An exhibition by French artist François Réau
Curated by Philippe Platel, cultural attaché for the Embassy of France in Australia
Supported by the French Artist in Residence - FAR Bundanon Australia program
Alliance Française Eildon Gallery, 51 Grey Street, St Kilda, 3182 18 April - 16 May 2018
Official opening: Wednesday 18 April | 6:30pm - 8pm
in presence of the artist.
The pieces presented in the exhibition Draw are the result of a 6-week residence at Bundanon in the Shoalhaven River area on the south coast of New South Wales. The exhibition will comprise a combination of works created while on site, using a variety of mediums including drawing, photography and film.
Using the landscape and its process of transformation as a source of inspiration, the work of François Réau reflects his questioning of man and nature. Within his work are themes of temporality, human fragility and the indescribable. The work is underpinned by a reflection on being and becoming, and through large-scale pieces, invites the spectator into an experience that involves every sense. The exhibition Draw focuses on Réau’s exploration of drawing as a medium, and his attempts to exceed its limits. Réau’s drawings, take up and extend out into their exhibition space, becoming immersive and three dimensional. By detaching himself from the traditional idea of drawing, Reau’s work takes the primary element of this medium, lines, and sets them free, allowing them to fill spaces, transforming his drawings into experiential moments of visual thinking.
The drawing machine
The starting point for François Réau’s residence in Bundanon was the idea of drawing as the act of “being in a moment of perpetual becoming”. In constant transformation, Réau’s drawings are made up of a territory of moving contours, expanding even outside of their borders. Being in a natural landscape prompted Réau to further develop this idea, and extend his research and experience of drawing as a medium through the creation and use of a device to record and represent: a machine which would draw space and time as it was experienced. The machine took the form of a cube, covered in mirrors on each of its 6 external faces, and inside of which held a free moving ball and 20 pencils. Movements in the outside world were then able to be transcribed visually, and as such, the resultant drawings are a graphic representation of the artist’s journey.
The drawing machine will also be on display at the exhibition.
As a multidisciplinary artist, the work of François Réau is primarily demonstrated through drawing and installations, his last works being presented at the Lille3000 art festival, the Mons 2015 project, as well as at the Toulon and Menton art museums. His work focuses on the principle of appearance and disappearance of figures and patterns, within the materials in which they are formed. He was a finalist for the competition ‘Contemporary Talents’ in the François Schneider Foundation in Wattwiller in 2015 and 2016, and has exhibited personally and collectively in France and overseas (London, Brussels, Turin, Beijing). In 2016, he exhibited one of his latest installations at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. François Réau was this year accepted as the French Artist in Residence (FAR) of the Bundanon Trust’s Artist-in-Residence program, initiated by the Embassy of France in Australia.
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