The traditional strangeness of his drawings—the viewer wonders where are we? Who are they? Why?—is complemented by the enigmatic titles of his works: Gilles Aillaud, David Hockney, Karin Mamma Andersson, Tal R., and so on. The artists’ names have been used as references that Frédéric Poincelet places—in his works—in the more general context of creative work.
After the exhibition ‘S NS T TR’ (2016), which highlighted—through this unprecedented choice of wording in the history of art—the fact that his drawings bore the title ‘untitled’, Frédéric Poincelet has adopted an approach that is the complete opposite of his traditional approach and has used artist’s names as titles for his latest drawings. The aim is not to provide a descriptive element or make a statement, but to ‘summon’ what lies deep within him: hidden invisible ghosts, which—in the themes tackled by the artists whose works Frédéric Poincelet takes an interest in—inhabit him and eventually emerge in his own drawings.
The new exhibition of his works includes landscapes and unidentifiable spaces, women, children, and animals. The colours applied with ink wash prior to the ballpoint drawing are increasingly present and sometimes almost obscure the drawing. In his most recent works, in which the composition of the drawings has evolved by leaving part of the paper unworked and the creation of margins via collage, the artist has exploited the paper and its light, which is not suffused with ballpoint or ink, thereby highlighting the muted intensity of the colours.
The works, whose themes have been randomly chosen, do not constitute a series but an ensemble, whose main theme is the question of drawing as an art in itself.
This question, which is central to his work, has led Frédéric Poincelet to create a second section in his exposition; he is curating a group exhibition: ‘Des fleurs pour Valentin’ (vernissage on Thursday 14 February), in which he has invited around twenty artists to contribute works on the theme of the bouquet.
Born in 1967, he lives and works in Paris.
Frédéric Poincelet studied graphic design and has also published art books; he was for a while involved with the Lune Produck publishing house (‘Art Contemporain’ collection). He collaborates, in particular, on the reviews Le dernier cri, Hôpital brut, Bang!, Tecknikart, and Double. Frédéric Poincelet joined the comics publishing house Ego Comme X in 1998. In addition to the books he has produced with this publishing house, in which he is also the official graphic designer, he has produced several illustrated reports for the reviews Bang! and Beaux-Arts Magazine.
Building on his last book Mon bel amour, he began collaborating with the magazine Psychologies in 2006, focusing on female sexuality—a collaboration that ended in 2008. In the same year, he produced a two-page report with cartoons on Sasha Grey, the American porn star, for the daily newspaper Libération.
In addition to his career as a comics artist, Frédéric Poincelet is a prominent figure in the contemporary drawing scene; he participated in the exhibition ‘Dessins pointus’, and, together with the collective Frédéric Magazine, of which he is one of the founding members, he participated in the exhibition ‘La force de l'art’ at the Grand Palais. Frédéric Magazine promotes drawing—the practice of drawing that is an art in its own right, that is to say drawing that is not subservient to any other higher artistic practice. Their drawing does not involve making sketches or preliminary studies for a major work, such as a future painting or sculpture. Drawing is its own justification and an end in itself, and as such follows a tradition that extends from L'Assiette au Beurre to Bazooka, and from New Yorker to Elles sont de sorties.