The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, December 3, 2021

Alexandre Lenoir's first solo exhibition with Almine Rech on view in Brussels
Installation view. Courtesy of the Artist and Almine Rech © Alexandre Lenoir. Photo: Hugard & Vanoverschelde.

by Sébastien Gokalp

BRUSSELS.- Almine Rech Brussels is presenting Sur le fil / On the Edge, Alexandre Lenoir's first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Lenoir's paintings are like sour candy. They shock you right away, assaulting your taste buds, releasing sugar and citric acid. The colors persist on your retinas. The next day you are still thinking about this pleasurable moment, and twenty years later the sensation remains, like the most intense feelings of your childhood.

These landscapes, interiors, and buildings are as ephemeral as memories, bearing the nostalgia of the past. Like snapshots from an old photo album or flashes of dreams, they are unified through light around the human figure. An ambiguous hedonism inhabits these visions, drawing on the multiple identities of Alexandre Lenoir and influenced by the Caribbean (he lived there during his youth and is from there by his mother), Morocco (where he did a one-year residency), and the industrial neighborhood of Paris where he has his studio. With their large scale and their location on the lower level of the Brussels gallery, these works immerse the viewer in a visual experience that recalls diving into a pool. The diaphanous light of these paintings is offset by shifting color ranges, a textured appearance, and figures that are lacking in detail. This realism echoes the work of many 21st-century painters, including Peter Doig, Daniel Richter, and Adrian Ghenie, indulging in all the pleasures of this age-old medium while still offering a reconstructed digital vision of reality.

However, when you move closer, you realize that something doesn't fit with this initial impression. The image is made up of multiple layers dotted with small, well-defined marks that are similar to pixels. Some parts of the image are extremely clear, while others seem wild and uncontrolled. You suddenly get the sense that this painting was not simply produced by the artist grappling with flashes from his unconscious.

Ever since Plato's allegory of the cave, the Western world has considered the image to be an illusion, a mere representation of reality. But Lenoir's work is not focused on the projected image as a debased dimension of reality, but on the very way in which it is transposed. His paintings are made of layers of color washes. Between applications of layers, the canvas is "prepared" by being covered with thousands of tiny pieces of adhesive tape by his assistants. When the canvas is covered with a new layer of paint, the scotch tape keeps parts of the canvas in reserve, letting us see a transparent lower layer, a technique borrowed from watercolor. The artwork is built on a collaboration involving Lenoir and the images he chooses, the order of operations in its production, and his assistants, who interpret his instructions. Lenoir paints "blindly," using a principle that recalls the technique of Simon Hantaï: he does not know what the image will look like when the scotch tape is removed, just as Hantaï's paintings were "revealed" when he unfolded them. The same process is repeated several times, each layer interacting with the previous one, depending on the medium (acrylic or oil), the preparation, and the painted surface (front or back). Combinations, layering, and transparency are all part of the variations. The painting seems to paint itself. Lenoir's method resembles electronic music, which is made by mixing and sampling. This controlled randomness generates nicely painted areas but also aberrations that irritate the eye. Lenoir has determined every step in the process, including accepting loss of control and destroying the paintings that do not meet his standards.

Painting is an activity, and paintings are objects. Lenoir sees himself as a painter through and through: everything he does is painting, no matter how it is produced or what the result is. From this confidence stems the great freedom in his work. Not yet thirty, he could have chosen the easy path of simply being a talented painter. Instead, he throws up obstacles to his talent, and puts himself in danger by letting go. Controlling everything but multiplying randomness, planning and developing his artistic production without imposing a definite direction, going against the grain by employing discordant techniques — all these strategies allow him to continue to create in defiance of what's obvious or in good taste, staying always on the edge.

Today's News

October 26, 2020

For high-end galleries, it's a season of upended exhibitions

The white issue: Has Anna Wintour's diversity push come too late?

Elijah Pierce, outsider artist, finds a spotlight at the right time

Growing scenes for London artists: Towns and suburbs

Phaidon and Phillips announce joint video series featuring three preeminent artists

Eddie Van Halen's Charvel Art Series Guitar, played during 2007 reunion tour with David Lee Roth, jumps to auction

A first-time survey of Asian art gets a second chance to dazzle

Alexandre Lenoir's first solo exhibition with Almine Rech on view in Brussels

Galerie Lelong & Co., New York to represent Tariku Shiferaw

Social Media Art seizes upon the Utopia of Net Art in new book

Ballroom Marfa presents an outdoor exhibition featuring new commissions from eight noted artists

Sotheby's to auction rare Michael Jordan memorabilia

MATRIX 185 at the Wadsworth marks artist's first solo museum exhibition in the U.S.

Taipei Biennial 2020 introduces political and diplomatic tactics to environmental issues

GNYP Gallery in Berlin presents an exhibition of works by Jenna Gribbon

Kunstverein presents "Cauleen Smith Bronze Icebergs"

How Matthew Warchus generated 'heat' in an empty theater

Great War Memorial Plaque of the first Black officer killed in WWI to be offered by Dix Noonan Webb

One of the world's best collections of T206 baseball cards scores more than $3.5 million

Stars crowd the pages as ultimate autograph album from Battersea Heliport comes up for auction

Greek ghost villages wake up for tourists

Masks, plexiglass and puppets: Atlanta takes opera to the Covid circus

He was a rising jazz pianist. Then his NYC dreams were shattered.

Edith O'Hara, a fixture of off-off-Broadway, dies at 103

Personal Injury Wrongful Death: Uniqueness and Lawsuit

Should You Get a Lawyer to Deal With ICBC [Find Out Now]

Side Effects of Divorce on Children

5 Crucial Signs of a Bad Lawyer

Single Mom Support: 3 Secrets for a Better Future

Why is Satta Matka gaining popularity across the globe?

Gambling in Art: The Famous Paintings Representing Gambling

The Black Box All Funnel Hackers Need

Check these things before you start using the bots in Bitcoin trading

Unique And Thoughtful Gift Ideas For Your Best Friends

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful