Mai-Thu Perret Edition from Parkett Art –

Mai-Thu Perret Edition from Parkett Art –

perretMai-Thu Perret is a rather interesting Swiss artist who I was not really aware of until recently when I came across a rather intriguing limited edition of Perret’s work being sold at Parkett Art. An exhibition of Perret’s work titled “New Work: Mai-Thu Perret” is currently on show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in San Francisco, California. The exhibition includes works that have been influenced by a fictional narrative that Perret has created called The Crystal Frontier which the SFMOMA website describes as a “a fictional account of a group of women who found a small utopian community in the desert of southwestern New Mexico in an attempt to escape the impositions of capitalism”. Perret started The Crystal Frontier in 1999 and has since produced films, posters, mannequins, furniture, paintings, wallpaper, sculptures, ceramics, banners and performances most of which Perret exhibits as having been made by members of the fictional Crystal Frontier community.

Parkett Art are currently selling a limited edition work by Perret titled “A Portable Apocalypse Ballet (Red Ring), 2008” which is a model of a girl holding a red ring that lights up. A brief description of the work is provided which states that “The purity of the circle, unassailable with eyes closed in order to see”. This work appears to have been created in conjunction with a film that Perret produced called “An Evening of the Book” in which female dancers performed movements in group formation along with simple acts, like cutting through a black banner, manipulating white fluorescent tubes, opening a book, or playing with hula hoops. According to the text by Julien Fronacq that is part of the feature on Perret in the latest edition of Parkett Art “The film
itself takes its inspiration from Varvara Stepanova’s set designs for an agit-prop play of the same title. Viewing the piece in the gallery’s three-projection installation, one can’t help but think of modernism’s most emblematic objects (the monochrome, the
neon tube) or of Yvonne Rainer’s everyday gestures, like walking or sitting, that play down the pathos of dance.”

The body of work that has been produced by Perret as part of “The Crystal Frontier” is eclectic and complex which makes explaining the symbolism and meaning behind “A Portable Apocalypse Ballet (Red Ring)” rather difficult to do in a single blog post. What I can tell you is that Mai-Thu Perret’s has been receiving plenty of attention over the last six months and with current exhibitions of her work at the SFMOMA and Aspen Art Museum there is no doubt that Perret is an emerging contemporary artist well worth keeping an eye on.

A Portable Apocalypse Ballet (Red Ring), 2008 is an edition of 45 and is available from Parkett Art for US$2500. For further information or to purchase the item go to

and you can read more about Perret’s work here:  perret-21

Image: “A Portable Apocalypse Ballet (Red Ring), 2008″
sculpture, opaque non-toxic polyurethane resin, color cast with instant polyurethane pigments, clothing designed by Ligia Dias, beige viscose fabric with white accents and metal buttons, black leather belt, modacrylic light brown wig, solid cast polyurethane resin base, painted, neon ring powered by 12 V CE and UL approved universal wall adapter, 14 3/4 x 7 x 7” ( 37,5 x 17,8 x 17,8 cm) production by Gamla Model Makers, Feasterville, PA, USA, Ed. 45/XX, signed and numbered certificate.

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.