Saturday, September 08, 2012

Léopold Rabus - Artist

Colmatage d'un Seuil (2011)
Léopold Rabus
Aeroplastics Contemporary

Terrance Lindall has put my email address on several art e-lists, so I'm looking at a broader range of contemporary art these days than I used to. Only the day before yesterday, I received a link to the above painting by Léopold Rabus, an artist whom I'd never heard of but who has an exhibition currently, the first work of art being the one shown, and described below in a couple of paragraphs from Like You - The Artnetwork:
"Le colmatage d'un seuil (Plugging a Threshold)", from 2011, the painting that first greets visitors to the exhibition, itself assembles all of these elements. The subject is directly linked to the pastoral life (the repair of a small dyke at the river's edge), and the protagonists are acquaintances of the artist.

The dramatic light confers this banal scene with a quasi-Biblical air, a process directly inspired by Caravaggio. This homage to the master of chiaroscuro couples with another reference, perhaps unwittingly, to Gustave Courbet: the father of Realism created a scandal by using for his "Enterrement à Ornans (A Burial at Ornans)" the giant scale usually reserved for the "noble" genre of History painting . . .
That ellipse suggests that more may have been said. I didn't find much on the artist himself, either, but I did learn that he was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland twenty years after my birth in 1957, so he must be around 35, but he would have been merely eight years old when I first lived in Switzerland, eleven when I lived in Basel. I wonder if he already knew he'd be an artist. There's some biographical information at Hilda Magazine. Interestingly, the images there are very different than the one above -- which I happen to like very much -- and these rather different paintings are also found at Aeroplastics Contemporary. Here's an example:

Somewhat surrealistic, but you can click and compare on your own.

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