Jules de Balincourt's painting can be interpreted on several different levels. The image is always an encounter and invitation to escape, going from pure utopia to dystopia.
"By combining abstraction and figuration, I draw attention to our own internal conflict between concrete, objective reality and a more abstract unconscious dimension. This creates a tension between the two worlds in which we try to merge our personal consciousness and our more intimate primitive and intuitive unconscious."
Jules de Balincourt
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is delighted to announce the second exhibition by Jules de Balincourt in its Paris space. This French artist based in New York will be showing a set of recent paintings that move between abstraction and figuration. Jules de Balincourt's painting can be interpreted on several different levels. The image is always an encounter and invitation to escape, going from pure utopia to dystopia. Balincourt moves through space, zooming in on details that attract his attention, as what he himself calls "a tourist of globalisation who consumes culture visually and intellectually and conveys or disseminates his personal visions by means of images." As our gaze moves around these interior images that are like archives of the artist's visions, it is up to us to constitute an imaginary world based on these selected fragments. We go from abstract elements to figurative details, experiencing a great sense of energy and intense feelings, but where one painting offers harmony, another may slide into chaos.
Jules de Balincourt is interested in the twofold, physical and metaphysical properties of the images that surround us. Here they are taken from political, social or religious contexts and endowed with a new coherence by the artist, who makes the most of their paradoxes. In some of the canvases, the real is dissolved by pixellisation, evoking another way in which everyday images are appropriated in the digital age. Jules de Balincourt never uses sketches or photographs: his images go straight onto the blank canvas. "Fragments of disparate realities," "cultural detritus," intuitions, and fleeting images of the world go directly from the artist's retina to the surface of the canvas, which he uses to record a mental experience with an image. Once displaced into the context of an exhibition, this image can provoke a new subjective event. Unspecific Things in Specific Spaces is a view of a sports stadium in a mountain setting. This structure is diverted from its usual function, for here it takes the form of a ruin being explored by people from some utopian 22nd century, whose fragile forms we make out. Worlds Together, Worlds Apart is an exhibition/fiction in which each painting is a detail in the iconography of a speculative mythology written by the artist.
Jules de Balincourt was born in 1972 in Paris and moved to the United States with his family in the early 1980s. In 1998 he graduated from the California College of Arts in San Francisco and moved to the East Coast where he acquired a Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College in 2004. His work is currently featuring in a group show at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, entitled New York Minute (ending 5 June 2011). In 2010 he had a solo show at the Mori Museum of Art, Tokyo. Major group shows in which he has appeared include Greater New York at PS1/MoMA (2005); Notre histoire… at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006); Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation at the Guggenheim Bilbao (Spain, 2007) and USA TODAY at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg (Russia, 2007). His work also featured in Down by Law, a group show in the 2006 Whitney Biennial (New York). In 2012 he has a solo show planned at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Montréal. His works can be found in numerous public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto in Italy. In 2006 Jules de Balincourt created the Starr Space in Brooklyn. For three years this alternative space offered the public a programme combining art, yoga, rock, performance and other events. Jules de Balincourt features in Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting, to be published by Phaidon in autumn 2011.