September 12, 2009

Samuel Richardot at Noisy-le-Sec

Samuel Richardot

La Galerie, Center for Contemporary Art Noisy-le-Sec

September 19 – November 21

Quietly re-defining painting in the lexicon of contemporary art, the young French artist Samuel Richardot (born 1982) will open a major solo show at La Galerie, Noisy-le-Sec, in September. A 20-minute ride from central Paris on the RER E, the space, now under the direction of Marianne Lanavère, is pushing the boundaries of the Parisian scene – giving visibility to an international program as well as the city’s banlieue.

“One of the fascinating things about Samuel is his choice to cultivate a practice (painting) that the French art world has been battling with,” explain Daniele Balice and Alexander Hertling, of BaliceHertling, the gallerists that gave Richardot his first solo show in Paris in the spring of 2008. Curator Benjamin Thorel had introduced them to Richardot’s work, just as the artist was finishing his studies at the Ecole National Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris. Although currently based in Berlin, Richardot works outside of trends in contemporary German painting. “In Germany there is a pictorial tradition that cannot be denied, fed and maintained by the schools such as Leipzig and Dresden,” says Richardot, “and now there is too much of a certain type of painting.”

For his show at La Galerie, Richardot will present new paintings – some as large as 6.5 x 8 feet – abstract process works as well as works drawn from a more figurative experience of landscape. Concerning Richardot’s approach to his canvas, Thorel has written that “instead of covering it and taking it over,” for the artist, “the problem is to stretch its spaces, to stimulate its contradictions and instability, and to give rhythm to its surface.”

This exhibition also marks an important transition in Richardot’s practice as he moves into the third dimension – presenting a large sculptural installation composed of materials including cardboard, wood, and images from magazines. “Recuperating, recycling, and in a certain way pulling from the shadows” elements that Richardot finds “at the margins of the creation of [his] canvases.”

Lillian Davies