Guy de Cointet, “I Dream (Old Woman)” (c. 1968), Super 8 film transferred to digital video, 28 minutes, looped (image courtesy the Estate of Guy de Cointet and Air de Paris)

In the 1960s and ’70s, Guy de Cointet experimented with cryptograms, word puzzles, code, and invented languages in drawings, performances, films, and publications. The late French-born, Los Angeles-based artist suffused this text-based material with a quirky sense of humor and theatricality. Anchored around props and stage sets, de Cointet’s performances fused dry conceptualism with Hollywood melodrama, an approach that would influence fellow Angelenos like Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy.

Beginning this weekend, the Box will present a two-part exhibition focused on the breadth of de Cointet’s career. On Saturday and Sunday, the space will host some of his seminal performances featuring longtime collaborator Mary Ann Duganne Glicksman with Sarah Vermande. These include Huzo Lunmst (1973), in which an invented artist presents her invented artwork; My Father’s Diary (1975), based around a strange book of signs, pictures, and words given to a daughter by her dying father; and Two Drawings (1973) a story of buying, admiring, and deciphering a drawing in West Los Angeles. On September 18, the gallery will open a show of de Cointet’s drawings and films, offering another facet of his enigmatic oeuvre.

When: Saturday, September 14, 7:30pm & Sunday, September 15, 4pm
Where: The Box (805 Traction Ave., Downtown, Los Angeles)

More info at the Box.

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.