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Boîte à pains

Boîte à pains, 1987

Georges Autard
  • Artist (1951)

Georges Autard started out as a teacher of mathematics but, in 1981 (the year of his first show), he embarked upon a career as a visual artist hallmarked by a large number of works displaying extremely diversified styles and approaches.  This self-taught painter, who was born in Cannes in 1951, was part of the pictorial movement of the 1980s which can be described by the term “urgent” and was expressed by an irresistible need to paint fast and spontaneously using immediately available means.  Calling firstly on images coming from his own everyday life (bike, glasses, alarm clock, blackboard, numbers, writing…), this initial work phase, which gave rise to very large paintings with exploded and brutal forms asserting above all the act of the gesture and the body, was soon followed by a period of slower and more thought-out creative work, calling to mind the artist’s early interest in the exact sciences.  The idea of measure, proportion, and control of surface tension replaced the explosive character of the earlier works.  The vocabulary of the History of 20th Century Art (Cézanne, Picasso, Beuys, Ryman, Body Art) then fuelled a certain number of works including Boîte à pains/Bread Bin where the names of artists belonging to the Russian avant-garde—Rodchenko, El Lissitsky, Malevich, etc.—were here combined with bread croutons.  In Autard’s work, however, no quotations or references are involved.  His work dissects the most significant forms of art (Fucking Paintings) producing a reflection on present-day painting, capable of putting works from the past into perspective.  Georges Autard’s works are regularly shown in galleries in France and Germany.  Since 1990, he has been teaching at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Marseille.

Nadine Labedade