For all the apparent concision of her paintings, Anne Neukamp’s work is full of tortuous and intertwining paths. Each work is a kind of palimpsest, like a parchment scraped clear and reused. Image after image, fragment by fragment, the successive layers of paint do not cover each other so much as intertwine and conjugate in an interlace as formal as it is semantic. However, rather than those confused fluxes of messages and stimuli found, say, in the late collages of Robert Rauschenberg, the result is a “Pop” reductionism in the tradition of Roy Lichtenstein’s brushstrokes and the tire treads of Peter Stampfli: logos, schemas, lettering and other images, previously reduced and made “effective” by the communications industry, exist now only as silhouettes, traces or enlarged fragments, tilted, switched and sometimes proliferating.
Since the mid 1990s, Nicolas Moulin’s photography, video and installations have been interpreting urban architecture and landscapes, these being present as signs, not just of the memory and failure of the telos that grew out of the industrial revolution, but also of what the artist calls our “skewed relationship” with reality and historical temporality. Whether it draws its material from the timeless realism of industrial ruins and vestiges of modernist architecture, or from the enormousness of urban development plans, or from the imaginative world of ecological disaster and the post human projections of science fiction stories, Nicolas Moulin’s work edifies areas where temporality is paradoxical, even reversible. It defines architecture primarily as a perceptional transit zone, a fictional reservoir that summons modernist subjectivity through certain incarnations that have now sunk into obsolescence. It confronts our hypermodernity’s symptomatic relationship with its landscape, the memory of its monuments, the ideologies and utopias to which they they refer. Initially centered on a photographic relationship, the point of departure for Nicolas Moulin’s approach was rooted in territory and reality, which were then subjected to editing, hybridization and source-grafting operations that imposed a distortion of a fictional nature. More recently, since his exhibition Vider Paris in 2001, Nicolas Moulin has shifted away from a purely representative relationship to architecture by incorporating a constructive dimension, and has introduced a previously absent relationship of scale. Initially involving experimentation through digital tools – such as when the artist laboriously “walled” the buildings bordering the avenues of Paris image by image, or when he pieced together “composite” villages using an alternation of existing buildings – this constructive orientation gave rise to several series of sculptures that bring engineering principles into play.
Founded in 1994 in Paris by Frédérique and Philippe Valentin, the Valentin gallery has contributed to the emergence of many artists from a new French art scene. It notably organized the exhibitions of Laurent Grasso, Cécile Bart, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Dominique Ghesquière, Nicolas Moulin and Patrick Saytour. Alongside its inscription in the French art circuit, the gallery has developed numerous collaborations with artists from the international scene, including Anne Neukamp (G), Stephen Felton (USA), George Henry Longly (GB), Gabriele de Santis (IT), and David Renggli (SW). For the majority of these artists, this represents a first exhibition in the gallery.
Michael Assiff / Cécile Bart / Eric Baudart / Jean-Baptiste Bernadet / Etienne Bossut / Folkert de Jong / Gabriele De Santis / Antoine Donzeaud / Stephen Felton / Babak Ghazi / Dominique Ghesquière / Aloïs Godinat / Laurent Grasso / It’s Our Playground / Bradford Kessler / Brian Kokoska / George Henry Longly / Andrew Mania / Michael Manning / Nicolas Moulin / Anne Neukamp / Neil Raitt / David Renggli / Patrick Saytour / Veit Stratmann / Jocelyn Villemont / Graham Wilson