Black humour : Paintings 2011-2013

The Hôtel Elysées Mermoz presents an exhibition of the recent paintings of Olivier Breuil from April 25 to June 23, 2013. The text below has been written at this occasion :

« Everything has been said a hundred times before

And much better than me

So when I write poems

It’s because that’s what I enjoy

It‘s because that’s what I enjoy

It’s because that’s what I enjoy and I don’t give a shit what you think!

(Translated from the French poet Boris Vian)

Likewise a painter often thinks of what he can say and how. This can be expressed through the choices of the components of the painting: its dimensions, the thickness of the frame, the type of canvas, how it is primed, the brushes used, the colours chosen, the quality of the paint, its transparency, its glossiness … and, above all the way the paint is applied. All of these decisions made before and during the realisation of the painting reveal the artist’s mind. Everything has been said a hundred times and painting allows us to continue to say it ad infinitum.

“What I enjoy” is to produce a strong and immediate visual impact, one that provokes astonishment, a smile of surprise, a moment of confusion faced with something that the mind doesn’t immediately grasp. To let the eye move around without stopping, permitting the mind to wander all over the canvas and bounce endlessly.

I accept that what I paint is not what I had in mind at the outset.   I sometimes decide to go off on a tangent that presents itself, an accident or a shape that may be too recognisable, because it surprises me and it works. I am always on the lookout for something astonishing and like to see what reaction it produces. A painting that “works” is one that cannot be fully understood.

In this way, my painting which was aiming for abstraction has evolved into a work of “extraction”, a more relaxed approach to abstract painting, less dogmatic, coming from within, and permitting visual memories to come to the surface.  Shapes which seem to represent something recognisable (a ghost, or a rubber duck, a cowboy) are no longer censored but sometimes accepted with humour.

And it’s because that’s what I enjoy…

Olivier Breuil

Avril 2013

Objet peint non identifié IV (2012) 120 x 100 x 4 cm

Objet peint non identifié III (2012) 65 x 54 x 4 cm

Humour noir (2012) 180 x 150 x 2.5 cm

Humour noir (2013) 180 x 150 x 2.5 cm

Humour noir (2012) 150 x 120 x 3 cm

Humour noir (2012) 140 x 130 x 2.5 cm

Objet peint non identifié VI (2013) 100 x 80 cm

Mapa (2012) 65 x 50 cm

Mapa (2012) 65 x 50 cm

Born in 1970, Olivier Breuil studied with the French painter Frédéric Prat and sat on ’Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris‘s lectures from 2001 and 2005. In 2008 he has his first solo show at Pascal Lorain (Paris)’s gallery, as well as at Art Elysées‘s art fair in Paris. In 2009, he opens an art gallery within the Hôtel Elysées Mermoz and organises exhibiitons of emerging abstract painters. In June 2013 an exhibition gathering 10 painters who have exhibited at the hotel will celebrate the 4 years of this gallery.