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Stephen Felton / Teeth in the Grass

Stephen Felton / Teeth in the Grass



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Exhibition curator: Marie Griffay

 

American painter of international renown, Stephen Felton (born in 1975, Buffalo) has been invited to produce a new series of monumental canvases for his monographic exhibition

Teeth in the Grass at the FRAC, from 17 june to 25 october 2020.

 

Done freehand, Stephen Felton’s paintings are made from very simple geometric forms that question the medium and the foundations of mimetic representation in art. He develops an alphabet of signs similar to pictograms, a playful universal language that evokes both the imagery of childhood and cave art, with its rare depictions of the human figure. The search for a balance between the foreground and the background, the subject and the landscape, colour and white is at the heart of the artist’s work. Stephen Felton’s spontaneous, quasi-performative gesture resembles that of an amateur, contradicting the classical notion of skill and technique, as well as the romantic representation of the artist endowed with an exceptional talent, working tirelessly to perfect their art.  

 

Stephen Felton’s work finds its origin or inspiration in a multitude of narratives; one simply needs to tell the stories. “Most of the time”, he claims, “I think about something I’d like to play with and I go in that direction”. Over the course of his various shows, the public will have recognized the figure of Moby Dick from Herman Melville’s novel (1851) or elements from Scenes from the Life of a Faun (Arno Schmidt, 1962) : a bike, a ladder, or a crescent moon.

 

For his exhibition at the FRAC, Stephen Felton makes use of the two floors of the former Jesuit College to tell a love story in two acts. This story not only evokes major literary works but their multiple contemporary adaptations. Indeed, it is essentially the idea of the “remake” that interests Stephen Felton.

Vidéo Club

Vidéo Club



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Every year, in collaboration with the FRAC Alsace and 49 Nord 6 Est-FRAC Lorraine, the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne invites three artists, with ties to the region, to present a film as part of the Video Club and to coincide with an exhibition.

 

For this second edition, artists Mali Arun, Marie Bouthier & Anouck Lemarquis (Demi Tour de France) and Thomas Schmahl will explore the respectful and romantic, conflictual and destructive relationship that exists between humans and the landscape.  

In Paradisus, Mali Arun depicts a shimmering, fertile environment, a black and white Eden, where the threat of a deluge seems to herald the end of insouciance. Thomas Schmahl delivers a contemplative fable with Les Montagnes Amoureuses where a sensitive observation of nature reveals a romantic force. Finally, Le Film des Vacances by artistic duo Demi Tour de France, in collaboration with Arthur Clerbois, takes us on a road trip (by car), discovering French landscapes in a state of perpetual change, between the sublimation of everyday life and a chimerical epic.

In an era marked by the profound alteration of ecosystems, these films encourage reflection on behalf of viewers: is it still possible today to contemplate a virgin landscape, devoid of human footprints? More poetically, the three varying landscapes, which range from a park in Croatia to hiking trails in the Alps, via the byroads of France, make this edition of the Video Club an invitation to travel.

 

Mali Arun was born in 1987.  A student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Tianjin (China) and Brussels (La Cambre), she obtained the Grand Jury Prize at the Salon de Montrouge in 2018. She lives and works in Strasbourg.

The artistic duo known as “Demi Tour de France” is made up of Marie Bouthier, (b. 1983) and Anouck Lemarquis (b. 1982). Both live and work in France. Their work was presented in the exhibition Paysages français: une aventure photographique 1984 -2017 at the BnF in 2018 and at the Under Construction gallery, Paris in 2020.

Thomas Schmahl was born in 1994. A graduate of ESAD Reims in 2018, he was the prizewinner of the Young Creation Award at the Biennale d’Art Contemporain Mulhouse in 2019. He lives and works in Reims.

 
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