Gabriel Gaveau


Grand piano, Liquitex acrylic paint

151 x 200 x 104 cm (59 7/16 x 78 3/4 x 40 15/16 in.)

A black Gaveau grand piano is entirely covered with a coat of black paint except for the white keys, the gold pedals and the piano maker’s name. Intact despite being covered in paint, the instrument is ready for use.

Bertrand Lavier presented Gabriel Gaveau at the Eric Fabre Gallery in 1981 during the "Cinq pièces faciles" (“Five Easy Pieces”) show. The instrument is actually a "pianola", a mechanical piano that can be played but that can also play itself. Like all objects painted by the artist, it remains functional, which differentiates it from a replica. At the time the work was made, the act of covering and exhibiting was called the "Van Gogh touch". Lavier was demonstrating the power of attraction of painting itself.

Gabriel Gaveau was exhibited for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the 2014 "Art Lovers" show at the Grimaldi Forum Monaco.