MAC/VAL is opened every day of the week, except on mondays:
tuesday to friday, 10 h to 18 h
week-ends and holidays, 12 h to 19 h.

Closed on january 1st, may 1st and december 25th.

phone: 01 43 91 64 20
fax: 01 79 86 16 57

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Place de la Libération
94400 Vitry-sur-Seine


Noël Dolla


For more than forty years Noël Dolla has
been working on one of the most unusual
painterly ventures imaginable, constantly
exploring the fundamentals of painting
itself, in a spirit of abstraction.
Dolla’s entire oeuvre is an exercise in
memory — the memory of the gestures and
works that have gone before him; the memory
of the studio, of tools, know-how and
techniques. This memory is permanently
called into question and ‘forgotten’ in
a form of amnesia. Like a thousand and one
tennis balls bouncing on a pebble beach.
From the outset, his work has proceeded
by way of series, remakes, repetitions,
junctions, contradictions, reversals and
sequences. It seems to be torn (lured?)
between two apparently opposing directions
— that of a radical deconstruction of
painting, of its concepts, methods, ends,
tools, and that of the artist’s subjective,
not to say private and baroque, engagement
with his oeuvre. He fondly reminds us
that he is tacking between Supports-
Surfaces and Fluxus.
This dynamic is particularly at work in the
recent developments of his work. We can see
a return of the figure and a shift in
historical moorings (from Newman, Matisse
and Duchamp to Courbet, Géricault, Malevich
and Titian). My Mother II presents a son’s
pictorial and painterly meditation on his
mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
This large figure — lady in black — brings
to mind the allegory of Memory described by
Cesare Ripa in the 16th century.
References to art history are also combined
with references to previous works of his
own. On the top right, for example, can be
seen a remake of the picture Dog Food
(2007), a representation within the
representation. At bottom, the ankles and
shod feet call to mind the film Love Song
(1973–76). Also featured are revolutionary
figures (the word CHE on the left of the
picture), because, as Dolla likes to remind
us, ‘painting is a political statement’.
Political in the broad sense of the term:
a force standing up to the imposed order,
a force of self-construction. We also see
the recurrent motif of the red star that
permeates his oeuvre, as well as, in the
bottom, glued cigarette butts, like so many
bits of reality.
Method is meaningful: here the picture is
constructed layer by layer, using adhesive
tape to create outlines, by exploring
the abstract dynamic of the surface. Each
layer is autonomous and their combination,
in a certain assembled order, gives rise
to figuration. The picture is gradually
invented in the course of its execution,
almost blind. It rises up, without any
retouching possible.