Sans titre, 2002, 240 x 120 cm
Exhibition from february 2nd to march 9th 2002
Olivier Mosset’s work reveals itself once again as being radical, as it has been known to be since BMPT, and, almost ironically, pertinent – if not inescapable – to a contemporary reading of the field of painting.
Since the end of the 1960s, in a demonstrative and polemic manner, Olivier Mosset has shown, as Edmond Charrière writes, “an urgency to start everything again from scratch, to interrogate the validity of painting by acting on the same level as its production process (…)” The painter initially heads for the implacable reduction of his creation as we know it, playing with forms and with a chromatic homogeneity which will from now on characterise all his work.
This persistent narrowness of the field of work opens fundamental perspectives. The series – ten white canvases of …cm by …cm – which the gallery is exhibiting exhales the pictorial neutrality initially extolled by the artist.
White, partner to black, could underline the truly colourful monochromes – pinks, oranges, violets… – of painting. In dismissing this function of agreement, Olivier Mosset establishes non-colour in colour, anonymous, immobile, and silent. Pushing to the extreme an aesthetic of indifference, the painter converts the principle of neutrality into the principle of complete effacement, a principle in perfect agreement with the theme of nothingness, of silence, which since the beginning of his career has guided his work.
The voluntary abandonment of all anecdotal, significant, interpretative content, to the point that now it is a source of meditation on the very essence of colour, undergoes a final diversion, and invites the contemplation of the meditative calm of white monochromes whose “undergarments” – visible at the edges – abound in colour. An apparent reduction which, paradoxically, liberates the eye, and allows an enlarged opening by the juxtaposition of the canvases.