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28.06. - 24.07.2012. MICHEL CASTAIGNET "Transit"

28.06.2012. - 24.07.2012.

Galerija "Māksla XO"

Elizabetes iela 14, Rīga, LV 1010

"Trace" 2011, oil on canvas, 93x72

Michel Castaignet (France)


“Māksla XO” gallery from 28.06. – 24.07.2012


Transit is an exhibition about the places we visit, the places we come across, whether those places are physical such as landscape and countries or metaphysical such as ideas and art theories.

In these paintings Michel Castaignet introduces a new way of making collage, mixing images and ideas, for instance in the painting “BMPT snapshot” , he uses a found amateur photography and recomposes it according to the rigid grid of the French minimalists of the 60’s, Buren, Parmentier, Mosset and Toroni. This composition neutralizes the radicalism of the minimalist gesture but opens the question about its inscription into a larger history of image making that minimalism wished to emancipate from. 

The encounter of people, landscapes and graphical stripes that is found in Traversée and Trace seems at first to be an allegorical version of a wanderer and could therefore be a modern and simplified version of Gaspard Friedrich, a figure in a landscape, but the stripes crossing the images open a gap in the representation and unveil what photo could not reveal, that is a sort of order underneath the visible world; and one wonders if the figure is entering of leaving the landscape, entering or leaving the world of representation.

The strict device Michel Castaignet applies to his paintings is similar to the “definitions /methods” invented by Claude Rutault but the figurative nature of his work opens the door to a complex interpretation where one has to make his own opinion about what is given as a painting and what is giving as an idea.

Transit is therefore as much a journey into the 60’s art history that a journey into places the artist never visited but nevertheless was able to reproduce thanks to found photographic material.