Each pictorial intention of Franck Eon proceeds in two manners: an analytic deconstruction of imagery taken from art history or from extracts of pop culture, and the fragmental composition of these various elements.

The utilization of these citations allows the spectator to identify with the work at differing levels. This identification can be total and immediate, on the verge of parody (Série SP, Derrick, Podiums), or it can be partial, in which case the identification of the appropriated elements become fragmented and diversified. In this latter case, the understanding of the work is conditioned through its iconographic construction.

This attitude creates a difficulty in the reading of a formal coherence in each of these « paintings » due to the fact that the only common dominator is the artist's creative process. And thus distancing us from the notion of the original. Once this method is established, the painting becomes primarily the synthesis of a preparatory reflection. Even the painted object's materiality is reduced to a question of choice: certain work is expressed on canvas, while other work is capable of evacuating this medium; finding its form through video, digital prints (where the ideas of assembly are understandable), and collage (where assembly becomes literal). The core of this process, estranged from the artist's jest, is to create distence. A retreat that is present in a certain series of wall-paintings, where the subtlety applied paint becomes a ghost-like presence that is easily confused with the actual walls of the space, and in the drugged « paintings » that utilize a combined system as their primary constructive principal. Painting for Franck Eon is the placement of a screen, a surface of projection that is capable of proposing new images without looking for originality at any price.

Franck Eon
Born in 1961 in Roubaix
Lives and works in Bordeaux

EDUCATION
1987
DNSEP École des Beaux-Arts, Tours


SOLO SHOWS
2018
Franck Eon, drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre, a collaboration with galerie Christian Berst, Galerie Thomas Bernard, France

2016
Abstraction faite d'une conception plutôt magique de la situation, galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE

2013
Skeletons and illusions, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE
Skeletons and illusions, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
X-Woman, projection included in Sunday's Screening, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE

2012
Skeleton, salle des propositions, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2011
FRAC Limousin, Limoges
Sans titre, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE
Skeletons, Docks Art Fair, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Lyon - exhibition views HERE

2009
Demnächst, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2008
Franck Eon, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibitions views HERE
Galerie Marion Meyer, Paris

2007
Salle Blanche, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes
Franck Eon - Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2006
Taggs in a Museum, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux
FRAC Limousin, Limoges
Oeuvres de la collection du FRAC Limousin, Théâtre de l'Union -  
Centre Dramatique Nationale du Limousin, Limoges
Franck Eon, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, in association with Damien Mazières - exhibition views HERE
Franck Eon, Centre culturel Jean-Pierre Fabrègue, Saint Yrieix

2005
Franck Eon, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, in association with Rolf Julius - exhibition views HERE

2000
Franck Eon, Le Spot, Centre d'art contemporain, Le Havre

1999
Franck Eon, CAPC - Musée d'art contemporain, Bordeaux

1997
Galerie du Triangle, Bordeaux


GROUP SHOWS

2018
Le retour de la mort de la peinture, 5UN7, Bordeaux, France
Another day : Edouard Decam, Francsk Eon, Hugues Reip - collection FRAC Normandie Caen, Ecole Supérieure Arts & Medias Caen-Cherbourg, Caen, France

2017
Sessions #5 et #6, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France

2016
The Past is The Past
, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibiton views HERE
Non figuratif : un regain d'intérêt ?,
Abbaye Saint André, Centre d'art contemporain, Meymac
Sessions,
Backslash, Paris, France
Peinture d'architecture
, Le Garage, Brive-la-Gaillarde, France

2015
Il fallait mettre des choses dans ce vide, La Réserve, Bordeaux
Collection en mouvement, souvenirs du futur, collection FACLim, Artohtèque et Frac Limousin, Ussel
L'Archipel du rêve, Lieu Commun, Toulouse
Jeunes & Contemporains, Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers
Tableaux, conversations sur la peinture, FRAC Limousin, Limoges

2014
Quelque chose à vous dire, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
Choices, Ecole des Beaux-arts de Paris, Paris
Franck Eon - Rolf Julius, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Art Brussels, Brussels - exhibition views HERE

2013
Plug-in I.2, Collection FRAC Poitou-Charentes, Musée d'Angoulême, Angoulême
Campagnes/ Campagne, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE
La nuit, je mens, «la sentinelle», le CAPC au Rocher de Palmer, Cenon
Limousin - l'exception culturelle, Abbaye St André, Centre d'art contemporain Meymac, Meymac

2012
Ventriloquies, Nouveau Festival, Centre Pompidou, Paris

2011
Choses incorporelles, Musée d'art - Chapelle du Carmel, Libourne
Artbrussels 2011, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Brussels - exhibition views HERE
La Nuit Résonance, Documents d'artistes, Lyon
Probable, préférable, plausible, possible, Galerie Dohyanglee, Paris

2010
Matériaux divers et autres bonnes nouvelles, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE
Artissima, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Turin - exhibition views HERE

2009
P.A.O (peintures assistées par ordinateur), Chamalot-Résidence d'artistes, FRAC Limousin

2008
Le couloir des miroirs (art et cinéma) - FRAC - Limousin, Limoges
Larsen - FRAC - Poitou-Charentes, Angoulême
Entre-temps, gallery of the high school, Levallois-Perret

2007
Photopeintrie, FRAC Limousin, Limoges
Imbéciles habitants, (Sechas, Molinero, Otani, Cherpin, Fauguet, Vonnier), Concarneau

2006
Hradacany, curated by Yann Chateigné, La Générale, Paris
Cosa nostra, Glassbox, Paris
Nouvelles fabriques d'images et de sons - FRAC - Limousin, Limoges

2005
Schöner Leben, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, works from the FRAC Aquitaine collection, Limousin, Poitou-Charentes
Projet Cône Sud, Museo de Arte de Lima
Centro Cultural Matucana 100, Santiago, Chili
Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires
Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo, Uruguay

2004
Entropia, Centre international d'art et du paysage, Vassivières
Buy-Sellf, Ateliers Boisson, Marseille
Black Out, FRAC Poitou-Charentes, La Rochelle
Buy-sellf, Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile, Toulouse
Common People !, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2003
Buy-sellf : Lick the window, Atlanta College of Art Gallery, Atlanta
Somewhere between here and there, Curlet, Monk, Eon, Le Spot, Le Havre
Une collection de chef-d'oeuvres, FRAC Limousin, Limoges

2002
Buy Sellf, La Faïencerie, Bordeaux
John, SP is vomiting, Palais de Tokyo, video programmation, Salon Meschac Gaba, Paris
L'art et la distance 2, FRAC Limousin

2001
Exposition de peintures, Mayaux, Pradeau, Mazieres,  Le Triangle, Bordeaux
L'art et la distance 1, FRAC Limousin, Limoges

1998
Kick Off, Sorin, Buchanan, Julien, Waternaux, Rivet Paneque, Musée Geo Charles, Echirolles

1996
Triple Axel, Mosset, Monk, Closky, Tony-Stoll, Salomone, Molinero, Boussiron, Cattelan, Eon, Le Gymnase, Roubaix

1995
No gravy, Boussiron, Janot, Eon, Santa Monica, Los Angeles


CATALOGUES
2011
Franck Eon, avec le soutien du CNAP, Analogues edition
Choses incorporelles, catalogue d'exposition, Ceysson Editions, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Libourne


RESIDENCIES
2001
Grant (FIACRE), Berlin

1995
Silver Lake, Los Angeles, invitation 4 Taxis & AFAA for the workshop PNCI, École des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux


GRANTS
2010
CNAP Centre National d'Arts Plastiques - grant for the first monographic catalogue


COLLECTIONS PUBLIQUES
FRAC Basse-Normandie
FRAC Limousin
FRAC Poitou-Charentes
CAPC Musée d'art contemporain Bordeaux
FRAC Aquitaine

Franck Eon, selected works.


"One of the main characteristics of modernity - often, if not always, is the elimination of the past. In any case, a critical link between art and its own past. Manet's Olympia is the reuse and the elimination of Titian's Venus of Urbino: the goddess is replaced by a prostitute with a body with pasty and cadaveric colours of the city, waiting for a client that sent her flowers."
Elimination of the past through modernity was done by reuse and this was even its condition. History of art, from father to son, is always concerned by the same problem: the destruction of the past by its reuse, a worry that is also justified by the necessity to find for oneself a place in an already established history. Post-modernity didn't invent anything. But instead of elimination, the term appropriation was favoured - with the issues of re-meaning that this induced. A proliferating and protean attitude qualified by Nicolas Bourriaud as post-production, the artists have in common to resort to already produced forms that they program. It is not a question of producing images of images but of taking over all of the cultural codes, then making them work.

"From the beginning of the 1990's, a constantly growing number of artists interpreted, reproduced, re-exhibited or used artworks made by others, or available cultural products. This art of postproduction corresponds with a multiplication of the cultural offer but also, more indirectly, with an annexation by the art world of forms that were ignored or despised up until now. About these artists that insert the work of others in their own, one can say that they contribute to abolishing the traditional distinction between production and consumerism, creation and copy, ready-made and original artwork. The matter that they manipulate is no longer raw. It is no longer a question of elaborating a form from raw material, but to work on objects that are already in circulation on the cultural market, that is to say informed by others. The notions of originality (to be at the origin of...), and even creation (doing from nothing) fade slowly into this new cultural landscape marked by the twin figures of the DJ and the programmer, who both have the task of selecting cultural objects and inserting them in defined contexts. " He goes on: "Any artwork is based on a scenario that the artist projects on culture, considered as the frame of a story - that then in turn projects new potential scenarios, in an unending movement."

With popular iconography intertwined with a minimal craftsmanship whose "texture" is secondary, the painting of Franck Eon's repertoire takes absence of the new and reuses stories of his own medium. Restaging art figures chosen in an elective and repetitive manner from one artwork to another, a recycling seen as a quote that is sometimes knowledgeable, sometimes index-based, his entire work post-produces a multiple culture through acts of affiliation. Television imagery, like the painted portraits of Inspector Derrick started in 1995, meet, thanks to heterogeneous hangings, the views of geometrically constructed or even abstract landscapes of his gallery Cortex Athletico, or minimal abstractions whose motif is the circle.
The same gaps are created in the Podiums series (1999), a series in which painted representations of a famous installation by Chris Burden presented at the Lyon Biennial in 1998 come face to face with a cow off a Swiss milk packaging, and in the same animal vein, Lili the artist's Dalmatian. In the background, a view of Monument Valley doubly assimilated with westerns and the figure of reference of Ed Ruscha. Nevertheless, Franck Eon does not have a particular taste for quotation. The artworks he refers to take us back more to the subject than to the painter himself or the artwork mentioned. Theme references more than referrals, images born from images, like this liner leaving without creating waves from the banks of Futuroscope: motif of the open sea, of travel, of transatlantic liners, of the crossing, of faraway America, and also referring to the paintings of Malcolm Morley.
As personal affiliations, artistic or iconic affiliations, without hierarchy, Franck Eon's subjects are a scenario-based ensemble that he goes through, exploring and re-exploring as if the artwork, once, wasn't enough.
Bringing to mind already existing images like this view of Futuroscope from which a liner is moving away, implementing the same Futuroscope on a snowy Mount Servais, bringing to mind John Armleder's style to start the abstract series of Abstraction faite, the whole projected in an artistic installation without any apparent ending, makes Franck Eon a multidisciplinary artist in the frame of his own subject. Franck Eon is on the edge of painting. A studio painter, an exhibition painter, he explores the different levels of language of his medium in the shapes and in its content, as well as in the techniques he uses, such as tint areas, video or digital image.

"(...) the historical, philosophical and pictorial effects of modernism have been fulfilled, there is no need to go back to them. Without however reviving the fantasy of creativity, or adding to the idea of art as we saw it happen in the 1980's and still today. (...) If I had a fantasy in painting, it would be to understand everything, abstraction, figurative painting... but not in a post-modern manner."

The absence of stylistic commitment - in the representations that Franck Eon does not stage but that he adjusts, marginalises the painting itself in its practice. The effect is to produce artworks enclosed in a form of silence, as well as in something phantasmatic. "John, hey John!", these are the words that he makes the synthetic yet familiar voice pronounce to the sickly Professeur de sociologie painted beforehand in 1999 by John Currin in the animation video John. The empty gaze, the painted figure calls his creator and installs with his appeal the necessity of his presence.

" (...) nothing is supposed to happen at the next step, because the story in which there is supposed to be later steps came to an end with what I call "the end of art". This story came to an end when the philosophical nature of art arrived at a certain degree of self-consciousness. Art after the end of art could obviously include painting, but the painting in question was not going to help any story move forward. On the contrary, the story was finished. There was no other reason specific to History of art for there to be painting rather than any other form of art. Art had reached the stage of narrative closing, and what was created from then on belonged to the posthistoric era. "

The process, based on pauses, repetition and return, seems to thwart any advancing or progressive project in art. What is in play is a new step, it's a moment, a pause during which painting is looked upon in an unobvious manner. When the fact itself of creating images is put into question, the painter is left to interrogate the foundation and the validity not only of his medium, but also of his practice and activity. This is the reason behind this motif, that from then on will find a disillusioned form in the decorative one of wallpaper, where the artist Eon, cloned four times, is in discussion with his doubles in a reproduction of furniture of the Art and Language group presented at the Documenta in 1997. Because the story is not over. Two armchairs remain empty and leave space for a possible intervention. It's the moment where one can imagine a legacy, an origin to start again, "start again differently", in the sense that Cavell means starting philosophy again, and not in a mythical return to its origins, but in the idea, also in the transgression of genres, to rekindle the initial desire.

Marie Canet

 

[1] Youssef Ishaghpour, Historicité du cinéma, Editions Farrago, 2004, p.33.

[2] Nicolas Bourriaud, Postproduction, la culture comme scénario : comment l'art reprogramme le monde contemporain, Editions Les presses du réel, 2003, p.6.

[3] Idem, p.10.

[4] Franck Eon, interview with Patricia Falguières, in Peintures dopées, Edition du capcMusée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, 1999, p.6.

[5] Arthur Danto, L'art contemporain et la clôture de l'histoire, Editions du Seuil, 2000, p.208.