« How words come to paintings »

by Olivier Gourvil
from 16/02/2012 to 26/03/2012

How paintings can talk and make talk? What does spectator says to them? And what does he look for in?
This title is an invitation to spectator. To watch. To talk. Even if any commentary can brings a painting down.
For the first time, recent paintings and some drawings are exhibited at the Elysées Mermoz hotel.

Olivier Gourvil

Gourvil’s anthropomorphism is filtered through an immense repertoire of sign-structures, some sifted through urban signs or the signs of the body as seen in comics or graphics. Some of the paintings’ forms can have the look of architectural plans, pre-fabricated design units, the bulbous forms of graffiti or elements from modernist painting. These are usually intertwined with Gourvil’s emphatic linear demarcations of diagrammatic volumes and his playful sense of protuberance and organicism. This emphasis on drawing in space and the clarity of line leads to an almost icon-like presentation of form – with their centrally focused events, concentrated form, and anthropomorphic connotations. If the traditional notion of the icon is rooted in resemblance (in its usual context, the copy of a divine original, the copy providing a material link to the original, thus ensuing a transference of presence) then in Gourvil’s painting this implication is reversed. Through the processes of drawing – developing into painting – he is searching out a fecundity of form and connotation that has no basis in an original underlying model; the iconic form in this context might well embrace various allusions but loops back to its own materiality, its own clarity of being held as an image in the mind.

David Ryan, « Almost…but …Not Quite» , 2009, ed. Analogues