Five world-renowned artists are in their element at Galloire Dubai

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet’s composition Untitled (Fugue) II.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

The group exhibition at Galloire, City Walk, Dubai, titled Elemental Perception (Dec. 9 – Jan. 15) brings together five world-renowned artists: Julio Le Parc, Blair Thurman, Jan Kalab, Miguel Chevalier and Jean-Baptiste Bernadet. They collectively manipulate geometric forms and utilise colour and light to connect with and initiate a response from the viewer.

The works prompt us to consider the organic and the machine, our path from primordial smoke to our technology-driven tomorrow, and while some of them invite us to revel in pure beauty and our romantic dreams of youth, they also challenge us to ponder a trajectory of decay that may await us.

The exhibition is a regional-first for Le Parc, a master and pioneer of Op and Kinetic Art. In a selection of key pieces, we see the range of his oeuvre across paintings and immersive installations. His seminal work fosters the ability to intertwine the observer with the art, where the spectators are amalgamated into the creative process.


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Leading art writer, Nadine Khalil opines that “throughout Elemental Perception, a grammar of perceptual fields by five artists interrogates our relationship with an external world that is in constant flux. In the exhibition are not just singular, chromatic objects; there are compositions that change according to our presence in the spaces around them.”

Galloire 1 Sphere Bleu Fonce — composition by Julio Le Parc.

Exploring the show, one moves from the monumental geometric paintings of Thurman, resonating with memories and fascinations of childhood, to the brightly coloured works of Bernadet which have us reflecting, within their abstraction, on impressionist sunsets, winding rivers and quaint villages seen from the hillside.

At one moment, the computer-induced logic of hybridisation, architectural fantasies and virtual cities emerge, created by digital art forerunner, Chevalier. Particularly in Dubai, his MetaCities work captivates, as it straddles questions of urbanisation, ever-taller towers and the looming buzz of the Metaverse.

The seeming coldness of his rigid neon lines finds an antidote in the joyful colours and organic curving forms of Kalab’s three-dimensional paintings. Here we see creation, cell division, biological life and a wider universe, expanding endlessly.

Galloire 2 Meta Cites 1 by Miguel Chevalier.

Le Parc’s influence spans from the mid-20th century to the present. He was born in 1928 in Mendoza, Argentina, where he studied at the National University of the Arts. In 1958 he travelled to Paris after receiving a scholarship from the French Cultural Service, and has lived and worked from there ever since.

He was awarded the International Grand Prize for Painting at the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966. His works are part of important public collections such as MoMa New York; Tate London; MNAM/Centre Georges Pompidou Paris; and LACMA.

Bernadet is a distinctive colourist who creates within each canvas an atmospheric cosmos, in which nature, emotion, and psyche take centre stage. They oscillate somewhere between abstraction and landscape painting – incandescent shades of orange, full and honest purples, sulfuric yellows, deep grays, and melancholic pale greens produce worlds in which a landscape, its memory, and the imagination interact, directed by the eye and the mind.

Born in Paris in 1978, he lives and works in Brussels. His works are included in the permanent collections of Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Cite de la Tapisserie a Aubusson and Fondation Louis Vuitton, among others.

Galloire 3 Deep Ocean Medusa — artwork by Jan Kalab.

Kalab was born in 1978 in Czechoslovakia, where he still lives and works in Prague. His creative roots are based in street art, as a founder of the prominent CSK collective; he has travelled the world, and honed in on the three-dimensional geometric abstraction style he is known for today. Since 2008, he has been exhibited in solo shows globally from France to the United States and from Germany to the United Arab Emirates.

Chevalier’s works investigate and explore recurrent themes such as nature and artifice, flows and networks, virtual cities and ornate designs. Since the 1980s, he has created many projects variously incorporating generative and interactive virtual reality installations projected on large scale, shown on LED or LCD screens, sculptures created with a 3D printer or with laser cut, holographic imagery and other forms.

The digital works are in constant metamorphosis, plunging us into a magical, poetic and very contemporary universe. Thurman’s influences range from Pop art and Minimalism to relics from childhood, popular music, and 1970s cinema.

His standardised forms, pulled from slot-car racetracks, architectural frameworks and found shapes from daily life, are its “signature-content”, as he investigates the intersection between our cultural environment and our imagined fantasies, examining the memory and poetry embedded in the very act of looking.

He was born in 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, and his work has been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo museum exhibitions include Le Magasin — Centre National d’Art Contemporain, France (2014) and “Honeybadgers,” Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma (2015).

His work is featured in several permanent collections, including the Centre national des arts plastique, Paris; Le Consortium, Dijon; Fonds regional d’art contemporain, France; and the Syz Collection, Switzerland. Thurman’s work was included in the 46th Biennale di Venezia in 1995. He currently lives and works in New York.

Galloire is a contemporary gallery working with established and emerging artists from around the world who, regardless of medium, push boundaries of culture, thought and explore our digitally-dominant society. It is also characterised by a strong interest in how visual arts work in conjunction with other forms such as poetry, philosophy and science.

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