exhibition 25 April - 15 June 2013
exhibition 13 September - 11 October 2014
exhibition 3 September - 15 October 2016
If an ultime proof of the inconsequence of artists’ « careers » was necessary, just remember that there has been no solo exhibition of Dominique Figarella’s paintings in Paris since 2000 (that was in Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery).
This absurd retirement is neither arrogant nor eloquent; simply, it is beyond understanding.
For some years, Dominique Figarella has sometimes stuck on his paintings digigraphy prints of scenes, which seem to have been taken in the studio, inhabited by a human presence, never strictly appearing as the artist himself. These scenes always look Eden-like: sunlights, paintings carried like surfboards, crossed legs you guess with feet up…
Dominique Figarella obviously gives the looker-on the image of a “practice” which has nothing to do with “work”, but also that of an “object” which still remains an “adventure”. The anarchists of the end of the nineteenth century, Mallarmé and Fénéon circle, Incoherent Arts, Dada, Fluxus, situationists, are the members of the genealogy he indisputably proclaims, dominated by Kurt Schwitters and George Brecht. Dominique Figarella means to take his revenge on bourgeois, even aristocratic painting, to substitute it for craftsman painting.
To Dostoyevsky’s ambiguous motto, “beauty will save the world”, apparently, Albert Einstein echoed, “ craftsmanship might well save the world”. Between the two of them, Dominique Figarella has found room for a studio.
No doubt the colors Figarella employsblack, white, and redare what make one think of Malevich’s Suprematism; it could also be the eclipse that is suggested here, echoing the Russian painter’s black square, the objective world obscured behind the objectless.
But in a subtle reversal it’s the masking itself that makes the idea of a figure appear, conjuring the highly mechanized figures of an El Lissitzky; it’s the black bar of anonymity that brings a certain determination to the formless structure of spots, much more reminiscent of the universe of Miró. There is an exhilarating tension that animates these paintings: in the emergence of a geometric order from the apparent randomness, rectilinear forms that structure an always overflowing dynamism.
extract of an article published in ARTFORUM, Septembre 2012
pen, pencil, painting on alucore
64,5 x 70 cm
painting on wood
60 x 60 cm