Raúl Illarramendi — Incarner la poussière



Raúl Illarramendi
Incarner la poussière

Past: September 5 → October 7, 2015

Galerie Karsten Greve presents its third first solo exhibition devoted to Raúl Illarramendi. The starting point for Raúl Illarramendi’s work is the observation of traces left by the human patina in the everyday urban milieu. Found on walls, sidewalks, gateways and doorways, these traces are photographed and chosen for their composition and evocative power. The artist thus accumulates a repertory of images that serve as inspiration for his compositions. These signs multiply and proliferate daily, and are endlessly superimposed; yet their ubiquity along with an unconscious collective desire to forget them, make them invisible. At the same time, Raúl Illarramendi’s work comes within the scope of abstract and figurative research. The artist sustains an ambiguous relationship with painting, where the status of drawing is constantly questioned.

These works have been realized with coloured pencil applied on a canvas that has previously been prepared with gouache, a mixed technique combining drawing with painting and vice versa. The artist conceives these works as non-drawings: they are composed of lines that suddenly appear in the un-pencilled spaces, thus revealing the background of the canvas. This procedure in negative reveals the spots through their outlines, thus creating an inclusion of the painting into the drawing.

The show presents works from different series: Terra Incognita, the most recent one conceived between 2014 and 2015, resumes anonymous mappings accumulated by the artist progressively with his findings. Evidence of Absence, the most prolific, is evoked here by two pieces, Palimpseste as well as a large format, Muro (Wall), which translate a highly loaded gesture. As for Salto, composed of three vertical works of monumental dimension from the series Spit Drawings, the artist plays with the notions of falling and gravity, distilling a vertical energy. The latter reveals part of its sources using a video sequence. This change of medium shows us in a quasi-documentary manner some of the samples he picks outside his studio, the raw material of his œuvre. In this new production Raúl Illarramendi is faithful to the subjects, their shape, their composition as well as the colour pallet, always in a pictorial research generated and nourished by drawing.


Born in 1982 in Caracas, Venezuela, Raúl Illarramendi began his artistic training in 1998 as assistant to the painter Felix Pedromo. He then became a member of the Circulo de Dibujo of the Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas Sofia Imber. He graduated in Visual Arts and Art History from the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville in the United States, and the Jean Monnet University of Saint-Etienne. He has won several art awards in the United States and France, the most recent of which being the Jean Chevalier Award for Painting in Lyon, which he received in 2012. He lives and works in Méru, France.

  • Opening Saturday, September 5, 2015 6 PM → 8 PM

    In the presence of the artist

03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

5, rue Debelleyme

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 77 19 37 — F. 01 42 77 05 58

Official website

Filles du Calvaire

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM

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Venue schedule

The artist

  • Raul Illarramendi