Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to announce We Come Together at Night, a solo exhibition of works by Jules de Balincourt in our Salzburg gallery.
The French-born Brooklyn-based artist continues to explore social and political themes in a new body of work. Painted in a post-election climate, the paintings reflect a sense of uncertainty, mystery and a global communal flux.
Ranging in scale from the monumental to the intimate, the new landscapes depict people gathering in places that are familiar yet uncanny. In certain paintings, the circular disposition of mountains and trees allows for an enclosed composition that conveys a sense of both protection and oppression. This feeling is further emphasised by a nocturnal atmosphere — the scenes are often bathed in radiant moonlight or city lights. Yet the choice of intense and colourful hues casts doubt as to the exact time of day. With his expressive use of mise-en-scène, Jules de Balincourt places the viewer in a disjointed limbo, in order to depict a world in which indications of specific place or time are left ambiguous.
In Cradle Cove (2017) Jules de Balincourt reinterprets the long tradition of nude figures in landscapes from Titian to Matisse, such as the Turkish bath (1863) by Ingres, The Bathers (1898-1905) by Cézanne or The Joy of Life (1905-1906) by Matisse. But where the early modernist painters sought to express harmony between man and nature, Jules de Balincourt’s bright palette and fragile figures convey an odd psychological climate.
For Myth Makers (2017) the artist creates a reunion of iconic American superheroes. Jules de Balincourt humanizes these larger than life figures, reinvestigating notions of the American myth.
Painted directly on board with no preparatory sketches, Jules de Balincourt’s paintings initially begin from a purely intuitive abstract space. As the composition develops, the abstract remains visible amidst defined areas of representation. The artist’s intuitive approach offers a free-for-all space for his visionary social commentary. Visually bold in colour and form, these new works consider the struggle to upend the current situation and for people to find alternative paths by addressing individual and collective imagination.
Within these depicted worlds that divide and connect us, social and political engagement mark the present in locations steeped in historic residue. Left at a crossroads of uncertainty, the experience of the artist’s micro-communities teeters between Edenic isolated bliss, and a divided frenzy of anxiety.
Jules de Balincourt, born in Paris, France in 1972, moved to Los Angeles, California with his family in the early 1980s. In 1998 he graduated from the California College of Arts in San Francisco. He has lived and worked in Brooklyn since 2000. From 2007-2010 Jules de Balincourt ran Starr Space, an alternative community space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He has held a number of international solo exhibitions in institutions including Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel (2015), The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2014-2015), Rochechouart Museum of Contemporary Art, Rochechouart (2014), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal (2013), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2010) and Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville (2008).
His works can be found in numerous public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Rochechouart, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto in Italy.