LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES
“Les Enfants Terribles” exhibition sheds light on two artistic movements from the United States which enjoy an international acknowledgment: the Lowbrow and the Pop Surrealism” – two movements that have been intersecting and colliding with each others since the 70s – with the help of some of the art world’s enfants terribles.
Drawing their inspiration from comic books, cartoons, the “custom culture” and more recently from the world of tattoos, skateboarding and alternative music, these artists confront us with our own references through unexpected artworks such as album covers, concert posters, skate boards and sportswear brands. Robert Crumb, Robert Williams, Ed Roth, Jean-Michel Basquiat or Keith Haring, among others, were recognized as artists whose demanding and popular practice has had a huge influence on a younger generation. If Pop Surrealism has its undisputed masters – with Mark Ryden, Ray Caesar and Todd Schorr showing the highest talent in painting –, Lowbrow remains faithful to the pure line, to pencil drawing “on a tablecloth corner” or in school notebooks. The European young guard is one of the Lowbrown voices with French artists such as Nicolas Thomas or Odö.
If these movements are figure-based, other works rely on humor such as those by Australian Reg Mombassa, or make connections with street art as does Chilean Victor Castillo or American Jeff Soto, who remains faithful to live painting on walls and covers them with dreamlike figures, just like the dreaming expression of Japanese Naoto Hattori. Like American Caia Koopman, most of these artists capture – often very frontally – the international and local news.
Curator: Jerome Catz /Spacejunk; coproduction: Rhône-Alpes Region/Spacejunk Art Centers.