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FIGURATIONS : Another art of today  

Bodies, faces, sections of architecture, lines and signs… painted or sketched, sometimes erased or crossed out, the elements making up the canvases of Doria Jeridi (who has just graduated from the Beaux-Arts in Paris) collide on the empty canvas with an expressive force and a graphic power evoking the distortions and misalignments of Francis Bacon.

Bilal Hamdad, L’attente Huile sur toile 162 x 130 cm 2020 Collection Sociétié Générale

“Bacon said he used frames to concentrate intensity. [I think that art is an intensification of reality. […] What counts is the overall balance of the painting,” explains the artist, winner of the Emerige 2022 Revelations grant, who plays with oppositions and contradictions (between the muted and silent tones of charcoal and the vibrancy of oil sticks, the figurative and the abstract), not hesitating to replace a head with a purple circle… Here is one of the strong faces of the new figuration honored in four successive parts in the Orangery of the property Caillebotte, in Yerres (Essonne), alongside the great figures of figurative painting of the second half of the twentieth century exhibited concomitantly in the house of the painter impressionist. 

Dora Jeridi, La moisson vénéneuse, 2022, huile, bâton d’huile, fusain et mine de plomb sur toile, 179x229cm

Once is not usual; it is thus in favor of the return of the figurative among the young generations that is paid tribute to figurative painters neglected by institutions during the last sixty years. Among the elders, let’s mention Gérard Schlosser (deceased in 2022) and his tight framing, making us voyeurs confronted with scenes of life evoking photo-novels or freeze-frames; Mouna Rebeiz and her flayed nude tattooed with a spray-painted inscription: “i am a funcking painter” (2008); Youcef Korichi with an impressive portrait sprung from a monumental and virtuosic bluish drape (2015); Leonardo Cremonini’s Pop-colored games of entangled spatial structures (circa 1967); François Bard’s falsely hyperrealist cinematographic portraits (2021-2022); Jean Rustin’s bodies in perdition (1998-2002); and Jürg Kreienbühl’s astonishingly modern heaps of garbage and suburban houses (circa 1955).

Lucile Piketty, Attentes, 2022. Huile sur toile, 146×114 cm. Courtesy Lucile Piketty & H Gallery, Paris.

On the young side, Nicolas Sage delivers portraits and architectural landscapes with almost expressionist and theatrical plays of light, while Manon Pellan plays with graphite of the illusionism of the line and the whites between presence and absence.

Manon Pellan, Ghost 22, Crayon graphite sur papier, 112 x 76 cm, 2023

As for Bilal Hamdad, he depicts the solitude of beings in urban landscapes (subway stations, cafe terraces…) provoking a feeling of strangeness that we feel even more strongly in front of Axel Roy’s oil, acrylic, and marble powder paintings, and for good reason: to focus on “the interactions between people” the artist has taken the decision to remove all the surrounding elements (vegetation, architecture, street furniture…). 

The frontier between the real and the imaginary, the figurative and the non-figurative, thus appears to us definitively obsolete, if it ever existed…

Youcef Korichi, Etre Dedans

Maison Caillebotte

8, rue de Concy, 91330 Yerres (20mn from Paris via RER D)

Until October 22nd

Stéphanie Dulout