Jacques Monory

Détour Episode 1
From November 18th 2005 to March 26th 2006

For the opening of this two-part exhibit, carte blanche is given to two major artists of the French and international art scene. These two artists with decidedly unique backgrounds will take over, in their own manner, the area assigned to temporary exhibits.

Beyond the strict and chromatic links, the work of both artists is bridged and structured by a similar poetic energy. Their works, sensitive experiments regarding the world, are anchored in very autobiographical queries and take form in radically different ways.

A word from the Exhibition Curator

For the opening of this two-part exhibit, carte blanche is given to two major artists of the French and international art scene. These two artists with decidedly unique backgrounds will take over, in their own manner, the area assigned to temporary exhibits.

Beyond the strict and chromatic links, the work of both artists is bridged and structured by a similar poetic energy. Their works, sensitive experiments regarding the world, are anchored in very autobiographical queries and take form in radically different ways.

The painting of Jacques Monory is deployed over time according to a non-linear serial principle, with permanent repeats and revisitations, new interjections.

The design of the picture (from the painting to the mental landscape) of one of their main concerns, following distinct and unusual logic of fragmentation and freedom as opposed to the dominant codes. The time which passes, death, deleting, memory, but also the human being in the world … these are all recurrent themes of these worlds which are simultaneously serious and light. The subjective exploration of reality is a major resilience in their works.

Jacques Monory implements narrative climates and bits of history, leaving a very large part to visitors’ interpretations and assumptions.

For this exhibit called Détour, Jacques Monory imagined a display in his pictural universe using about fifty painting from 1965 – 2002. They are not hung in any chronological order, luring the visitor into an embracing, colourful and spiralled universe. The second step to this exhibition is Claude Lévêque who will propose a new and original in situ installation.

Presentation

Why did you choose figuration at a time when informal art was omnipresent?

There was indeed a sort of imperialism in this non-figurative painting whereby if you didn’t paint “abstract” then you were considered a little crazy. I did try doing “that” in the beginning but I realized it wasn’t for me. I threw in the towel in 1962. […] It was when I saw American Pop artist pictures in magazines that I knew that was what I should be doing. If you’re not turned on by everyday things then you’re somehow not real.

Your work focuses on the assembly, the association of ideas and images …

I’m a guy who does collages. It’s the same theory as Surrealists – you bring two different pictures together and this confrontation mentally creates another picture. And this “collage” is an assembly! I realize now that everything I do is connected to my childhood. I often went to the cinema to watch B-series American films noirs. For me they were better made, quicker and the people walked around in a manner I liked – it made me dream! When I re-watch them today, I’ve got to admit that three quarters of these films are trashy.

For the MAC/VAL you’ve designed a special set-up with an intricate collection of paintings hanging within a coloured spiral …

The spiral is one shape which can have a little meaning. You know, life is a little like that, ideally. We start in a sad state and rise up to the centre in the light. For the walls, it’s a big deal! The paintings are chosen depending on how they fit on the layered picture rails.

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