Nazanin Pouyandeh – Simon Pasieka – Pat Andrea
Laurent Strouk Gallery
Simon Pasieka and Nazanin Pouyandeh are former students of Pat Andrea, from whom they inherited a certain sense of freedom: Pat did not impose anything on his students but gave them the tools to do what they wanted to do. This gentle, horizontal mode of transmission seems to be the condition for teaching art through art, where artistic individuality is revealed rather than learned. Pat, Simon and Nazanin are members of what one might call an “artistic family”. To the singular vision of each is applied the contacts of the others: support, encouragement, impression. In his De Rerum Natura, Lucretius analyzes the declination of atoms, which gives them the ability to deviate from their intended trajectory and allows them to combine to form more complex objects. Painting within an “artistic family” could be compared to this deviation where the direct or indirect influence of artists is added as a load of glances to the practice of others, deviating always a little more from its point of arrival. This articulation of freedom and will in painting, on the one hand, and of the necessity (or not) to make a “school”, on the other, has aroused much interest among art historians, particularly Aloïs Riegl with the concept of “kunstwollen” that he developed in 1893. According to this principle, the dynamic force that animates the artists and works of a given period can be considered as the manifestation of a singular will while remaining conditioned to external factors of influence. The equation posed applies by metonymy to painting. It is, in the case of the three artists, a diegetic machine (based on the narrative) made of conduits in detour or in straight line, of more or less narrow passages, of weights which counterbalance the ethereal substances. Limited in its medium and surface, painting projects our mind-body beyond these limits; in addition to sight, painting does not renounce music, theater, sculpture, engraving and dance. It summons the senses on its sensitive surface. Also, beyond the wide range of subjects present (game, war, sport, love, religion), these paintings speak about painting. They lend themselves to a reflection on their history and their essential characteristics: the palette, the frame, the sketch and the light integrate the reality of the painting in properly pictorial means.
Apparently, the juxtaposition of different plasticities on the canvas has a certain mannerism and it is always possible, in Pat, Simon and Nazanin, to perceive the technicality of the medium. But the artist is never ashamed to do manual work. The only real aesthetic analogy between the pictorial systems – realist, abstract, figurative – is that they all constitute an invented form. For all that, a plastic form is not the fruit of the more or less mimetic transfer of a vision on a support. It is a conscious adjustment of something which is interior: a painting is necessarily an order. “What is opposed to the law, according to Jean Baudrillard, is not at all the absence of law, it is the rule”.
This thought, from his work on seduction, makes particular sense for the painting of Pat, Simon and Nazanin. Seduction is not an expressionist energy but a sign and a ritual: as in the theater, one adheres to the thing all the more because one knows that it takes place in a fictitious space. And the jubilant character of this painting comes largely from this consented relation to the game and the simulacrum.
1 Jean Baudrillard, De la séduction, Paris : Galilée, 1979, p.180.
Exhibition from May 05 to June 03, 2023.
In the heart of Paris, for more than thirty years, Strouk Gallery has been the leading representative in France of Pop Art, the New Realists, Narrative Figuration and Free Figuration. In 1991, Laurent Strouk founded his gallery in the Beaubourg district. From the very first start, he presented the works of Pop Art by Tom Wesselmann, Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol, Mel Ramos, Alain Jacquet, Antony Donaldson, William Klein, Julian Opie; of the New Figuration with Peter Klasen, Erro, Jacques Monory, Valerio Adami, Gérard Schlosser, Bernard Rancillac, Antonio Segui, Pat Andrea; of the Figuration libre with Keith Haring and Robert Combas. The gallery exhibited the New Realists movement: César, Arman, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Mimmo Rotella, Jacques Villeglé, Niki de Saint Phalle, Philippe Hiquily. The French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte designed the gallery when it moved in 2002, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. It became an essential place of the art scene, a place where tradition, and renewal of figurative art intertwined. With the arrival of Marie Laborde as director in 2008, the gallery will kept promoting this generation of artists by bringing them together in thematic exhibitions: Heart (2010), Picasso Forever (2011), Paper Works (2016), it will create incursions into different worlds such as with the exhibitions Urban and Street Art (2016) and Varia (2018). In March 2012, Strouk Gallery moved into a magnificent mansion at 2 Avenue Matignon. Matignon: more than 350 square meters on two levels which allow to give all their power to the artists presented with historical personal exhibitions. Each exhibition is the opportunity to publish a good quality catalogue. Strouk Gallery team, with its unquestionable professionalism and its warm and courteous welcome, has made its mark on the art world. The strength of the Strouk Gallery lies in the unfailingly friendly and professional relationship it establishes with the exhibited artist. Laurent Strouk’s passion for the work of Keith Haring is particularly noteworthy, as he maintains one of the most remarkable collections in Europe and lends his works to prestigious institutional exhibitions. In 2021, in order to offer greater visibility to its artists, Strouk Gallery opens an ambitious complex, a second site in the Louvre district, at 5 rue du Mail: 650 square meters of exhibition space, an equally generous private space, a bookstore, and Strouk Editions, producing artist’s multiples. A vibrant, sensitive, transcultural and demanding program is being put in place, punctuated by invitations to prominent personalities, such as Baptiste Ozenne, with the exhibition Inti-Punku in September 2022. Strouk Gallery, with its strong experience, opens up to new generations of French and international artists, such as the painter and draftsman Valentin van der Meulen, and enriches itself with universes in which figuration and abstraction are reconciled, which is precisely what is at stake in the cosmogony of the visual artist Vincent Beaurin. With its two magnificent locations in the center of the City of Light, the Galerie Strouk team, with its unquestionable professionalism and its warm and courteous welcome, has made its mark on the panorama of the contemporary art world.
Erró, Valerio Adami, Pat Andrea, Vincent Beaurin, Ben, Robert Combas, Love Curly, Antony Donaldson, Philippe Hiquily, Peter Klasen, Jacques Monory, Pavlos, Bernard Rancillac, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Gérard Schlosser, Antonio Seguí, Valentin van der Meulen