From the very start of his career in the late 1950s, Claude Viallat has been passionate about painting in large formats, but these have rarely been seen due to their size. The painting 2009/371 is transcendent – like an opera’s lyrical bel canto, the brutal force of sustained trills, turns, and runs that
demand great vocal agility. The shape invades the painting in a sea of colors. It is plain, yet serene and unchangeable. Viallat perfectly fits the lineage of artist who tried to export the collective values of modernity. For Viallat, painting means leaving a mark. A mark as a shape without background, nor
identity, a display of the veracity of the pictorial beyond representation.
Claude Viallat (born 1936 in Nîmes, France) adopted a repetitive process based on fingerprints in 1966, a radical critique of the lyrical abstraction, and geometric painting of the day. In Viallat’s practice, a neutral form is repeated on a canvas without a frame to determine the composition of the work. In 1970, he was a founding member of the movement Supports/Surfaces, which called for a revolutionary change in art through the deconstruction of traditional materials. Viallat lives and works in Nîmes, France.
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