16:01FOCUS: Jules de Balincourt @themodernfw
The FOCUS series is organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for the Director's Council, a group that supports acquisitions at the Museum. The series features three solo exhibitions organized annually, with Assistant Curator Alison Hearst organizing FOCUS: Jules de Balincourt. FOCUS exhibitions are open to the public and are included in general Museum.
The Modern's first Director's Council FOCUS exhibition for the 2014-2015 season features the work of New York-based artist Jules de Balincourt. The exhibition presents a selection of key works spanning the past few years of the artist's career alongside new works on view for the first time.
Born in Paris and raised in southern California, Jules de Balincourt is known for his expressive, radiantly colored paintings that vary in style, size, and theme. His subject matter includes cityscapes, present-day genre scenes, and motifs he continually recycles throughout his work, such as globes, maps, and explosions. De Balincourt's imaginative, dreamlike style straddles abstraction and representation, and often evokes notions of American utopia and dystopia. His genre scenes, such as Idol Hands, 2012, which is included in the exhibition, investigate public and private spaces and are frequently rendered in a skewed aerial perspective featuring generalized figures that signal the everyman. These works are reminiscent of Pieter Bruegel's 16th-century genre scenes, yet de Balincourt's paintings depict contemporary, mostly Western people engaged in acts of war, protest, or leisure to comment on and critique particularly American societal norms and to explore the space where leisure and global concerns collide. According to the artist, the cool detachment of these aerial views mirrors the perspective of modern methods of warfare, such as planes and drones, which essentially generalize and dehumanize those below.
De Balincourt often works on up to ten paintings at a time without sketches or source materials, and he considers them chapters--symbiotic, yet independent. Countering the conceptual and theory-driven movements in contemporary art, de Balincourt's works are immediate, intuitive, and open-ended as they explore the perimeters of the conscious and unconscious mind.
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