Waltman Ortega Fine Art is pleased to present “The Echo of the World”, a solo exhibition of paintings by renowned French painter François Bard. The exhibition is to open on Nov. 23 and remains on view through Dec. 27, 2019.
Recognized as one of the great French figurative painters working today, François Bard also paints the most ordinary of subjects. Bard knows that, in painting especially, the artist’s attempt to go beyond the mere “capture” of appearances is less effective without the presence, in the painting, of some gritty reality – a drip, a shadow, a grimace or a detail blocked from view.
But every painting that seeks to reflect both the world’s beauty and harshness must also convey an imaginative sense of possibility. Bard’s inclusion of notes of hope – a child, a flower, a dog, a familiar gesture – establishes a dual outlook, a paradoxical desire to honor the imagination and the real world – the personal and the universal.
Both personal and universal are present in Bard’s works. They are revealed though layers of oil paint built up from dark expanses to light touches, painterly handling, scumbling, scraping, drips, splatters, and veils of thin brown bituminous glazes, which stain his images like the accumulation of time and age.
Bard also takes inspiration from the “moving pictures,” in studies of the male psyche which remind us of film noir with their unusual angles, heightened chiaroscuro of light and shade, and close-up cropping. Bard’s characters keep their distance – they avert their eyes or hide behind dark glasses. They turn away. We are left to contemplate the back of the subject’s head, or heads are cropped out wholly. “The role of the contemporary artist should be to incite people to see differently.”
François Bard's enjoys a strong international career with his work exhibited worldwide and included in important collections. Among his most recent achievements are a collaboration with Christian Dior, in which images from his works have been used in the garments of Dior Homme 2018 collection; his work was included in the Société Générale permanent collection in Paris; exhibited at the Biennale d'Issy and at the Krikhaar Foundation, to name a few. François Bard was born in 1959. He lives and works in South of France.