This French Artist Appropriates Artwork Historical past And Propels It Into The Current

Supernova, 283 x 283 cm, acrylic & spray paint on canvas, 2020

Nina Simone as soon as stated, “An artist’s obligation is to replicate the occasions. I feel that’s true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians.” If that is correct, then L’Atlas’ mind-bending, eye-opening creations live proof of the period through which we reside. His works are influenced by New Realism, an artwork motion based in 1960 primarily based on a time period coined by French artwork critic Pierre Restany and whose members included Yves Klein, Arman, Jean Tinguely, Martial Raysse, Jacques Villeglé, César and Niki de Saint Phalle. Though they labored in several visible artwork disciplines, they perceived a standard foundation for his or her work: a way of direct appropriation of actuality. They recovered discarded gadgets, utilizing trash, vehicles, concrete, sheet steel and posters as new mediums, thereby reworking on a regular basis objects into symbols of the revival of post-war consumption, and intentionally excluded “noble” supplies akin to bronze or stone. “Restany wrote about artists who used the instruments of their time to make artwork historical past evolve,” L’Atlas says. “He was the primary to elucidate that every period was sure to create new actions in artwork historical past, if solely by the brand new methods that have been arriving. For instance, in graffiti, it’s the usage of spray paint and markers. A complete new esthetic was born as a result of it was linked to instruments, so it pertains to the technical progress of society. I actually like this concept and discover it very true since every time you have got a brand new device like a brand new spray paint or a brand new cap, it’s a brand new collection. I feel creation could be very related with the technical course of, which opens up pictorial fields to me.”

And so that you’ll usually discover L’Atlas aka Jules Dedet Granel cruising the aisles of effective artwork shops searching for unique devices. Amongst his newest discoveries are pure sponges that may absorb virtually a liter of paint, best for large-format items. With a single gesture, you may refill all the floor, whereas a brush, after making a stroke, it’s a must to dip it once more. “It’s in accordance with calligraphy the place you do the whole lot in a single breath,” he explains. “With this sponge, you are feeling highly effective, as you have got virtually all the tin of paint in your hand. Relying on the way you press or what you maintain again, you may kind of let it run or depart a mark. It’s infinite as a result of there are spherical sponges that won’t make the identical mark as sq. or rectangular ones. The thought is to make use of issues supposed for different functions and that may make the gesture and the consequence progress by an object or a way.” Recognized for portray over canvases which have been composed with strips of tape, which when eliminated, reveal his stylized signature primarily based on vertical and horizontal strains, L’Atlas has a predilection for paint rollers as a substitute of brushes, which permit him to precise a extra calligraphic motion, or aerosols with plastic needle caps that give the impact of rain as a substitute of mud.

Viewers get misplaced in his works, uncertain whether or not to take a look at the optimistic or destructive areas, as he methods the eyes by taking part in with proportions of vacancy and fullness to confuse them, encrypting the phrases contained inside. We come throughout mazes the place we’re trying to find a method out, optical illusions the place steadily the letters of his title that has turn out to be his trademark materialize or imprints of manhole covers disguised as carved wax seals. Then there’s the enormous floor compass he created for the plaza of Paris’ Centre Pompidou, the monumental mural he created on the façade of a 35-meter-tall constructing in Paris the place his emblem in geometrical type seems from afar and a one-kilometer-long, letter-filled wall alongside the motorway in Marseille. His nomadic canvases collection sees him use his Rolleiflex to take black-and-white pictures of city streetscapes through which he has randomly positioned his work whereas wandering round numerous cities, as if to map out the websites he has visited.

Experimentation performs an vital function in L’Atlas’ course of. An artist-friend, Olivier Swiz, launched him to a translucent binding gel that he may unfold on his canvases after having utilized tape, and over which acrylic or spray paint might be added to make reliefs, giving his items a textured, layered three-dimensional relatively than flat look. Whereas nonetheless in search of out the very best method to reach on the appropriate top, he’s additionally working checks with a printer, who manages to attain spectacular thicknesses of ink, because the work is handed by the machine a number of occasions, in order that if you strategy the floor, you truly see aid. This seek for architectural three-dimensionality in his work isn’t new, having beforehand produced sculptural canvases, that are without delay portray and sculpture, with the painted letters of his emblem rising in incremental steps. “I attempt to make the hyperlink between portray and sculptural canvases,” he notes. “As I work across the notion of the labyrinth, I’ve to go to 3 dimensions, so my problem now’s to handle to extrude, to create quantity with paint and to do tasks with architects, as an evolution of my work.”

Though L’Atlas didn’t paint through the imposed confinement in France attributable to Covid-19, spending the time studying, writing and sleeping, he insists it was a very good interval as creation requires relaxation and the disaster will outline who has the drive to proceed, separating the true artists with a calling who need to make their mark in historical past from the faux artists for whom artwork is only a pastime. From a mindset of churning out art work after art work, the pandemic allowed him to grasp that he wanted to decelerate, to provide much less however to work higher, with out the distraction of assistants in his studio. “I need to reappropriate my artwork,” he states. “Generally you have got a sense, an instinct of what you need to do, however you might want to do it by your self to get there. You can not categorical it by phrases. Generally it might take a number of years to reach creating what you had in thoughts as a result of you have got a exact concept of what you need, however it seems completely completely different if you do it. Even when the canvas is nice, it wasn’t what you have been searching for, so that you proceed to make use of that course of or that device till you obtain the specified consequence. It’s a delicate strategy to supplies, for instance you don’t know why you’re going so as to add extra water or use a broken brush. It’s simply your instinct. After, it’s data linked to expertise, however which could be very difficult to elucidate. So there’s at all times a component that’s inexpressible, however that’s finally expressed within the portray, which individuals will really feel and has managed to take form between method and concept.”

Born in Toulouse in 1978, L’Atlas’ roots could have been on the street within the 1990s when he tagged the whole lot in sight, however his model has since advanced past graffiti, as he fuses the optical, summary, minimalist and geometric artwork actions together with his analysis on writing and calligraphy to produce an unique typography. Within the goal of making a common pictorial language, he has efficiently embedded the historical past of writing into the historical past of artwork and introduced optical artwork inside graffiti. As of late, the Paris-based artist – who designed the brand for Rihanna’s style model Fenty, was the face of Jimmy Choo’s City Hero perfume advert marketing campaign, launched capsule collections with Agnès b. who organized his first gallery present, and collaborated with Perrier to brighten 200 million cans and bottles – works not solely on canvas and paper, however has been exploring the properties of wooden, metal, marble, ceramic and neon. Not one for labels, his creations defy simple categorization and have at all times served to interrupt down the so-called psychological boundaries that exist between varied artwork actions.

This intermingling of worlds and quest for universality led L’Atlas – who selected his pseudonym in order that it may very well be simply understood by all in any language – from France to Morocco, Egypt, Syria, China and Japan to check calligraphy, sigillography and tai chi with masters like Hassan Massoudy, Mounir Al Shaarani and Zhang Aijun, after having dropped out of college on the age of 21, the place he had studied artwork historical past and archeology. He fuses concepts that will appear diametrically opposed at first, like the mix of gestural abstraction and geometric abstraction, in his collection the place two distinct universes come nose to nose, which he credit to encounters with fellow artists. “I need to construct bridges between actions and I at all times thought that superimposing two issues – one thing very gestural and one thing very geometric – would create a further optical retinal vibration, which is a method for me to make completely different artwork actions dialogue with each other,” he discloses.

After emblazoning his gigantic emblem in black and white on the façades of the Chateau de La Valette in north-central France final June in a method that respects the monument’s 19th-century heritage for the third version of a summer season music and avenue artwork pageant, L’Atlas inscribed the phrase “Underground methods won’t ever die!” on a 170-meter-long exterior wall for the Vienna public transit community. “What I like about outside public commissions is the concept of changing into everlasting and taking part within the historical past of town,” he divulges. “It’s good to promote items which can be going to be in collections, however there’s something stronger on the street since you don’t have to pay to see it: it’s free. They’re completely completely different energies. Within the studio, it’s extra like meditation. If you’re on the street, it’s like an excessive sport or a warfare zone: there are lots of people talking to you, there’s site visitors, the vertical platform carry is basically harmful to make use of. It’s a efficiency, one thing extraordinary that instantly offers life which means, one thing heroic virtually since you danger your life. This concept of risking your life to be everlasting is a delusion that I actually like.”

After taking part in Artwork Paris final September on the Grand Palais in Paris, the primary artwork truthful worldwide to open because the begin of the Covid-19 pandemic, the place he introduced artworks in a solo exhibition reflecting the confrontation between gesture and geometry and a return to his first loves – black and white, yin and yang, vacancy and fullness, the looks and disappearance of letters – L’Atlas can be exhibiting with Paris-born artist Tanc (aka Tancrède Perrot) at UAF Solo Exhibits from October 21 to 25, 2020, an annual salon within the French capital that gives a extra intimate model of the City Artwork Truthful and animates a avenue devoted to artwork within the coronary heart of the Marais district. They may placed on a duo present in collaboration with Floor Impact gallery symbolic of their two-decade-long friendship. Each with roots in graffiti, the pair first met in 2001 and have been inseparable since. Though they work independently, they’ve shared a studio collectively since 2003, and frequently show their particular person creations in the identical exhibitions, even sometimes presenting four-hand items through which every has left his personal mark on the identical canvas.

Uniting letter, gesture, abstraction and collage in his artwork that’s on the limits of the unconscious, Tanc expresses his emotions, moods and wishes in a intelligent mix of power, spontaneity, vibration and rhythm. Like a musician composing a music rating, he produces oil on canvas work by making use of paint instantly from the tube relatively than utilizing a brush, and types evening landscapes by superimposing layers of torn paper. He speaks of the musicality of his creations: “In my landscapes, we will communicate of noise (a method of deciphering the framework of dots that fills the house) or of silence, fullness and vacancy. My portray goes from minimalism to maximalism.” At UAF Solo Exhibits, L’Atlas will show varied optical artwork items, works made utilizing fluorescent paint and his distinctive formed canvases, whereas for the truthful’s central set up, they may every deal with one facet of a five-meter-long hanging scroll resembling a large ribbon unfurling from the sky to the bottom. Think about a kakemono used for Japanese calligraphy or an historical Egyptian papyrus revisited with their distinct modern written languages: L’Atlas will repeat his black-and-white emblem time and again in a type of punishment, whereas Tanc will provide viewers a style of his indecipherable computerized writing. L’Atlas will comply with this up together with his one-man present, Underground Streams, at ArtCan Gallery in Marseille from November 6 to December 4, 2020 showcasing 20 works together with fades, drips, manhole imprints and his emblem set in opposition to a background of salvaged promoting avenue posters which have been ripped and pasted on wooden.

Now to rejoice the 25th anniversary of the VAO crew he based in 1995, L’Atlas is curating three consecutive group exhibitions on the galleries Floor Impact in Paris from October eight to 25, 2020, At Down in Montpellier from November 5 to December 5, 2020 and Martine Ehmer in Brussels from November 28, 2020 to January 10, 2021. The acronym for Vandalisme Artistique Organisé (Organized Inventive Vandalism), VAO initially introduced collectively three buddies energetic within the Parisian graffiti scene, which has since expanded to incorporate 45 members (people and duos) – over a dozen newly minted this 12 months – with a broader outlook, together with the likes of JonOne, Mambo, Remi Tough, Rafael Sliks, Parole and Simek. The trio of reveals will every current works by all VAO artists to encourage dialog on their numerous summary and optical visions of the city world. Concurrently, L’Atlas will placed on a duo exhibition entitled Sides with Tanc at Martine Ehmer Gallery that includes works which may be learn in a number of instructions, creations on spinning motors and several other four-hand items. He concludes, “It’s a solution to have a dialogue inside the summary motion so I can suggest my imaginative and prescient that summary portray is extra common and extra vital in artwork historical past than figurative portray, not solely by my artwork however by my buddies’ works to indicate completely different viewpoints, at all times on the identical topics: abstraction, gesture and geometry.”

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