Belgium artist Matthieu Ronsse is currently on view with his solo exhibition at Galerie Almine Rech, Paris. When viewing the works in his exhibition “Cheap Imitations” it is hard to escape Ronsse’s connection to classical Master painters such as Rembrant, Grecco, Velazques, and Renoir who used their painterly techniques to render subjects and scenes centuries ago. Now, Ronsse is taking these techniques and exposing them to the current perceptions of painting. In other words, Ronsse is not mastering the paintbrush in order to preserve this classical painting style, but using it as a foundation for his exploration into the relevance of classical painting in today’s contemporary society. Ronsse displays his paintings in a method of ways and on various supports, some works with no supports at all. Select works seem to have been subject to abuse with tears and cuts made into the image Ronsse has rendered. A wall in the gallery is covered with small studies overlapping one another with objects integrated resulting in an assemblage that mimics a excerpted segment of an artist’s studio. A couple of the works seem to escape the aesthetic of his classical painting (“Cosy Fear”, and “Defrost Cabin”), one having the skin of what seemed to be a boar stretched on the supports of a painting hung facing the wall, and the second a draped canvas with textural investigations using oil paint, mimicking the aerosol textural works that have been so relevant in contemporary painting in recent years. These works express opposition to classical painting, or rather their progression from it. A push from the classical idea of perfection and into the current artistic world of few boundaries.
Contributed by Gregory Ito
Venue: Galerie Almine Rech, Paris
Artist: Matthieu Ronsse
Exhibition Title: Cheap Imitations
Dates: Closes December 22, 2012
Press Release Excerpt:
His work is intuitive, spontaneous. The artworks hanging from the wall or placed on the floor of the exhibition spaces, housing one of the artist’s shows, rarely reflect the original subject matter. The layers capture the artist’s different states of mind, as well as spaces: his studio, his garden, the walls of a friend’s house, etc. Each oeuvre can be said to bear testimony to the time and attention to detail devoted to it by the artist, as well as the distress he has subjected them to: revising, cutting up, reworking, mixing, assembling, even tearing … All are practices commonly used in Ronsse’s work. All of his works undergo change or transformation and are rendered obscure until the very last moment, leaning towards iconoclasm. They may even be read as a denial or rejection of perfection.