CLAUDE VIALLAT – UNLEASHING COLOR
The 2019 Summer Exhibition displays a selection of twenty works by Claude Viallat realized on military tarpaulins. Started in the 1970s, the series has continued over the past years. The exhibition’s core features works shown at CAPC (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Bordeaux in 1980, the year of a major retrospective of Viallat’s work which highlighted the use of a thick support, the search for polychromy, and the cut-out of the canvas in registers. That exhibition marked a turning point in Viallat’s career and saw him recognized as one of the major colorists of his generation.
For Viallat, one needs “minimal shifts for an upheaval in the work,” as is well known to the ethnologist Boris Cyrulnik, who observes that “through the simple change of attitude of the observer, the observed changes shape.” Yet we have to admit that the change Viallat effected in 1980 (in reality around 1978, the year of the first works exhibited at CAPC) offers something more than minimal shifts with the compartmentalization of the picture, the use of a denser pigment, multiple points of view that haunt the space like interferences.