11 February • 04 June 2023
Preview Saturday 11 February • 11 am
Curator : Fabienne Grasser-Fulchéri, assisted by d’Alexandra Deslys
Colour Almost Alone
The painter Didier Mencoboni is first and foremost a colourist. Colour is the very essence of his work. His work addresses three essential areas: abstraction, concept and colour. It comprises small formats as well as large ones and periodically it makes use of different supports such as canvas, paper, fabric, mirror glass, even Plexiglas and other materials.
Like a musician who composes exclusively using variation, Mencoboni multiplies the formal games and chromatic combinations in order to broaden the range of expression in his painting.
Mencoboni has been working on his ...Etc... series since the 1990s, working on these small paintings daily. To date, the series comprises over 2,300 paintings, they offer him a way of getting to grips with painting and getting it under his control. For the artist, painting large amounts of small pictures is a way of never finishing and of producing a single piece which is itself composed of an infinite continuation that becomes something elusive.
Didier Mencoboni experiments with media other than painting, such as ink applied with industrial tools, cut-out paper or other materials such as fabric or Plexiglas. In his work, we find a recurring basic shape: the dot, which is a way of escaping the question of form in order to concentrate on colour and space. How space is occupied, a central question in the artist's work, can be observed in his three-dimensional volumes, as with his mobiles entitled Révolutions.
The artwork entitled Don't stop, also presents his Étagères (Shelves) series in the exhibition and it is a set of small paintings placed on a metal shelf. The accumulation of frames and the possibility of rearranging them makes this a mobile sculpture that plays around with stacking and how the angles of vision can be varied to create an endlessly changing artwork... The accumulation of frames and the possibility of rearranging them makes this a mobile sculpture that plays around with stacking and how the angles of vision can be varied.
Didier Mencoboni's work is deliberately experimental. He uses a variety of disciplines to avoid creating habits with one medium. His work is not produced in sequence. Quite the contrary, each technique is an extension of another one: the idea being to get away from pictures and to move to three-dimensional works or to extend the picture instead. The artist treats colour in such a way that it is constantly seeking to extricate itself from its frame, which is usually forced upon it, so that it can seep out into the surrounding space. La couleur cinq fois (Five Times Colour) follows this approach.
Didier Mencoboni's works will appear in public spaces, in the form of vibrant colours. They will remain visible for a while, and then become no more than a memory for the inhabitants of Mouans-Sartoux. This work is the result of a project instigated by Cnap and implemented with both the town of Mouans-Sartoux and eac.
During the period when the work is being activated - without any real warning being given either of its arrival or its departure - colour will interact with the daily life of the town’s inhabitants, widely spread and concealed, it is unsettling and challenging.
Although brief, the event is dazzling because the artist uses pre-printed sheets which emit a fluorescent colour, a kind of colourful glow which presents in a new light ordinary things such as posters “la couleur collée” (Glued Colour), bookmarks “La couleur entre les pages” (Colour Between the Pages), double pages in a newspaper “La couleur repliée” (Folded Colour), postcards “La couleur dans la main” (Colour in the Hand) and confetti “La couleur éparpillée” (Scattered Colour). These coloured surfaces require only colour.
"I like the idea of making things beautiful, of making life more pleasant, of placing myself on the side of the joyful and above all of the living”.
As part of this commission of Mencoboni’s temporary, multiple and reactivable work for public and private spaces, eac. is holding an exhibition in the château gallery which will feature an important selection of his works from the noughties to the present day - in which colour is expressed in all its diversity and vitality - including his most recent series using gold leaf.