Guillaume Bresson “Momentum”

French Institute Alliance Française

poster for Guillaume Bresson “Momentum”
[Image: Guillaume Bresson "Untitled" (2019) Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia]

This event has ended.

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) presents Momentum, the first solo show in the US by French artist Guillaume Bresson. Organized in collaboration with the Galerie Nathalie Obadia, the exhibition features approximately ten new paintings in a variety of formats by one of the most noteworthy French painters of his generation.

In his richly layered paintings, Bresson (b. 1982) uses classical techniques to elevate contemporary subjects and imaginary landscapes to profound statements. Drawing upon various influences spanning Caravaggio to Jeff Wall, Bresson inserts modern-day figures into timeless grisailles, eschewing anachronism to merge past and present.

In Momentum, the exhibition progresses through a series of scenes in which individuals are juxtaposed against their surroundings, from desolate landscapes to woodland scenes and breaker waves. At the same time, Bresson’s work addresses driving forces in a globalized world such as class struggles, migrations, and gender inequalities, echoing the writings of socially conscious French novelist Édouard Louis.

Like a choreographer, Bresson leads his subjects through intense photography sessions, at once capturing their vitality and molding them into sculptural forms. He then meticulously places these figures, including middle school students from Paris’s banlieues, the artist’s collaborators, and the artist himself, into fictional settings that are at once specific and universal.

“As a bridge between France and the US, FIAF is ideally situated to bring attention to Francophone artists living and working in New York. In that vein, we are thrilled to feature the work of Guillaume Bresson, a rising star in France, who is currently based in Brooklyn,” said FIAF Artistic Director Courtney Geraghty. “Guillaume’s work is striking—at first his canvases seem classical in composition, but the organization and movement of bodies in space reveal a very contemporary and personal approach to underrepresented individuals in today’s society.”

Born in Toulouse in 1982, Guillaume Bresson lives and works in New York. His work questions the notions of staging and narrative in painting. He first came to the attention of the public with Dynasty, an exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2010.

Bresson’s work has since been shown internationally at institutions including the Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe (Germany, 2011), The Curitiba Biennial (Brazil, 2011), the Perm Museum (Russia, 2012), l’Institut du Monde arabe (Paris, 2015), la Collection Lambert (Avignon, 2015), ArtSpace Boan (Seoul, 2016), and the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard (Paris, 2018). In New York, Bresson’s work was part of a group show, The Visible World Is Merely an Isolated Case, presented by Brooklyn-based Residency Unlimited in 2016.

In 2015, Bresson created the poster for the Avignon Festival and staged a solo exhibition in Avignon’s renowned Eglise des Célestins. He has been the subject of two monographic publications: Guillaume Bresson (Editions Dilecta, 2012) and Guillaume Bresson, Red Star Football Club (Presses du Réel, 2016). His works are in the collections of the MUDAM Luxembourg and Abattoirs Museum (Toulouse, France), among many others.

Bresson graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris with distinction in 2007. He has been represented by the Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris/Bruxelles) since 2010.



from March 06, 2019 to April 17, 2019

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