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For his 4th solo exhibition at Galerie Bacqueville, Aurélien Maillard presents a selection of relief paintings, woodcuts, paintings and silkscreens. Using motifs and ornaments that are more akin to decoration or fashion than to art, he uses cane, grids and houndstooth in a variety of formats, or hangs them in a way that maintains the confusion of a décor. Half-museal, half-domestic, 'Oïkos' brings together motifs drawn as much from the history of art as from interior design or DIY catalogues.

Refurbished" or "drifted patterns" are a way for Aurélien Maillard to reappropriate a formal language that has been partly dissociated from the decorum of our lives, joining the world of art since the advent of abstract art, which cleansed it of its triviality. They are also an extension of his reflections on the motifs of art and the conditions of their emergence.

However, the use of the motif is an invitation to overflow, to escape from frames and play with conventions. These appropriations are not as obvious as they might seem, and a certain roughness often emanates from the pieces. The strangely 'primed' appearance of the floor and walls, with their scotch tape, wall paintings and dominoté paper, is more a matter of savagery than of functional or decorative pose. The artist seeks a precarious balance between sophistication and a priori authentic energy.

He also questions the sometimes ambiguous status of artistic productions: between a commercial fetish with high added value and a work that assures the legitimacy of its membership of the art world through a condescending irony, falsely empathetic towards popular culture, but also by using intellectual alibis derived from high culture.

Rather than simply re-making hollowed-out forms ad nauseam, his aim is to experience and observe the loss of meaning in these ornaments, rather like sand escaping from our hands. Signs and forms whose origins are exhausted as they are re-used. Their weft are keeping track of their uses and their histories, but they are not meaningful in themselves and inevitably bear the dross of a vanished necessity, of a presumably pragmatic elaboration. They have become literal, abstruse and idiotic.

Exhibition from 22 April to 3 June 2023.

Galerie Bacqueville / Netherlands

Vlissingsestraat 239A, 4388 HC Oost-Souburg

By reservation only

Artwork: Sans titre - Acanthes Rouges n°2, 2019. Painted wood and glue, 120 x 110 x 7 cm.

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