Considered one of the great French painters of his generation, Jean-Michel Alberola has enjoyed a number of major exhibitions, including L'aventure des details at the Palais de Tokyo in 2016. Yet his practice is far from confined to the canvas; in fact, he explores all the dimensions of pictoriality, in objects, neon, printed matter, frescoes and even photography.
Born in 1953, Alberola is a child of the Société du spectacle, but a playful, even downright rebellious child. As great a film buff as he is a reader, he is passionate about the conditions under which images appear, which he never ceases to question, as in his famous series of paintings Rois de rien (Kings of Nothing), where, according to curator Catherine Grenier, by depicting a beyond of representation, Alberola reaches a below of the world.
Designed especially for PhotoSaintGermain with the artist's ongoing collaboration, this exhibition is the first to present a body of work he has produced since the 1990s based on, with, on — or often against — photography.
Playing with the very materiality of images, their texture, their limits, their relationship to memory or the imaginary, these works constitute an enigmatic and moving body of work, full of ghosts and promises, privileged witnesses of this crossing of borders between painting and photography, between material and immaterial, past and present.
Thanks to Jean-Michel Alberola, Photographies malheureuses and images ratées are given a new lease of life, sometimes even achieving that capacity to embody that is said to be the hallmark of painting.
Every week, from Monday to Friday, a new virtual exhibition is presented to our subscribers, by newsletter or on social networks. To coincide with Photo saint-Germain, we are dedicating an exceptional week to artists' portraits. Throughout the twentieth century, the best photographers collaborated with the best artists to forge legendary images that made a major contribution to the worldwide dissemination of new works and ideas. Denise Colomb capturing Nicolas de Staël as a romantic hero, or Hans Namuth capturing the monumental figure of the American sculptor Louise Nevelson, open our eyes to their works as much as to their innermost selves…
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