October 2016 marks the first UK exhibition, and quite certainly the last, of work by Henri Barande. The French-born artist’s creativity first emerged when he was a child living in Tunisia, where he played among the ruins of the ancient Phoenician capital of Carthage. His practice is dedicated to exploring the dialogue between life and death, the found and the fabricated, which led to the creation of a world of miniature forms and figures that he uses as source material for his large-scale paintings. Distant and yet intensely absorbing, the luminous canvases initiate a provocative dialogue between the abstract and the figurative. The exhibition consists of an installation of forty-five canvases and twenty-five sculptures.
For fifty years Barande kept his practice out of the public eye, so that his achievements remain largely unknown to the art establishment. His works are all unsigned, undated and untitled, and they are not for sale. This freedom from commercial considerations has allowed him to pursue his artistic goals without compromise, to disappear behind his work. David Galloway persuaded Barande to share his vision with others— first through publications, then through exhibitions. Barande will only show his work once in any single country.
Henri Barande: The Work Beyond has been published by Booth-Clibborn Editions to coincide with the exhibition. Edited by David Galloway and containing texts by Henri-Claude Cousseau, Romaric Sulger Büel and Michel Weemans, the 304 page book contains 179 full-colour plates. Eminent American art critic David Galloway has also curated the exhibtion, which is presented by The Violet Hour.
Henri Barande’s solo shows to date are Meteoron at Sotheby’s Zurich (2000), the Musée d’Art Moderne, Geneva (2008), and Nice to be Dead at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (2011). In addition, he has participated in group shows at the Zurich Kunsthalle (2002) and the Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo (2009).
Established in February 2013, The Violet Hour is a collaborative enterprise that supports, exhibits, promotes and publicises the work of artists. Learn more about the group’s efforts and catch curator David Galloway’s video musings about Barande’s work here.
The exhibition will run through October 31, 2016. As always, entry is free.