February 05 - March 23, 2010
Group exhibition
galerie jerome de noirmont

Fabrice HYBER Vinyl, 2009 Oil, charcoal, paper collage, gold and silver leaves, pastel and Epoxy on canvas. 200 x 200 cm - 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in.

exhibition release

Au Delà du Réel is a group show organised around new or recent works by

Valérie Belin
George Condo
Fabrice Hyber
David Mach
Bettina Rheims

whose artistic work transfigures or transcends reality and takes us far beyond the world around us… Whether they work in photography, painting or sculpture, each of these artists gives us a specific vision of the real world and his or her pictorial “feeling” for reality through creative work which does, nevertheless, distance itself from any intrinsic realism.

    By using new imaging technologies to move gradually away from the indicial nature of photography, Valérie BELIN’s latest series lays the emphasis on a far freer treatment of the subject. In previous portraits such as the Mannequins (Models I, 2003) and the Modèles (Models II, 2006), the spectator was encouraged to question the reality – whether genuine or false – of the photographed subjects. Now they appear to emerge from the virtual world, with a portrayal which appears at the same time both purely artificial and quite real…
By alluding to beauty queens who are rewarded for their physical superiority and who dream of embodying the perfect image, the new Têtes Couronnées portraits (Crowned Heads, 2009), made by overlaying several shots of the same model, are thus an extension of the artist’s photographic investigations around self-portrayal.
Exhibiting this new image alongside older ones will help to show this development in the portrayal of the subject.

In his painting, George CONDO creates portraits which distance themselves from any realism and reflect solely the way that the subject is visualised in the artist’s imagination. Paradoxically, he draws his inspiration both from the History of Art, from the works of Old and Modern Masters, and from our contemporary culture, somewhere between music and cartoons.
The artist thus mixes various composition techniques to produce a work which “characterises” the subject by the way in which it is made, rather than by its resemblance to the real world… Without ever ending up as a total abstraction in which the real is no longer portrayed, Condo’s fanciful spirit deliberately introduces a certain amount of abstraction into his figurative portrayals, thus taking us beyond the perceptible real world.
A number of paintings and works on paper all created in 2009, including Aztec Cosmologist (opposite), will be on show here just before the exhibition of his brand-new paintings at the gallery (March 31 –May 26, 2010).

All of Fabrice Hyber’s art is based upon a day-to-day observation and a constant questioning of the world around us; each piece of work is thus an intermediate, evolving stage in a huge, never-ending body of creative work.

So, moving from reality to art to the virtual dimension, and in the same way from the object to the drawing and on to the painting, from the painting to the sculpture and then to the p.o.f. (prototype d´objet en fonctionnement - prototype of working object), Fabrice Hyber takes us on a journey which involves the constant deciphering of a multifaceted reality, as he explores all its possible meanings and the ways it might develop: thus the painting e-mythe (2006) deals with the ways that the body changes and transforms, whereas the brand-new Vinyl (2009, opposite) falls more into the field of metaphysics, somewhere between the intangible concepts of sound and music and the materialisation of the object – an imagined eponymous sculpture.
Alongside a number of paintings, a few works on paper will show us why “what matters is not so much the materiality of the work as its ability to trigger patterns of behaviour”…

    David Mach’s creative process is based first and foremost on an authentic process of “transfiguring” the real world which, quite literally, “transforms [...], taking on a stunning, glorious appearance or offering an unusual beauty and radiance”…
This transfiguration is carried out using specific materials such as coathangers and matches as well as assembly techniques which dramatise the initial figurative portrayal, and the work produced in the end is always spectacular. The simultaneously familiar and fragile appearance of the material is in contrast to the complexity inherent in the sculpting work, thus giving each work a monumental, prodigious dimension, regardless of its size!
The legendary political leaders who are portrayed in the new matchheads will thus be measuring their “auras” against those of the anonymous women whose curvaceous figures have inspired the artist to make some of his latest coat-hanger sculptures.

    By always asking the subject to pose and to play a specific role, Bettina Rheims’ photographic work lies - by its very nature - beyond the real world; even when its setting is a natural one, it shows us an artificial, fictitious reality, giving her work an undeniable oxymoronic dimension, as indeed the philosopher Michel Onfray has so effectively underlined.
Three of her previous series, from which the works exhibited are taken, are particularly illustrative of this oxymoron of an unreal reality; all of them are in black and white, taken using a total economy in their staging, with an aesthetic treatment which is kept down to the barest minimum; so they create a symbiotic relationship between form and substance in order to focus on the subjects and on their existential value. These include Animal (1982/83), in which death comes alive through the strange gazes of stuffed animals, Modern Lovers (1989/90), where disturbing, androgynous-looking teenagers of both genders throw us into doubt about identity, and similarly the transsexuals photographed in Les Espionnes (The Spies, 1991) ask us questions about the plausibility of their sexual gender.