Galerie Hélène Lamarque is pleased to present Claude Viallat: Recent Works, an exhibition of recent paintings on view from November 29, 2011, through January 20, 2012. A public opening will be held on Saturday, December 3rd, from 7-9 p.m.
Born in 1936, Claude Viallat is one of the major figures of French painting. As one of the founding members of the artistic movement Supports-Surfaces, established in the 1970s, Viallat calls for a theoretical and political renewal of art making through an active questioning of the traditional language of painting. He rejects the limitations of traditional art by refusing the idea of subject and the use of canvases, stretchers or frames. Viallat explores the theme of the border between the inside and the outside through the voluntary repetition of an abstract form on a series of large works. This shape is marked all over the loose fabric, tents, rugs or curtains, endlessly repeating
itself in jubilant, subtle, wild and organic colors. This form has become Viallat's trademark and signature.
Each manifestation of the shape is a statement of its own singularity, as each individual is the reflection of the man. As the artist explains, “I wanted to break both surface and space (...) what truly matters is the way in which colors play with the other colors below, how in an intuitive, unintended way, I succeed in organizing the surface with density and intensity.”
The raw and imperfect character of his painting assures the spontaneity of his pictorial gestures. Varying degrees of opacity and compositional overflow assure the repetition of the form, which weaves itself across the surface in endless variation. This rhythm forms a sort of fabric poetry, accompanied by a harmony that radiates from the surface. The effect is hypnotizing – reminiscent of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. A similar harmony emanates from a grille provençale that confronts Vialllat’s undulating vegetal contours with straight, geometric lines.
The balance of these two perceptions is the very foundation of the Mediterranean spirit.
Viallat represented France at the Venice Biennial in 1988. His work is held in many public collections worldwide, such as the MOMA New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris or the National Museum of Osaka.
Viallat's work is also currently on display in Miami as part of a group exhibition at the Frost Museum gathering French art from private Florida collections.