66ème Salon de Montrouge
Curated by Coline Davenne and Guillaume Désanges
Le Beffroi, Montrouge, October 2022


There is humanity and fineness in the work of Jules Lagrange. There is anger, sadness and directness as well. His wooden works are both receptacles and displays that protect as much as they reveal the objects they contain. In them, we perceive the tireless work of the craftsman who continues his work in a repetitive and meditative gesture, as if to heal his wounds. This gesture, which is eventually exhausted by repetition, also exhausts the body and makes it suffer. A failing craftsman, he sometimes gives in to the doubts, hesitations and fertile fears of the artist. Finally, there is the tireless work of mourning, which can never be looked over. It is embodied, physically, in small objects that would be considered insignificant if they were not relics: small things recovered from his family home, such as a magnetised photographs taken from his mother’s refrigerator (Magritte Castle – Roman Bronze Bell, 2019), or objects that belonged to his brother, whose suicide in 2014 continues to influence his practice. There are also small objects found in his room: postcards taken down from walls (A Forest, 2021), trinkets scattered on a desk (Lord of the Ring Limbs Pillars, 2022), newspaper articles forgotten in a drawer (Solaar Ask, 2021)…

The wooden boxes that shelter these relics are patiently sculpted and assembled by hand, following ancestral cabinet-making techniques. They become reliquaries with graphic decorations and cenotaphs in memory of his brother and all the disillusioned victims of our precarious pop culture. For they are also steles erected in honour of a youth that burnt out too quickly, in a rural area with no cultural landscape, where students are discouraged from taking an interest in art, where the village church is the only gateway to sculpture and painting. Beyond his personal history to atone for, Jules Lagrange’s works crystallise what he calls “the dreams and hopes cultivated at that time for young people.” Here are the disillusions of a generation that grew up in the 1990s, at a time when shopping centres were gradually approaching surrounding villages, residences were springing up in the middle of fields and dreams of glory and transgression were being dreamt of with the first icons printed on glossy paper. The excellence of the hand, which he cultivates with fineness, is then affirmed as a mockery to cultural mediocrity.

From the church he visited with his grandmother, and whose nostalgic memory he filmed in Filmer c’est voir disparaître [To Film Is to Watch Disappear] in 2018-2021, he retained the memories of the wooden sculptures, the church vaults, the bas-reliefs, the capitals and the grotesque figures that populate them, like a foundational formal influence. A horizon rather than a devotion. References to folk art and traditions are omnipresent in his work, like a field of knowledge to be reappropriated, in material, technique and form. Dovetails, mortises and tenons, gouges and wood chisels are as much a part of his vocabulary as drawing which, perhaps paradoxically, is never too far away. Both surreal and graphic, his works draw from Robert Gober’s disturbing assemblages, Joseph Cornell’s melancholic boxes, Forrest Bess’s abstract paintings and Paul Thek’s visionary works. Nostalgic containers of a world that needs to be reclaimed, gestures of care and survival, Jules Lagrange’s works reintroduce slowness and beauty into the heart of things.

Coline Davenne

A Torn-Apart Book Of Myself
Works by Jules Lagrange and Klaus Lutz
Curated by François Piron
Je vous propose, Zurich, March 2019


Jules Lagrange consistently works with the left-overs and debris of a personal and collective history, consciously using obsolescent techniques, tools and material as a way to engage against certain modes of industrial production, and against an accelerated circulation of images and objects. Instead, he pays attention to the vernacularism of certain crafts and traditions and the emotions they convey. 

The four sculptures he presents in this exhibition look like altars, cabinets, coffins and memory boxes, which have been patiently and skillfully crafted from wooden planks he has taken away from his family house. These sculptures whisper that they are the relics of a past, carefully transformed into containers of desire and dreams, standing in the limbos of time. They drive our attention toward tiny details: their lockers and drawers suggest that there is always more to guess than to actually see, while scratches, traces and torn-apart photographs stapled on their surfaces show the mark of time and childhood memories, as in the delicate glass cases once made by Joseph Cornell. A shadow puppet theatre, shot and edited in 16 mm film by Jules Lagrange together with a group of school kids, completes this ensemble. The exhibition shows along these works two leporello books of etchings by the late Swiss artist Klaus Lutz, a devoted admirer of the writings of Robert Walser. Herby, Jules Lagrange and I are willing to pay this tribute to Klaus Lutz, an underrated artist and filmmaker whose film and graphic works always bear a humble look covering an incredibly layered and complex labour, exactly as Robert Walser used to say when asked why he had stopped writing novels: “The novel I am constantly writing is always the same one, and it might be described as a variously sliced-up or torn-apart book of myself.” 

François Piron

Jules Lagrange (b. Besançon, France)


  • 2016 Post-diplôme, ENSBA, Lyon (FR)
  • 2014 MFA, ENSBA, Lyon (FR)
  • 2013 IADT, Dublin (IR)
  • 2012 BA, ENSBA, Lyon (FR)


  • 2024 (upcoming) Rigaproject, St-Pierre-de-Trivisy, Tarn (FR)
  • 2023 La cité des Arts, Paris (FR)
  • 2022 Les Capucins Centre d’art, Research residency, Embrun (FR)
  • 2019 Artist in Residency DTA, Holstebro (DK)
  • 2017 Orange Rouge, Paris (FR)
  • 2015 Asterides, La Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille (FR)

Solo and duo exhibitions

  • 2024 Small Town Boys, La Tôlerie, Clermont-Ferrand, (FR)
  • 2023 Cometa, Paris, (FR)
  • 2023 Bones Brigade, Atelier W, Pantin, (FR)
  • 2019 Never For Ever, Roussin, Paris, (FR)
  • 2019 A Torn-Apart Book of Myself, with Klaus Lutz, je vous propose, Zurich, (CH) 
  • 2018 Never Tear Us Apart, galerie Zookeeper, Paris (FR)
  • 2016 By Means of Necessity, Guillotière, Lyon (FR)
  • 2015 Faust Resurrection, Glassbox, Paris (FR)

Group exhibitions

  • 2024 (upcoming) Toucher l’insensé, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (FR)
  • 2023 Les assistantes du vide, la salle de bain, Lyon (FR)
  • 2022 Atlas of atlas, Brasserie Atlas, Bruxelles (BE)
  • 2022 66ème Salon de Montrouge, Le Beffroi, Montrouge (FR)
  • 2022 Things we suspected (from each other), Nekkersdal, Bruxelles (BE)
  • 2021 Acme vision, SB34, Bruxelles (BE)
  • 2021 Mort is more, funeral Arts and crafts, Brasserie Atlas, Bruxelles (BE)
  • 2017 Jeune Création 67, Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin (FR)
  • 2017 Public Pool #3, FRAC Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Dunkerque (FR)
  • 2016 Mig 28, Réfectoire des Nonnes, Lyon (FR)
  • 2015 Aperçu avant impression, Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille (FR) 
  • 2015 Brekekex, Treize, Paris (FR)
  • 2015 Les enfants du Sabbat 16, Le Creux de l’enfer, Thiers (FR)

Screenings and Performances

  • 2024 (upcoming) Small Town Boys, La Tôlerie, Clermont-Ferrand (FR)
  • 2022 Anubis Despair, Le Beffroi, Montrouge (FR)
  • 2022 Anubis Despair, SB34, Bruxelles (BE)
  • 2022 La première fois, La Galerie – Centre d’Art, Noisy-le-Sec (FR)
  • 2019 Pugnant Film Series, Athens (GR)
  • 2019 Supermarket Artfair Screening, Stockholm (SE) 
  • 2018 Horn Festival, Musrara Art School, Jerusalem (ISR) 
  • 2018 Orange Rouge, La Femis, Paris (FR)
  • 2017 Les Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (DE)
  • 2017 Les Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, La Gaïté Lyrique, Paris (FR) 
  • 2016 Paraphernalia, Musée des Confluences, Lyon (FR)
  • 2016 Fiction quintuple Feature, Mains d’œuvres, St. Ouen (FR)
  • 2015 Festival Internacional de Videoarte de Camaguey (CU)
  • 2014 D3 sound Festival, FRAC Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Dunkerque (FR)
  • 2014 Bande à part, Magic Cinema, Bobigny (FR)


  • 2019 Ce que Laurence Rassel nous fait faire, with Agathe Boulanger and Signe Frederiksen, Paraguay Press, Paris (FR)
  • 2019 Article for the journal of the Kandinsky library’s summer university, with Agathe Boulanger and Signe Frederiksen, Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR)
  • 2015 Article for Initiales’s magazine n°6 on Jean Christophe Averty, Ensba Lyon (FR) 
  • 2015 Zone d’expérimentation #10, Astérides, Marseille (FR)

Prices and grants

  • 2018 Aide à la création, DRAC Bourgogne Franche-comté (FR)
  • 2017 Diamètre price, Jeune Création 67, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin (FR)

Seminars and workshops

  • 2023 Workshop organisé dans le cadre de l’exposition Exposées, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (FR)
  • 2021 Qu’est-qu’on fout là? Béton-salon, with Signe Frederiksen and Agathe Boulanger, Paris (FR)
  • 2019 Art Pathologies Symposium, in conversation with Laurence Rassel, Forde, Genève (CH)