Été: the French word for summer may only be three letters long, but it is full of promise. It is an intense word, evoking as it does a season bathed in sunlight and full of sweet fragrances, shooting stars, sweltering heat and dazzling colours. Waves dance, bodies tan, eyes sparkle, children play and minds are set free from care. It is an inspirational season loved by writers and poets, during which time seems to stand still. Cradled in the soft arms of a gentle breeze, the last sheds of our resistance melt away. So enjoy the moment, the pleasure of discovering and perceiving the world through the eyes of these artists brought to you by summer. Praz-Delavallade Paris is inviting five young painters to take over the gallery walls and, in its generosity, summer offers us a new crop of intriguing discoveries and invites us to take a seat at the angels’ table. Total freedom of expression is the rule with just one condition: the resulting encounters must be explosive, unexpected, discordant and above all amazing.
Jean Claracq (born in Bayonne, lives and works in Paris). Jean Claracq paints miniatures and icons in which he pays attention to even the slightest details. Although he finds his models on social media, his paintings resonate with a thousand learned references. He skilfully plays with a multitude of possible interpretations in urban compositions that portray with surgeon-like precision our relationship with screens and solitude. Where you would expect to find the painter, you see the reflection of a photographer: the artist takes a step back, finding in the process a way to portray the contemporary world. In his experimentations, Jean Claracq has gone beyond a simple presentation of things and created an experience that conveys life itself through his compositions and emotions in his technique.
Daniel Horowitz (born in New York, lives and works in Paris and New York). Daniel Horowitz’s practice is characterised by a unique combination of realism and surrealist abstraction in which images make light of the actual nature and scale of objects creating phantasmagorical landscapes in their stead. His paintings employ associative reasoning - projected together, heterogeneous subjects become strange, but psychologically coherent landscapes - and seem to suggest a narrative, the promise of which fades away into a strange ambiguity. Willingly taking into consideration certain forms of contemporary reality, social concerns and uprooted identities, this iconography lends a dreamlike quality to Horowitz’s paintings.
Golnaz Payani (born in Teheran, live and works in Paris). Golnaz Payani studied painting, but her multifaceted creations go beyond the sole practice of painting and are reminiscent of the golden period of ornamentation. Whatever her chosen medium she recycles time itself, catching it as it tries to y away and capturing moments in the frame, on canvas or on paper, of which she tries to preserve traces when they burst into flame. Even if the story is over and done, she brings us remnants of its fragrance, colour and framework in creations that function as relics of this absence, of the inevitable dissolution of time and memory. Her body of work is an invitation to embark on a contemplative journey through a land where different times, realities and memories, both collective and individual, are entwined.
Karine Rougier (born in Malta, live and works in Marseille). What is remarkable in Karine Rougier’s work is her capacity to place herself in-between worlds, with one foot in tradition and the other playing the role of the outsider. This duality could be a source of antagonism, but instead Karine skilfully plays with it, representing on the one hand characters and landscapes inspired by everyday life and folk tales and, on the other, resorting to an almost automatic form of writing embodied in an obsessive repetition of themes that unlock the doors to the subconscious. This hybridity, inspired by her travels and a desire to believe in marvellous things, puts the magic back into the reality of life, onto which she grafts a dreamlike world where magical forces are at play and which is filled with fantastic ora and fauna and a new take on mythological figures.
Apolonia Sokol (born in the world, lives and works in the world). For Apolonia Sokol painting is an affair of the tribe, the family and the entourage, a collective notion that is illustrated in a body of work whose subjects are often chosen from her inner circle. She transposes onto canvas the elective affinities of her encounters, turning friends, lovers and beautiful souls passing through her life into life-size, full-length portraits, either alone or in pairs. Although she is first and foremost a painter, Apolonia creates associations and alliances in an approach that is nevertheless a far cry from post-modern hybridisation, while reaffirming the position of the subject, of the triumphant self that travels the world, her world. In the wake of this confrontation with the raw material of reality, she incorporates without distinction elements of art history and pop culture, emotions that cannot be expressed in words and the banal accidents of everyday life into her work.