09 June 2013

Art I like - Simon Hantai

At first, it was the grids that interested me -
Tabula 1978 (from here)
In 1960 Simon Hantai (1922-2008) invented a method called pliage - crumpling, crushing or folding the primed canvas before dousing it with colour. In the shifting figure-ground relationship, the unpainted areas often seem more "important" than the paint itself. (Read about the evolution of the method here.)
Hantai at work, 1989
His method has been called "objective automatism" - abstractions made by engaging with materials rather than developed in the unconscious mind. After representing France in the Venice Biennale in 1982, he refused to show in commercial galleries. 

Now, his "epistolary art" interests me more - "unreadable manuscripts" of writing layered in various colours, made shortly before he developed the pliage technique.
Sometimes the writing is punctuated with symbols -
Hantai's work is currently being shown in New York (till 22 June) and Paris (till 2 September).

No comments: