"Feast of Fools" (2004); oil and enamel on panel, 121.9 x 203.2 cm, collection of Jeffrey Deitch
Jules de Balincourt (born in Paris, 1972) is one of the leading artists of the New York art scene. Since participating in the exhibition "Notre histoire" at Palais de Tokyo (Paris), the Whitney Biennale (New York) and "USA Today" at the Royal Academy of Arts (London), all of which were held in 2006, de Balincourt has firmly established his international reputation and his work is in demand around the world. This exhibition includes brand new artworks as well as important pieces dating back to 2003. De Balincourt works predominantly in the medium of painting, but he also makes sculptures and installations. His paintings are characterized by their free use of bright colors and bold lines to depict scenes from everyday life, adventures, romances, politics, economics, the environment, utopian visions and even purely psychological landscapes. These diverse vistas demonstrate how de Balincourt's conception of reality extends not only to the news and media but also to what we now call cyberspace. As his perspective is dynamic and grows outwards in the form of a network, his subjects are naturally diverse. His paintings are at once figurative and abstract, and at times are reminiscent of photography, maps or even video. Likewise, his artworks are diverse in their depth, with some subjects depicted in close-range and others at a distance. The actual sizes of his paintings vary greatly, too. When viewed together, his artworks can appear to be in dialogue with each other, and they are open and accessible enough for each viewer to be able to incorporate them into his or her own story. The artist calls this effect "free association painting." De Balincourt incorporates the strategies of graphic design and advertising into his paintings, occasionally including their titles or other slogan-like phrases within the works themselves. At the same time, his artworks exhibit a distinctly post-9/11 world view, including critical stances on the capitalist system and the overly-controlled nature of present day society. This tendency is due in part to his own strong interest in theories of utopia, social systems and community. He even contributes directly to community-building in Brooklyn, New York, where he operates an alternative art and event venue called Starr Space. This exhibition provides an opportunity to renew our awareness of the position of painting within contemporary art and also to appreciate how an artistic stance that is informed by video, media and interconnected networks can invest the medium with new potential. Artist talk *Japanese-English consecutive translation available.
17:30-19:00 Saturday, 20 March 2010 Admission: Free (Bookings required, Admission ticket required). Bookings can be made from 10:00 Tuesday, 23 February on the Mori Art Museum website. * The text provided by Mori Art Museum.