Foundation in 2019
François Bard & Varozza
Exhibition: May 18 – June 16, 2019
When we, the Herman Krikhaar Foundation, invited François Bard to exhibit at our foundation, his first reaction was to signal in agreement, before saying: “Yes, but then together with Varozza.” Given the distinct pictorial practice of each artist, this choice may seem surprising. However, on further reflection, this decision is actually quite logical, so much so that the exhibition’s title became Birds of a feather flock together. This exhibition aims to show the artistic field’s development, from Hyperfiguration to Prefiguration, in a dialogue that reveals the essence of the two artists.
François Bard (1959) explains his hyperfiguration (and not hyperrealism), he states: “I try to find the myth in immediate, almost banal, daily life. An icon is a form accessible to all and highly contemporary of humanity. A propaganda of the real.” With his precise figures, thick in material, in an affirmed, but also offbeat gesture, the fate of the figure is at the end of the painter’s brush: the head cut and the body offset, (which Bard can paint in reverse, i.e., body cut and head offset). A figure elevated to the rank of icon, affirmed, while simultaneously expressed as a “remote icon.” And while one instantly perceives what is represented on the canvas, afterwards, one understands that actually, the real subject is the manner in which Bard achieves it.
The Préfigure is an emergence, a form not yet final, yet extremely demanding for the artist to make: knowing where to start and, especially, where to stop. With Varozza (1955), the subject does not reveal itself immediately. It takes a moment to be permeated by its pictoriality, to be immersed, and to form one’s own image: “The viewer makes the painting,” to quote François Bard. A painting card game filled with musicality (let’s not forget that Varozza is also active in the music world with “Moduo”), with the full and empty, its whites and its vibrating touches, with little materiality, and its light emphasizing the ease of his “préfigures,” as Varozza calls them, or, figures manifesting themselves. This is his “societal” response to a world saturated in images.
Watch the movie (long version) about the collaboration between BARD and VAROZZA