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Emmanuel Van der Meulen

Emmanuel Van der Meulen
05.24.13 - 06.23.13
Exhibition — Château d'Eau

Emmanuel Van der Meulen, Objet Métier VII – X, 2013, Château d'Eau. Photo Nicolas Brasseur, Festival international d'art de Toulouse, 2013 ©Le Printemps de septembre

Emmanuel Van der Meulen, Grand Métier I-V, 2013, Château d'Eau. Photo Nicolas Brasseur, Festival international d'art de Toulouse, 2013 ©Le Printemps de septembre

Emmanuel Van der Meulen, Grand Métier VI, 2013, Château d'Eau. Photo Nicolas Brasseur, Festival international d'art de Toulouse, 2013 ©Le Printemps de septembre

Emmanuel Van der Meulen, Grand Métier I-V, 2013, Château d'Eau. Photo Nicolas Brasseur, Festival international d'art de Toulouse, 2013 ©Le Printemps de septembre

At the Château d’Eau painter Emmanuel Meulen has been invited to continue the research he began during his residency at the Villa Medici in 2012 –13 into the inscription of painting within architecture. If he has chosen the picture support as his favoured medium, for him the relation between this, the space around it and the physical situation of the beholder has always been a key factor. Colour, and its particular presence, is the centre of his work, as it is of his paintings. 

Big elementary figures painted in monumental formats punctuate the exhibition, which is set out over several stations. Tondi (round canvases) complete the cycle. By limiting his work to these simple forms, to a certain economy of means, Emmanuel Van der Meulen manages to distance, or at least delay, representation, in whatever form, in order to present the gaze with the specific elements of painting, to attract the eye, before or beyond the realm of everyday vision.

"In the sharing with the beholder, these few simple forms are the minimum for recognition. They are immediately visible: we can move on to something else. We can go beyond recognition of what is to be seen on the pictureobject and come to the experience of the painting as such." * E. Van der Meulen, interview with Éric de Chassey, Emmanuel Van der Meulen. Enten – Eller. Tableaux 2006–2008. Paris: Lienart – Galerie Jean Fournier, 2009, n.p. 

This work recalls the radicalism of minimalism and the art of major contemporary artists such as Blinky Palermo and Günther Förg, but it is ultimately rooted in the much older history of premodern art, of ornament and of decorative painting. The group of paintings shown at the Château d’Eau are thus very freely inspired by the geometrical visions of Hildegard of Bingen, as described in the Book of Divine Works. 

BIOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Van der Meulen was born in Paris in 1972. He lives in Paris and works in Nogent sur Marne. A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 2001, and resident of the French Academy in Rome (Villa Medici) in 2012–13, Emmanuel Van der Meulen was chosen as co-winner of the Blue Orange Support Prize by Gabriel Orozco in 2006. He has exhibited at the Espace de l’Art Concret in Mouans-Sartoux, at the Minus Space in Brooklyn, and at the Collège des Bernardins, Paris. He curated the exhibition Buongiorno Binky at the Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Palermo, in 2013. His first critical essay, “L’imagination et le suspens du regard selon Simone Weill,” was published in the exhibition catalogue La Pesanteur et la Grâce, in 2010.

Coloring  by Farrow & Ball, distributed by Secrets d'atelier.
With the support of Les amis du Printemps — Festival international d’art de Toulouse