Thomas Vergne: solo exhibition

Always The Same

March 14 - April 13, 2019

Opening on Thursday, March 14, from 6pm

With the artist in attendance

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Unusual fact : it is with a solo exhibition that Le Feuvre & Roze gallery and Thomas Vergne mark the beginning of their collaboration. From March 14, the gallery offers the visitor the experience of being immersed in the French’s abstract, sensitive, deep and geometrical universe. Indeed, about one hundred oils on canvas, 18x14 cm (7x5.5 inches) will be unveiled. Those small format paintings are part of an ongoing series started by the artist in 2012.

About Thomas Vergne

Painting in the light of everyday life

Thomas Vergne’s work focuses on painting in and of itself—its origins and essence. Vergne’s paintings are developed as a workflow, following a daily routine and rigorous process. He makes note of his hunches in his sketchbook, and then transfers ideas to the canvas—almost always identical in format, juxtaposing shapes and colours. His work is geometric, minimal in the number of elements, methodological and serial in its production. He developed this painting style through contact with Jean-Michel Alberola’s studio a few years ago at the Beaux-Arts de Paris, and it bears the traces of an aspect of North American painting in the 1960s (Blinky Palermo, Ellsworth Kelly, among others).

Despite the apparent distance that may come through in this work, it bears the signs of a loaded intimacy, which reveals itself in another way. The series Shadows, started in 2016, portrays a range of shadows—as seen from Vergne’s living room and artist studio—in large format. He shares with us a banal point of view of everyday life, leaving a portion of the canvas empty. A blank bar breaks up the space... Not completely filling the canvas, but leaving the scene hanging and undoing any illusion of a mock painting, like a window into the world. The presence of paint comes through this emptiness on the canvas. It is right here, in front of us—without being yet another icon that would take us away to an unknown destination.

Without going so far as to describe this technique as an ecology of painting, his work nevertheless lays the foundations for restoring an often criticized medium. While contemporary techniques and post-modernism have cleared away any hierarchy of techniques, this connection of media plunges us back into the essence of painting. In the digital era, and without any hint of reactionary thinking, Thomas Vergne’s work transcends the medium’s complexes of history, to move towards methodological reconstruction. And this is done by studying perceptions of everyday life—those moments we face without seeing, and experience without feeling: the light sweeping across our bodies, the colour of the objects that surround us, and the beauty of their shadows.

Guillaume Clerc