29 / 03 / 2016

Long live drawing! Our artists honoured at Drawing Now

Dedicated exclusively to drawing and works on paper, the Drawing Now exhibition celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. From 30 March to 3 April, it will welcome the very best practitioners of the medium at Carreau du Temple in Paris 3rd district. Five of the artists invited are part of Collection Societe Generale, from the late Gottfried Honegger to Agnès Thurnauer.

Drawing now
Big news for Jean-Michel Alberola (born in 1953), who’s getting a major exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, and also a focus on the Maïa Muller Gallery's stand at the 10th anniversary edition of Drawing Now. A selection of watercolour and ink works reasserts the place drawing occupies in the French artist's work, more “art itself” than just an initial stage of painting. As in all his work, words link up with images to create vague attempts at meaning. On sale at prices between €4,500 and €18,000, these greyish landscapes (La Vision de Stevenson, 2005) or abstract portraits (Un Sourire de l'Autarcie, 2007) act as unsolvable riddles.

It's a double birthday for Claude Viallat. The ex-cofounder of Supports/Surfaces celebrates his 80th birthday this year, as well as the fiftieth anniversary of his famous “bean”, a shape repeated obsessively in his large paintings on unframed canvas. For the occasion, the Geneva gallerist Bernard Ceysson will dedicate his stand to the artist's works on paper, which are still “little known”, he explains. Some were used as illustrations in books; others are “bullfighting designs” from his workshop that express the passion of the Nîmes native for the bullfight and the course camarguaise – rare figurative remnants in a work dedicated to colour. In Forme Bleue, the ink absorbed by the paper blurs the outlines of the haricot which is turned into a living organism.

Just to hold us over until the next exhibition of Imi Knoebel, open on 4 June 2016 in the Marais the Thaddaeus Ropac gallery is taking advantage of Drawing Now to unveil two original series from the German painter and sculptor. On display will be a collection of his works in pencil dating from the beginning of his career as an artist (1972) to an era when the medium acts as a means of experimentation, as well as etched glass plates from the 1990s. Known for radical abstraction based on colour and playing on composition, this heir to Malevitch reveals a more immediate and spontaneous practice in this work. A must-see for all fans of historical paper works, on sale starting at €3,000.

With the work of Agnès Thurnauer, whose Biotope series Collection Societe Generale has acquired, the medium really starts to take on a contemporary note. Specially for the stand of Brussels gallerist Valérie Bach, the artist has designed a piece of “wall furniture” that serves as a window onto a collection of framed drawings. “The subject of this installation is the question of space-time,” the artist explains, “and of the crossing of history with geography, which I translate using the notion of the X- and Y-axis.… Today, we often leave behind (art) history in favour of being in geography (globalisation). We move from the wall to the ground. My wall wants to deal with all that by mixing drawings of skies, figures of time suspended, arrayed on the ground and becoming geography, and cartographies of language taking their place on the wall –  with landscapes”.

Last but certainly not least among the Collection's artists represented at the exhibition is Gottfried Honegger, who passed away at the beginning of this year at age 98. The Zurich gallery Römerapotheke will present drawings from this key figure in concrete art, whose most famous paintings are his geometric computer-composed paintings and his large-scale monochrome panel paintings. It’ll be an opportunity to pay one's respects before an oeuvre that made its mark on the 20th century.