Olivier Kaeppelin, Gaël Davrinche. Faire face

Editions Lord Byron

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Olivier Kaeppelin, Gaël Davrinche. Faire face, Paris, Éditions Lord Byron, 2021

1st edition
Edition of 370 numbered copies
Hardcover, 23 x 28 cm, 132 pages
French English edition
Translated in English by Jeremy Harrison
ISBN : 978-2-491901-08-0

An enhanced content of the book is available on pages 35, 40, 72-73 and 126-127 in the form of video sequences taken from the film Gaël Davrinche, Clair Obscur from the series “Terra Artistika” by Régine de Lapize and Christophe Soupirot.

Gaël Davrinche. Faire face is the catalog published on the occasion of the exhibition “Gaël Davrinche. Face ”at the Galerie Vazieux in Paris (FR) from April 24 to May 28, 2021.

Gaël Davrinche is a French painter born in 1971. He lives and works in Montreuil. A graduate of the National School of Fine Arts in Paris in 2000, professor of drawing and painting at the Ateliers de Sèvres since 2007, he has since pursued an international artistic career. His prolific work, which comes in the form of paintings, drawings, sculptures or prints, mainly reinvests the classic genres of portrait and still life in a plastic dialogue between tradition and the complete deconstruction of the latter.

The artist has in fact never stopped digging, rummaging, digging into the heart of Art History in the works of his illustrious peers, which according to him constitutes the very essence of painting. Frequently borrowing from the graphic register of childhood, he humorously quotes and caricatures the masterpieces of European art as part of a river series called "Les Revisités". Asking the question of the legitimacy of the painted portrait, at a time when the commission no longer exists, Davrinche has refined his thinking over the years, notably with the series "Under the skin" or "Kalashnikov". Fundamentally free, his gesture is sometimes incisive and nervous, sometimes perfectly meticulous. The audacity with which the artist alternates styles, moving from learned realism to the most spontaneous expressionism, illustrates all the attachment to painting as a medium with still inexhaustible possibilities, although critics have repeatedly announced the opposite.

Perfectly complementary, the Memento Mori bring a dreamy breath to the work of Gaël Davrinche. In this series of drawings and paintings depicting withered flowers, the artist approaches through the prism of allegory the timeless theme of the cycle of life and finally hollow out the portrait of man in the face of his own existential anxiety. An intimate, universal feeling that he comes to explore with a lot of poetry. (Fanny Giniès)

Olivier Kaeppelin is a French curator, art critic and writer. From the 1990s to the end of the 2010s, he held many senior positions at France Culture, Radio France, at the Ministry of Culture and Communication where he was the Director of Visual Arts from 2004 to 2010, at the Palais de Tokyo as well as at the Maeght Foundation, of which he took charge from 2011 to the end of 2017. In addition, he was a researcher at the École normale des Hautes Etudes, taught at the University of Paris-VIII in the Literature department , at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in the Art History department, as well as at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Nantes.

Creator of literary and artistic reviews such as Exit and Le Grand 8, he collaborates with numerous publications such as Art Press, Beaux-Arts magazine, Change, La Quinzaine littéraire, L'Autre Journal, L'Ennemi, Libération or Opus. He has also written a number of essays and texts, notably on Gérard Gasiorowski, Daniel Dezeuze, Richard Baquié, Imi Knoebel, Richard Deacon, Enzo Cucchi, Gunther Brüs, Bernard Moninot, Jaume Plensa, Pierrette Bloch, Erik Dietman, Joan Miró, Jonathan Lasker, Yan Pei Ming, Daniel Pommereulle, Damien Cabanes, Gérard Garouste, Philippe Cognée, Claire-Jeanne Jézéquel, Lee Bae, Djamel Tatah, Eduardo Arroyo, among many others.

Exhibition curator, he is at the initiative of events such as La Triennale (La Force de l'art), the first edition of which was held at the Grand Palais in 2006 and at Monumenta, an event which offers an artist to international notoriety to invest the Nave of the Grand Palais, like Anselm Kiefer, Richard Serra, Christian Boltanski, Anish Kapoor, Daniel Buren, Emilia and Ilya Kabakov or Huang Yong Ping. He was curator or co-curator with leading artists in particular for the Universal Exhibition in Seville, the Villa Medici, the Venice Biennale, the Kunstmuseum Pablo Picasso in Münster and the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl in Germany , the Nantes Museum of Fine Arts, the Tokyo National Arts Center, the Workshops of the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris (ARC) and many other institutions around the world.