This winter, Axelle New York will host a solo exhibition of new works by mixed media artist François Anton. Anton’s blend of brilliant satire, humor and quick wit defines his unique style. The oil on canvas pieces, which often incorporate gold leaf and collage, capture the mischief of childhood comic strips while remaining decidedly intelligent and skillfully executed fine works of art. The gallery introduced Anton’s works earlier this year is now thrilled to host his debut U.S. solo exhibition.
Anton’s works, reminiscent of newspaper comics, juxtapose the seriousness of adult life with the lighthearted absurdity of childhood. The French artist toys with the viewer’s perceptions and expectations, often blurring the line between reality and fantasy. Anton’s subjects, typically grown men in suits, are portrayed in humorous and unexpected situations. His predominantly grey--‐scale figures loom over tiny train sets, animated childhood toys and anthropomorphic cats and dogs. Each painting captures a moment of action – a man jumping on a suitcase, shouting or throwing a ball. Like cartoon strips, Anton’s paintings frequently reveal a full narrative by repeating the same subject several times to demonstrate a series of events. The sense of movement in his work is striking not only in the content but also in the remarkable energy emanating from the frenetic lines and sudden bursts of color on each canvas. Despite the playful nature of his works, there remains an element of bleak existentialism reminiscent of British painter, Francis Bacon that provokes careful consideration and introspection in the viewer. His works are deeply witty commentaries on innocence, modernity and what it means to “grow up.”
Born in 1944 in French Algeria, Anton eventually settled in Béziers in the south of France, where he currently lives and works. Since 1975, Anton has exhibited his work in galleries in France, Switzerland and Germany as well as in several prominent art fairs. Anton will attend the opening reception at Axelle on December 13.