French artist Laurent Dauptain returns to Axelle New York this spring for a solo exhibition of all-new paintings and drawings. Dauptain, born in Paris in 1961, is best known for his large-scale self-portraits, of which he has painted thousands – each one highly unique. His prolific autoportraits experiment with different brushstrokes, textures, palettes and varying levels of detail. While Dauptain is most well known for these portraits, his body of work ranges from masterful industrial landscapes to painterly country sides, seascapes and still life works. With generous paint application, he blends realism and abstraction to create bold representations of both France and the United States.
His fascination with self-portraits began at the age of 20 when he received a college assignment to imagine and draw himself at several different ages ranging from 15 to 95. After the project was completed, he decided to undertake the endeavor in real time and paint his actual changing appearance over time. Using mirrors and recent photographs, Dauptain tirelessly creates series of close ups of his own face, each a different expression, each a different approach to painting. He continuously finds new ways to broach his every-changing subject. His portraits are technical explorations into the realm of painting as well as explorations into his evolution as a painter and as an aging man – physically and psychologically. After over thirty years of painting these images, Dauptain’s curiosity, as well as that of his viewers, has proved to be insatiable. The bolder colors and new perspectives on Dauptain's face and body distinguish the self-portraits in this new collection from his past work.
Dauptain, a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the École des Arts Décoratifs, gained a master’s degree in Aesthetics in 1984. Since graduating from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1981, he has exhibited constantly and received numerous awards for his work, including the Grand Prix of the Salon des Peintres de l’Armée (2003), the Taylor Prize (2001), and the gold medal of the Salon des Artistes Français (1997). He has had several exceptionally successful solo exhibitions at Axelle since 2007. He now lives and works France. The artist will attend the opening reception on May 17.