What have in common these three artists ? They are living, therefore witnesses of our time, and are within the field of figurative art.
Kehinde Wiley has quickly acquired the status of a star with the portrait of Barack Obama became a phenomenon viral. It has three workshops (including one in Shanghai) and was not able to come because of Covid-19 at the opening of this retrospective – the first in France – which will be a date.
Kehinde Wiley, a painter of the epic
At the centre d'art La Malmaison (" Kehinde Wiley, a painter of the epic ", from 10 July to 1 November), the exhibited works are large format, with impressive vitality and introducing a moveable boundary between representation and life itself. Men and women occupy the entire canvas, models and characters. For this series, the painter of 43 years old, born in Los Angeles, of nigerian origin, visiting the works of the elders the great portrait painters : Gainsborough and Van Dick but you can watch these striking portraits without having in mind this reference. Because what strikes one immediately is the strength of the painting, the intensity of the glances, the movements of the body in a trio, a hand, a face captured in its correctness. Topics black, mestizo, in any case, as he says, "non-white" : it is a way that Wiley loves to explore. The painter has added to these oils, a series of stained glass facets in colors refer to the different faces that make up a being.
Young Tree Shots on Jinggang Mountain (2007), Kehinde Wiley. © ©courtesy Templon, Paris-BrusselsVue of the exhibition "Kehinde Wiley, a painter of the epic" at the centre d'art La Malmaison, Cannes. © DR
Olivier Masmonteil, the horizons if the major
He knows " his " history of the art and, in the way of an investigator worked through the indexes, the archive of the remains, paintings that appeal to the collective memory (what we know of Vermeer, Raphael... or rather what we still have). Masmonteil reintroduced these fragments that he has reproduced almost the identical. Everything is in the almost, because what would be the interest of copy Vinci and other geniuses. Thus, he asks the viewer : what do we collect and keep of the past, how do the icons on our perception, what happens to the works once we do see them ? For the series of landscapes, he went into exile in the horizon, and to him the sea, the sky dances, the lines drawn with the chalk line. Something strange is flush with these surfaces, a little disturbing. Seduction first clears, the nature seems to be inhuman, with no place for the man, and we flood ours. The vertigo passes, but the perfection of the stroke color(s) is such that the strange unease, flat, persists.
"West Coast Lake Relais" (2019), Olivier Masmonteil. © ©Hugo MisereyVue of the exhibition " Olivier Masmonteil. Horizons so big ", the "Suquet" of the art(ist)s, in Cannes. © © CALVEL Olivier
Louis Cane sculptures
Louis Cane is at his ease in the sublime villa Domergue (" Louis Cane. Sculptures ", from 27 June to 27 September), located on the hills of California in cannes is dear to Picasso. The villa, the gardens, the terrace lend themselves beautifully to the exhibition of his sculptures, these small or large flips, to reason and decorum. Cane, a prominent member of the famous artistic movement Supports-Surfaces of the 1970's, offers its delicious maids of honour in bronze, but also its gate-steel cylinders and its famous bronze Large Hands of God, 1994. The titles of his works make you dream as much as the delicate designs that make derive the meaning of words or the common sense : Little Witch Ayudaya with his rattle (1993), which builds on a broom, or the "vehicle libello-towed" Picasso takes its colours in paradise (2001), dragonfly carrying boxes of colors. Irresistible.
" Great Ménine the parrot "(2008-2009, patinated bronze), Louis Cane. © © Louis CaneVéhicule libello-towed "Picasso takes its colors in paradise" (2001, wood, resin, wire mesh, fabric, glass, pastel), Louis Cane. © @Louis Cane