Transgressions

In October/November 2017, I am exhibiting some of my recent paintings in Biarritz, in the crypt of the church dedicated to Saint Eugenia, the patron saint of Eugenia de Montijo, the wife of the French emperor Napoleon III. The exhibition is being held jointly with German artist Barbara Stammel, who lives in Getaria on the Spanish Basque coast.


Barbara specialises in large-format canvases that are inspired by - but are not portraits of - people that she knows. The brushwork is vigorous and her use of colour is fascinating. For my part, I am exhibiting some of my recent abstract paintings, including a series of painted strips of canvas and a gigantic wall display of colour painted on large scraps of wall-posters stuck one on top of the other so that they come to resemble something like stiff cardboard.


I "rescued" the posters from hoardings in different locations around where I live and used them to paint large-scale abstract works which I later dismantled and have now reassembled in arbitrary shapes that some visitors think resemble a giant map of the world.


Their effect, against the black wall of the apse of the crypt, is stunning. Alongside them, I have spread out painted canvas, paint pots an paint brushes on the floor, in an installation that I have called "L'Atelier en effervescence".


We called the exhibition "Transgressions" to convey the idea that we were breaking with conventional painterly practice. At least one art critic made clear that he disagreed!