About Jean Charles Blais
Jean Charles has emerged on the art scene at the eve of the 80s with works stunning and new both in materials and imagery. He met with instant recognition from the public as well as renowned critics and curators. He was 25 years old.
In the years which followed, he was co-opted by most important international galleries such as Yvon Lambert in Paris, Leo Castelli, then Tony Shafrazy in New York . He would have one-man shows in celebrated museums like the MOMA in New York, the Pompidou Center in Paris or the Kunsthalle in Basel. During the two last decades of the century he led an over active artist’s life. Only recently has he become more serene living and working in a quiet Paris place and a heavenly house in the South of France.
Blais’s subject matter is almost exclusively the human body. Massive and awkward with tiny heads, clinging to anything vertical whether trees, canes, as if ready to fall, fleeing or hiding, those bodies bore every sign of the human absurd and desperate condition. The worlds of Celine, Kafka, Beckett and Gombrowicz were often evoked by the commentators. Then there were fragments, a foot, a hand, a big head, a shoulder, a nape of a neck, imprinted on rough materials mostly recuperated from the street. Later the works became lighter, the bodies being suggested by their absence under floating garments. After experimenting with computer generated animated more abstract forms, Blais is back with his favorite topic: this time, bodies stand by couples in black shadows on torn posters backgrounds.
“ The body has become a piece of painting. However the figure of the body remains as I never could really get rid of it’” This statement of Blais’ dates back from October 1984. Think of it.
Jean Charles Blais in his words
“In a catalog for an exhibition at the museum in Antibes, I found this quotation from Picasso: everything interesting about art is its beginnings. Once it’s begun, it’s already finished. You could also add that no sooner does an idea emerge that it is swept by its form which ends up dissolving the original idea itself…
I am not concerned with coherence, with the “overview”. I like a very open field of operations: my work takes the form of uncertainty. Its sometimes unpredictable answers are the forms that it brings into being, often without my knowledge. So with the passage of time, practices I once embraced seem to have been abruptly abandoned…
At any moment, something that did not exist the day before can suddenly explode and come into being and take control. That can result in a bizarre chronology sequence and strange apparitions. But I love this unpredictability and seeing what comes next…
Most of the time, forms dissolve, becoming images themselves, a visual memory, a sort of ectoplasm. But sometimes they come back to life, recover their substance and once again require our observation. They have an illusionary sameness, somehow transformed…”
From Jean Charles Blais Musée Picasso Antibes 2013
Le coup de Tanger, Yvon Lambert éditeur 1989
Suite, FRAC Picardie 1992
La chanson de Rollant, Picaron éditions Amsterdam 1992
De mémoire, Franck Bordas éditeur 1995
Double vue, Espace des arts Chalon 2002
Double vue, (DVD) art net-art 2002
Miracle, musée Réattu 2004
Empty words, Sens & Tonka 2005
Sechs Songs d’Amour, Un Cabinet d’Amateur Sofia 2013