CLAUDE VIALLAT Et pourtant si...
27.10.2023 > 03.03.2024
For the first time, the town where Claude Viallat was born and has lived for over forty years is presenting a substantial selection of his works. It will fill the entire space of Carré d’Art, from the entrance hall to the two exhibition floors. Sourced directly from the creative heart that is Viallat’s studio in Nîmes, this exhibition will show the generosity of what the artist himself describes as his “numerous and spiralling” work – the diversity of its materials, of its dimensions, of its imaginaries.
A founding member of the Supports/Surfaces group and historic figure of French abstract art, Viallat is tirelessly developing a body of work which is at once instantly recognisable and constantly on the move. In addition to his paintings, the exhibition will feature numerous objects, somewhere between sculpture and fortuitous assemblage that are always at once precariously balanced and consummately elegant. Their playful simplicity dialogues constantly with the intense formal and chromatic pleasures of his painting.
This extensive exhibition will afford a vision of a ten-year period during the expansion of a practice that is constantly extending the play of colours towards unexpected forms. The painted fabrics and objects that constitute so many interconnected, tensed fragments of a great house of painting will be presented in every direction, from floor to ceiling, thereby recreating the immersive character of Viallat’s work: here visitors can move around freely, lose themselves along the threads of an unbroken conversation of colours and materials, dwelling in it, as if in a shifting cosmos that speaks both of the world and of ornament, of the archaic and the highly contemporary. In its empirical play with matter, its displaced resumption of primordial gestures harking back to the very origins of art and making, his work conjugates this ornamental, coloured drive in the present, drawing on the first prehistoric artefacts and the avant-gardes of the 1960s, going from practices originating all over the world to a markedly Mediterranean mooring. The polychrome splendour of his work makes Viallat one of the greatest colourists in history, combining the almost austere modesty of the means with the graceful ingenuity of a creator from the Magdalenian. For nearly sixty years now, the subtle yet luxuriant sensuality of this constantly expanding body of work has been a constant source of amazement, emotion and intellectual stimulation.
Exhibition catalogue, with a text by Matthieu Leglise and writings by Claude Viallat.
With the help of Galeries :
Ceysson & Bénétière
From Point to Point
Catalogue de l’exposition