrolls and the large size paintings of the European tradition. An irregular pencil scribbling runs on the surface, giving shape to a random writing, evidence of the physical involvement of Michel Parmentier in the creation of the work.

Parmentier made a name for himself on the contemporary art scene in the 1960s, when he developed a systematic and objective procedure consisting in painting on canvas bands of colour of the same size. Here, the artist lets the jolts immortalise the twitches of his fingers on the pencil, radically moving away from his colour bands and from his quest for a neutral artistic gesture.

The work 16 juillet 1988 was first shown by the Pinault Collection at the 2016 “Accrochage” (“Hanging”) exhibition at the Punta della Dogana.