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Gregory Forstner, Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe 3, 2015

Oil on canvas
250x200 cm
© Bill Orcutt // Courtesy Gregory Forstner
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Gregory Forstner, Le Philosophe 3, 2016

Oil on Canvas
127x86 cm
© Bill Orcutt // Courtesy Gregory Forstner
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Gregory Forstner_Thanksgiving 3_2016_huile sur toile_86x127 cm

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Exhibition view Le déjeuner sur l'herbe - Grégory Forstner

© Louis Delbare // Galerie Mathias Coullaud

LE DEJEUNER SUR L'HERBE

Solo-Show Gregory Forstner
Associate Curator: Christophe Langlitz

A tradition. 
The strength of a tradition.
And the idea of ​​building on it to surpass it, criticise it, destroy it.
Using tradition to create a contemporary, almost abstract, absurd and political work of art.

This is the driving force behind Grégory Forstner’s approach, which he analyses in his own words in his booklet L’Odeur de la Viande (The Scent of Meat), Editions Esperluete, 2015, and which links all his paintings and graphic work. 

The title of the Grégory Forstner solo show that the Mathias Coullaud Gallery is presenting in collaboration with Christophe Langlitz Art from 10 March to 14 May 2016 is Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass). 

In 1867, in a text about Edouard Manet, Emile Zola exclaimed that Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe was Edouard Manet’s greatest painting, in which he had realised the dream all painters share: placing life-size figures in a landscape. Forstner balances on this hiatal “human figure/landscape” as a metaphor for conflict and the conflicts that obsess him: master/slave, white man/black man, the raw truth of images/the collective unconscious that they foster, and nature/culture; in short, using paint – the most traditional (most criticised?) medium – to make a contemporary and violent statement about humanity. 

His painting is a tool that reassures us to better unsettle us.

The exhibition will include over 15 paintings and original drawings by Grégory Forstner.

Born in Africa to French and Austrian parents, and now living in the US, Forstner continually walks the line between various cultures, taboos and continents. In fact, racism and the condition of the black man, as a figure of a human form of oppression and domination, revolt him. The series of new drawings that will be on show at the Drawing Now exhibition (more than 12 drawings) is entitled Le Majordome (The Butler). An indirect reference to the eponymous film by Lee Daniels, this series naturally depicts a black man serving white people and once again denounces exploitation, slavery and all the naïve or engaged imagery on the topic.

“Painters are not preoccupied by the question of their subject matter, which above all else torments the crowd; for them the subject is a pretext to paint, whilst for the crowd the subject is all that matters.” 
Emile Zola, Edouard Manet, 1867

Mathias Coullaud – February 2016
EXHIBITION 11/03 > 14/05/16
Opening march 10th 2016
6 > 9 p.m