Art & Culture

13 Creatives Interpret Follies in Art

L'OFFICIEL asks 13 artists to consider the concept of folly-making in this original portfolio.
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A field: banana republics poetic in plutocracy and monopoly," 2020. An original composition of new collage sculptures on artificial banana tree forms, related to the body of work "A Field," presented at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University and curated by Amber Esseiva.

Portfolio curated by Kat Herriman

In L'OFFICIEL's Winter 2020 issue, architect Adam Charlap Hyman explores his personal fascination with folly-making as a form of art and escapism in the modern world. As he explains, on principle, follies toe the line between ordinary and other-worldly, transmitting the feeling that order and comfortability in the space is just out of reach. At several points in history, the follies of different artists were deemed perverse or deviant as they broke strict societal codes about structure and rationality. While Hyman was initially inspired by Emilio Terry and Alexandre Serebriakoff's work in the garden of the Château de Groussay, his passion has led him across Europe and America in search of new and exciting presentations of this architectual layout. In conjunction with his essay, L'OFFICIEL gathers the work of 12 contemporary artists who interpret the concept of folly-making.


Hernan Bas
1609653624603387 follies hernan bas blind date at the monster park garden of bomarzo folly building art 2020
"Blind date at the Monster Park (Garden of Bomarzo)," 2020; Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.
Kern Samuel

“I was thinking of the folly as something simultaneously real and imaginary—something that is its own thing and a reference to something else.”

1609653624911247 follies kern samuel a hard head makes a soft ass folly building art 2020
"A hard head makes a soft ass," 2020.
Jorge Pardo
1609653625192302 follies jorge pardo cactus garden unrealized public project folly building art 2020
“Cactus Garden,” Unrealized Public Project, 2015/2020.
Andrea Zittel
1609653625736969 follies andrea zittel panels and portals 2 folly building art 2020
“Panels and Portals #2,” 2020; Courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers.
Cynthia Talmadge
1609653625952243 follies cynthia talmadge wishing well folly building art 2020
“Wishing Well,” 2020.
James Casebere

“These nine identical, asymmetrical, geometric pavilions are each placed on a different side and designed to be shown together in a commons; a campus courtyard, public garden, or square, etc., and in a variety of possible configurations. They would be 13.5’ x 7.5 x 10’ and made of cross laminated timber, enabling use and occupation for isolation, contemplation, or dialogue.”

1609653626269528 follies james casebere nine pavilions folly building art 2020
"Nine Pavilions," 2020; Courtesy of the artist. Assisted by Matthew Brennan.
Katharina Grosse 
1609653626575908 follies katharina grosse penelope s hut folly building art 2020
"Penelope's Hut," 2020; © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2020.
Tatiana Trouvé
1609653626912088 follies tatiana trouv untitled folly building art 2020
"Untitled," 2020; © Tatiana Trouvé. Photo credit: Florian Kleinefenn. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.
Erwin Wurm
1609653627232528 follies erwin wurm henry david thoreau s cabin folly building art 2020
“Henry David Thoreau’s cabin,” 2020; Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.
Sterling Ruby

“This is a concept proposal to use one of the open outdoor structures at my studio as a temporary voting booth folly. When multiplied and stacked atop themselves, a fabric awning bearing the American flag is transformed from a shade shield into a privacy barrier, and a security camera becomes the all-seeing eye.”

1609653627512139 follies sterling ruby studio folly folly building art 2020
"Studio Folly," 2020; © Sterling Ruby. Courtesy of Gagosian.
Matthew Day Jackson
1609653627837752 follies matthew day jackson untitled folly building art 2020
"Untitled," 2020.
Camille Henrot
1609653628171333 follies camille henrot untitled folly building art 2020
Untitled,” 2013; Courtesy of the artist.

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