Patrick Neu Patrick Neu

Patrick Neu

French
b. 1963
/

Overview

'Nowadays, we produce so many images that it gets diluted. It seems to me that starting from images that already have a status, from these perfect paintings, allows you to be more concentrated.'

Patrick Neu's artistic approach tends towards a form of meditative slowness that allows him to inscribe his work in time and respect the cycle of seasons. Diverting materials and processes from their traditional uses, his works call upon gestures of great precision, whether making a tunic from thousands of bee wings, reproducing armour in crystal, drawing in soot on glass or weaving a veil of natural hair. There is often an inherent contradiction between the fragility of the materials he employs and the symbolic strength of the represented objects. Through these meticulous gestures involved, which require complete concentration and great dexterity, he questions the impermanence and fragility of life.  

Inspired by references to art history, Neu has been using black smoke since 1996 to reproduce works by Renaissance painters such as Hieronymus Bosch, Holbein or Rubens. He applies soot from candles to the inside of antique glass cabinets or crystal wineglasses to depict emblematic scenes from the history of painting. Almost imperceptible at first glance, they read in transparency like enigmas waiting to be deciphered. Images that exist in our collective memory are seen in a new light, with these delicate reminiscences from the past linking the art of the Old Masters to contemporary creation. 

Patrick Neu's artistic approach tends towards a form of meditative slowness that allows him to inscribe his work in time and respect the cycle of seasons. Diverting materials and processes from their traditional uses, his works call upon gestures of great precision, whether making a tunic from thousands of bee wings, reproducing armour in crystal, drawing in soot on glass or weaving a veil of natural hair. There is often an inherent contradiction between the fragility of the materials he employs and the symbolic strength of the represented objects. Through these meticulous gestures involved, which require complete concentration and great dexterity, he questions the impermanence and fragility of life.  

Inspired by references to art history, Neu has been using black smoke since 1996 to reproduce works by Renaissance painters such as Hieronymus Bosch, Holbein or Rubens. He applies soot from candles to the inside of antique glass cabinets or crystal wineglasses to depict emblematic scenes from the history of painting. Almost imperceptible at first glance, they read in transparency like enigmas waiting to be deciphered. Images that exist in our collective memory are seen in a new light, with these delicate reminiscences from the past linking the art of the Old Masters to contemporary creation. 

Neu lives and works in Meisenthal, France. Trained at the École supérieure des arts décoratifs in Strasbourg, he was an artist in residence at the Villa Médicis, Rome in 1995 and at the Villa Kujoyama, Kyoto in 1999. Since 2003 he has been Creative Director of the Saint-Louis crystal factory, which is the oldest crystal manufactory in Europe. His work has been the subject of important solo exhibitions at MAMCO, Geneva (2010); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015); and Abbaye de Maubuisson, Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône, France (2018), as well as being included in group exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1997); Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux (2001); Centre Pompidou Metz (2010); and Musée d'Arts de Nantes (2019).

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Group Exhibition Space Age

Group Exhibition

Space Age
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Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming's Against the Light at Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg Villa Kast Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming's Against the Light at Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg Villa Kast
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