AXELLE FINE ARTS GALERIE is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new pieces by French artist LAURENT DAUPTAIN. This is Dauptain’s fifth exhibition at Axelle Fine Arts in New York City. Dauptain is most well known for his self portraits, of which he has painted thousands. His unique body of work is distinguished by his subject matter: he repeatedly paints his own face. Of these portraits, Dauptain states:
For practical reasons and for self-liberation, I was inspired to paint my own portrait most frequently. Therein results a series of more than two thousand self-portraits drawn or painted over the course of twenty-five years. This substantial quantity of work sparks my curiosity instead of satisfying it and I have never ceased searching for what the next version will resemble. At the same time, this subject annuls itself by force of repetition. It is a pretext for continuously searching for new solutions, as much from the point of view of formal beauty as technical. Finally, it is the painting itself that is at the heart of my work.
Dauptain’s insatiable need to continuously explore the same subject is exactly what makes his work so interesting and complex. His approach to his subject is constantly evolving. His technique fluctuates between formal and traditional to bold and expressive. He experiments with brushstroke, color palette, texture and level of detail. Dauptain’s artistic style changes to convey a man’s many moods, emotions, ages; as his vision of himself changes, his autobiographical vision on paper develops. In some portraits, his face is recognizable and clear. Others are blurred to the point of near abstraction. This exhibition features several new powerful self portraits complimented by a selection of new cityscapes. Dauptain describes his stunning landscapes and still lifes as “roles of ‘respiration’ between two portraits.” His landscapes, often compared with Edward Hopper’s, appear full of movement and vivacity. His flowers seem to be living, growing organisms, his streetlights seem to glow and his seas seem to move. His ability to execute such highly skilled, emotive work in several genres demonstrates his mastery over his medium.
Laurent Dauptain was born in 1961 in France. A graduate of the Paris School of Fine Arts (1981) and the School of Decorative Arts (1983), he gained a master's degree in Aesthetics in 1984. Since 1981, he has exhibited constantly and received numerous awards for his work, including the Grand Prix of the Salon des Peintres de l'Armée (2003), the Taylor prize (2001), and the gold medal of the Salon des Artistes Français (1997).