The gallery Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico is delighted to present the new exhibition of Franck Eon with two series of recent paintings: Abstraction faite (crépusculaire) which echoes the works of the 1990s in which he developed the motif of the circle, the basis of his plastic language and Talisman which presents a more complex structural composition.
"Epiphany. At the origin of each Frank Eon's painting, the question of apparition comes up. And in this series, recent, new, the solution that was found is the colour. Far from performing again an intimate quest of a personal palette or from exposing the ecstasy of a colourist, it acts rather as an internal lighting. Also, the orange chosen by the artist is a revealing factor, a projector which has for mission to give structure and to animate the canvas. The colour, as an immanent conductor, gives structure and autonomy to the work. It is there, as a vital force that ensures the architecture and the existence per se of the painting. Without it, no life, no sight. Thus, so to speak, there is no subject. Or rather, only one: the colour as the vector of materiality. The figurative architectural elements have left the canvas. Only a few circles come to settle and to move on it. A bit in the manner of a sentence being dictated. The round forms are sensible fragments, scraps of an elementary intimate language, as much as syntactic units that only the artist would recognise. At the source of these new pictorial creations, is the expression of an artist making one with his gesture. Then, saying means taking action, we would be tempted to affirm with Austin, because, there is truly something in Franck Eon's painting resembling to a statement, the meaning of which we would willingly pierce and sound out, by a visual examination, to start with.?
Léa Chauvel-Lévy, 2016
Léa Chauvel-Lévy : Is the series that you present at the gallery Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico new? Have you conceived it for the exhibition?
Franck Eon : Yes, these paintings are recent, I have been working on them since this summer and they are an extension of a series shown at Cortex in 2013 in which I had speculated upon, fantasised about very abstract places, spaces of projection and of apparition of images. There was a very « metaphysical » atmosphere in these paintings (I don't know if we can speak of the metaphysics of painting), but I had in mind to talk about painting and its environment, as if it could provoke, contain or absorb its environment. I like this idea.
L C-L : In this little series of circles that come alive in your painting, the colour dominates?
FE : Yes it dominates and it largely contributes to the magic of the situation. I remember hearing Hugo (Pernet or Schüver-Boss, I don't remember) talking very appropriately about painting as an extinguished image. The paintings « abstraction faite » , the « twilight » version as my gallerist justly calls them, do not have colour strictly speaking, they benefit rather of a light that comes from the exterior and keeps them thus in semi-obscurity. The painting in the process of extinguishing itself or maybe of lighting itself up, I don't know. This is what the colour allows me.
L C-L : And the little paintings, the « Talisman »?
FE : In what concerns the series of « Talisman », I make the choice (despite the statement of both Hugos) to lighten up the painting as much as possible and as much as I can, using and abusing this « orange » that comes to light it, burn it, irradiate it from all angles. The lights emerge from the background, or spread laterally, sweeping across the surface from left to right, from top to bottom or set down on it in order to flatten it better. By this choice, I have a lot of liberty and I don?t hesitate to use it.
L C-L : But you have nonetheless chosen this orange?
FE : Yes, it is true, I foresee with orange more possibilities of light and texture. Lights and textures that escape from symbolical connotations such as red or from too naturalistic ambiances such as yellow. By spreading this orange, we can quickly create an illusion, pass from materiality to antimateriality, be projected in the depths of the earth (of magma) or those of the cosmos. Said in this manner, it is a bit like a comic?
L C-L : And between the depths of the earth and those of the cosmos ?
FE : Above all, I like to develop such contrast, to make appear in painting the sort of spaces, moments of painting that can either draw us closer or drive us away from the subject. Painting becomes complex if it brings us to believe, to think that the subject is related to the space surrounding it. Everything is there to make us believe it : outlines, backgrounds form themselves around the subject, as well as lighting favourable to the credibility of an image.
L C-L : And it is in this sense that the magic operates ?
FE : Yes.
L C-L : Let's talk about the circles, the rounds, is it then they that constitute the « subject » in the small paintings that you have entitled « Talisman »?
FE : Yes, exactly. Subject or a pseudo subject; at least something that would indicate the place of the subject.
L C-L : Can you remind us how these circles appeared in your work and what you are searching by this motif, by this elementary form?
FE : They appeared first in the series that I named « abstraction faite » and that started in 1995-96. It was for me a manner of tackling the problem of abstraction. By these circles, I wanted most importantly avoid all « composition » in the painting or all « coloured animation » of its surface. The painting conceives itself and makes itself according to a little protocol. Starting from the upper left corner, circles inscribe themselves, such as words on paper, from left to right and from top to bottom.
They juxtapose themselves in the beginning to then superimpose themselves. By proceeding this way, I wanted to obtain this double effect of something that develops linearly while progressing towards us. A thing to read and/or a thing to see. A thing that is said but at the same time is moving and alive. And to answer your question, it doesn?t matter much for me to enter in discussions about the circle, the modernity has sufficiently tasked itself with it.