Exposition Alex Bardel Nunc Gallery à Grenoble

Alex Bardel in his blue per­iod at Nunc !

Alex Bardel in his blue per­iod at Nunc !

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REPORT – The NUNC ! gal­lery pre­sents a new artist from the 30th of January. Born in Grenoble, Alex Bardel stu­died at the Design School of Lyon, then in New Caledonia and came back to his first love, after a phase of abs­tract art and sculp­ture : pain­ting and the absurd.

Exposition Alex Bardel Nunc Gallery à Grenoble

© Jean-Baptiste Auduc – pla​ce​gre​net​.fr

A lit­tle late, Alex Bardel arri­ved at the pri­vate vie­wing cele­bra­ting his exhi­bi­tion, very sty­lish with a small goa­tee and a scarf around his neck. Born in Grenoble, he admits he « took off as fast as pos­sible ». A thirst for tra­vel which brought him to New Caledonia from 1996 to 2006, to bet­ter come back, since his paint shop is now situa­ted in the heart of the Alps” capital.
Exposition Alex Bardel Nunc Gallery à Grenoble

© Jean-Baptiste Auduc – pla​ce​gre​net​.fr

Nunc ! shows the favo­rite pain­tings of Eugénie Fauny, the gal­lery owner. The place is often inva­ded by tags and street-art. Tonight, the pain­tings han­ging on the wall are all blue. A sea blue that takes an impor­tant part in the artist’s life. « This blue-green repre­sents New Caledonia. After staying a long time on this island, I nee­ded to leave but this colour remained ». 
To live from one’s work
A hete­ro­ge­neous artist, Alex Bardel does sculp­ture, abs­tract pain­ting in large for­mat and has exhi­bi­ted all over the world. At the age of 48, back home, he brings a more busi­ness-like approach to his career. His objec­tive : to sell enough to be able to live from his art.
Exposition Alex Bardel Nunc Gallery à Grenoble

© Jean-Baptiste Auduc – pla​ce​gre​net​.fr

« Before I had some small jobs to be able to live while pain­ting. Now, I want to live from my work », assures the artist. That is why his pain­tings are small now. We are far from the time when his work mea­su­red 4 by 3 meters, movie set style.
His work has chan­ged too. The artist’s uni­verse has moved from total abs­tract in the 90’s to a more acces­sible figu­ra­tive style. » abs­tract pain­ting is old-fashio­ned. I’ve deci­ded to return to my first love », explains the dreamy artist in front of one of his paintings.
Superimposition effects
In his pain­ting, he draws his ins­pi­ra­tion from his child­hood games : « I used to make col­lages to create fake adver­ti­se­ments. I really like this super­po­si­tion effect. » He men­tions Erró, post-modern Icelandic artist spe­cia­li­sed in this genre. But accor­ding to Alex Bardel, this tech­nique creates artis­tic limits. « Once the col­lage is done, there is no way to modify the work. I want to carry on wor­king on it. I create a decou­page », confides the artist.
Exposition Alex Bardel Nunc Gallery à Grenoble

Casser, Alex Bardel. The Chinese child, hol­ding a lobs­ter claw, threa­tens Jeff Koons” piece of work. On his dun­ga­rees appear those sino­grams : « I’m going to break you ». © Jean-Baptiste Auduc – pla​ce​gre​net​.fr

His crazy pain­ting, tin­ged with a pro-American touch, shows some men dres­sed in suit and tie close to comics cha­rac­ters. The Ocean blue from New Caledonia becomes then the back­ground of figu­ra­tive scenes, brin­ging toge­ther exces­sive consump­tion and the col­lapse of an idea­li­zed America, over­thrown by the Chinese giant. « I’ve never been there. It would be a big dis­co­very for me », admits the artist. The piece of work entit­led « Casser » is a great example of this geo­po­li­ti­cal change.
Jean-Baptiste Auduc
Exhibition at the Nunc ! gal­lery until the 28th of February 2014
7 rue Génissieu, 38000 Grenoble
Translation by Sandra Bailly, Freelance trans­la­tor EN-FR & Desktop Publishing Specialist
Tel : +33 6 95 87 15 27 – email : sandra.​bailly79@​gmail.​com
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