Samuel François — As soon as possible
As soon as possible
Past: May 6 → 17, 2014
Untitled (Because the Sun is yellow) is a series of oilskin fishing jackets pulled inside out and stretched on a frame.
By confronting himself with the frame and the canvas, Samuel François demonstrates both his fascination for painting, and his lack of interest for the motif that is supposed to go with it. He focuses on the material itself, which he manipulates and puts into perspective so it turns into a shape, and is no longer a mere surface.
The very gesture of the artist becomes minimal, akin to a collection of actions into which he cuts through to single-out a sample. His intervention plays with the limits and steps towards an almost complete disappearance. Paint has vanished from the painting, but has left behind its properties as a medium, and the potential of its texture and substance.
By blending form with motif, Samuel François provides a solution to the issue of the “filling” of the painting. His interest in fabrics and clothes used as canvas emphasizes the importance of dithering as a motif. By allowing the object-painting to become autonomous, and valuing texture without resorting to the actual gestural of painting, the artist surrenders to a greater loss of control, and deserts notions usually associated with painting such as an artist-specific brushstroke or signature. He relies solely on the object’s production process, whether artisanal or industrial, and willingly becomes dependant upon the manufacturing chain, thus allowing the object to be in charge of generating its own material.
Samuel François uses objects that have a story to tell such as denim trousers, survival blankets or oilskin fishing jackets, and delegates the power to transform to them as they get weathered by time or altered by accident, thus becoming their own unique visual and physical reference.
The paintings break free from the confines of strictly being surfaces, and may be turned upside down, or inside out. This subjective shift questions the archaeology of the object itself, its very origins, and investigates the temporal and cultural distortion that alters its functional role to make it strictly decorative. What would be our perspective on this yellow, rubbery, smooth, waterproof material if we managed to suddenly get rid of any preconceived notion ?