About The Work
In 1988, Claude Viallat explains interviewed by Henri-Francois Debailleux : “I work on the repetition of the same shape because there’s no reason for it to change if the system in which it operates doesn’t. This shape, with its inter-shape and outline, consistently produces either binary, ternary, or quaternary principles, and so on.What interests me is that it’s neither figurative, representative, geometrical, or symbolical, and neither is it really decorative or ornamental. It’s a nondescript shape with no intrinsic meaning. What matters to me is what it isn’t, rather than what it is. Repeating it systematically leads me to a type of system which seems much more interesting to me.”
Claude Viallat's work questions the practice of painting putting colors on a flawless surface by applying colors on a material surface, which existence itself interferes with colors. In his cluttered bric-à-brac studio filled with all sorts of materials - from seat covers to parasols, to curtains, not to mention floorcloths, fringed awnings, or you wife’s dresses -, Viallat juggles with formats and mediums, putting gigantic works alongside tiny ones, majestic and elegant pieces next to the most ridiculous and tacky things. The artist loves getting his hands on improbable materials, stating: “my technique changes with each new medium. What I am most passionate about is seeing how color sets, penetrates and reacts based on the nature of the medium.”
Born 1936, Nimes, France, lives and works Nikes, France. Claude Viallat studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Montpellier from 1955 to 1959, then at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1962-63, in Raymond Legueult's workshop. In 1966, he adopted a process based on fingerprints, in a technique called Allover. In 1969, he was a founding member of Supports / Surfaces.
In addition to the growing success of his exhibitions in France (at the Pompidou Center in 1982) and abroad (Venice Biennale in 1988), he devoted himself to his work as a teacher in the art schools in Nice, Limoges, Marseille and Nimes (where he was director for many years), then Paris at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris.
Founded in Saint-Étienne in 2006 by François Ceysson and Loic Bénétière, subsequently joined by Bernard Ceysson, artistic advisor, the Ceysson & Bénétière gallery initially expanded its presence in French-speaking Europe: Luxembourg, Paris and then Geneva. In Luxembourg, besides the space in Luxembourg city, the gallery now has another vast space at Wandhaff /Windhof near Koerich, measuring 1400 m2 and with more than 1200 m2 devoted solely to exhibitions.