Claude Viallat

Selected works


Claude Viallat was born in 1936 in Nimes, France, where he continues to live and work. He is one of the founders of the Supports/Surfaces movement in the 1970s, which called for art to renew itself through a deconstruction of traditional materials. Viallat started to work on industrial tarp, endlessly repeating the same abstract pattern, resembling a small bone, which became his signature. Stencilled repeatedly onto a range of supports, the pattern asks us to reflect on the meaning of the creative act and the status of the work of art.

SOLO SHOW – Formes en Vrac 

Provocative and sumptuous, rigorous and ironic, Claude Viallat’s painting shows the power of color through the repetition of a simple form. At La Chapelle, the artist display a selection of recent, unstructured canvases that respond to the architecture of the place by the audacity of their form and the flamboyance of the color. 

Chapelle Sainte-Marie-Claude, Annonay

Through August 19, 2022


SOLO SHOW – Libertad de Colores

This exhibition brings together the most representative works of his oeuvre, which, grouped by theme, pay homage to one of the most important contemporary colourists, whose abstract pictorial syntax is constantly being renewed while still identifiable among all the others through its serial imprints, its materiality, the nature of its support, its manufacture, the surface treatment and its presentation. A prolific and demanding artist, Claude Viallat, who was one of the founders of the Supports-Surfaces movement created in 1970, has been creating for more than 60 years a universe that explodes with colours, leaving traces of his universal poetry in space and time.

Claude Viallat - Libertad de Colores

MACBA, Buenos Aires

From March 4 to June 12, 2022


SOLO SHOW – Eclectique

Claude Viallat’s work is based on the conviction that “the object of painting is painting itself”, in a movement of repetition and overcoming: “The notion of repetition, of series or repetitions, becomes a de facto necessity”. The absence of subject matter allows him to concentrate on forms and structures, on the relationship between colours, on pictorial matter, generating a unique work on colour.

Claude Viallat - Eclectique 

Bonisson Art Center, Aix-en-Provence

From February 26 to June 12, 2022


SOLO SHOW – Kitchissime 

The exhibition sheds light on a selection of recent works, objects made of rope with a vernacular rusticity, but also on fabrics painted with repeated motif, which became his signature. An always-renewed shape while the artist plays on the diversity of the materials and appropriates the raw support for a sound and rhythmic colourism transcending the simplicity of the motif.

Claude Viallat - Kitchissime

Fondation GGL Helenis, Montpellier 

Through May 30, 2022

Expanded Painting in the 1960s and 1970s  – group show

The exhibition “Expanded Painting in the 1960s and 1970s” presents radical innovations in painting that testify to a pursuit of freedom and expression in the midst of a period marked by social and political unrest in the United States and abroad.

From Alma Thomas’s mosaic-like painting of flowers to Sam Gilliam’s suspended, draped canvas, these works speak to an upending of barriers-be they artistic, ideological, racial, or rooted in gender stereotypes. By rethinking and systematically probing conventions associated with the painted canvas, these works ultimately speak to the desire for a deeper, more fundamental connection to nature, the body, movement, and light.

Fall 2021

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia


Supports/Surfaces : Viallat & Saytour – Group show

In this exhibition important acquisitions from recent years are shown, focusing on works by two founding members of the Supports/Surfaces movement: Patrick Saytour and Claude Viallat.

As a representative of the Nouvelle Peinture, Claude Viallat focuses on the primary and structural elements of painting: the canvas, the colour and the surface. Since 1966, he has been working on colour, which is both the subject and the object. The stretcher disappears. The free canvas is painted and against this background of colour, Viallat places stencil prints, repeatedly and in series. Most of the works presented here show that for him color is elementary to convey the repeated forms that lend his art coherent dimensions and rhythm, so characteristic of Supports/Surfaces.

Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art

Marché-aux-Poissons L-2345 Luxembourg

Until August 29, 2021


« Les murs reculent » – group show

The new exhibition of Matisse Museum in Nice shows the work of Henri Matisse’s posterity in the second half of the XXth century. This new circuit entitled “Les murs reculent” is inspired by a quote of the artist to the critic Georges Duthuit about Fauvism that summarise an essential aspect of his research.

American and European Artists are presented in dialogue with the artworks of the museum collection incuding Jean Arp, Joseph Albers, Morris Louis, Jules Olitski, Ellsworth Kelly, Shirley Jaffe, Kenneth Noland, Al Held, Frank Stella, Richard Serra, Aurélie Nemours, Simon Hantaï, Raymond Hains, Jacques Villeglé, Claude Viallat, Daniel Buren.

From October 9, 2020 to March 31, 2021

The Musée Matisse, 164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice



A beautiful installation of Claude Viallat can be seen at Villa Seynave in Grimaud, France. 

Commissioned by a Lorraine industrialist who appreciated the architecture of another villa by Jean Prouvé at Lavandou, this holiday “bungalow” is built on the edge of the Beauvallon golf course. It is the beautiful result of a great teamwork between engineer Jean Prouvé and architect Neil Hutchinson.

Ephemeral installation

Villa Seynave, domaine de Beauvallon, Grimaud, France

East West Jazz  – Group show

The exhibition “East West Jazz” displays over 30 unique robes and textiles from Alexander Klyachin’s collection and over two dozens of post-war abstract paintings from the collection of the Gandur Foundation for Art. The scope of the exhibition is widened by works from the collections of The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the Centre Pompidou to further reveal the interaction between Eastern and Western cultures, notably 14 rarely displayed sheets from Henri Matisse’s “jazz” graphic series created in 1947 and works by Kandinsky from the Pushkin Museum collection and 14 abstract works from the Centre Pompidou and French private collections. This exhibition will be philosophical, emotional and contemplative, rather than didactic.



Re – commencer – Solo show

Claude Viallat is a confirmed artist, one of the very first French artists of his generation, but his work finds today a very contemporary resonance as the ecological consciousness develops, the return to practices and craft techniques, to a know-how that is a way of resisting hyper mechanization, technological development, digital dematerialization and the reversal of man’s position in his environment. The unseemly part that we perceive in Claude Viallat’s work, this impertinence sought in support, form or color, this unexpected, this unfinished, this precariousness, has the character of an absolute youth.




Claude Viallat. Libérer la couleur – Solo show

Curated by Alexandre Devals, director of the foundation, “Claude Viallat – Unleashing the color” presents some twenty works of Claude Viallat large format carried on military tarpaulins, a series started in the late 1970s that extends until the last years. The heart of the exhibition is the works shown in 1980 at CAPC de Bordeaux, a major and pivotal exhibition in Viallat’s work through the use of a dense support, the exploration of polychrome and the cutting of the canvas in colour charts. This exhibition marked a turning point in Viallat’s practice and consecrated him as one of the greatest colourists of his time

VENET FOUNDATION - LE MUY, FRANCE From 13/06/2019 to 13/09/2019


Mouvement Supports/Surfaces : retrouver l’économie des gestes simples – Group show

As part of the Croisements 2019 Festival organized by the French Institute in Beijing, the Meymac Center for Contemporary Art presents the first exhibition of the Supports / Surfaces movement in China. This group of artists, who emerged in France in the mid-1960s, revolutionized the visual arts through a new use of materials. Their project: to free the pictorial art from the historical and cultural straitjacket represented by the canvas.

FESTIVAL CROISEMENT, BEIJING, CHINA From 21/05/2019 to 20/08/2019


Pattern, Crime & Decoration – Group show

Le Consortium examines in this large group exhibition the “Pattern & Decoration” movement, formed in the 1970s and that enjoyed international success in the 1980s.

Most of the artists involved were reacting against the dominance of abstract schools in the Post-War era, with a particular opposition to Minimal and Conceptual art. The group organized around “pattern and decoration” reconnected with what was widely perceived as “minor” art forms and asserted decoration as the true repressed of modernity. 

The exhibition, co-organized with MAMCO in Geneva, also includes several pieces by artists associated with the Supports/Surfaces group: Noël Dolla and Claude Viallat.


LE CONSORTIUM, DIJON, FRANCEFrom 16/05/2019 to 20/10/2019 


Gigantisme – Arts & industrie – Group Show

GIGANTISM – ART & INDUSTRIE is an original collective initiative on the territory of Hauts-de-France, in Dunkerque: the creation of a new triennial art and design in Europe.
From May 4, 2019, an exhibition of off-scale installations created for the occasion, of in situ works, sculptures, paintings, films and performances will embody encounters between artists, engineers, designers and architects. It will unfold on different exhibition venues and urban and port sites. An original journey that rethinks at the level of the landscape of Dunkerque a history of European modernity from 1947 to the present day; between living heritage and contemporary creation.



Collection. La composante Peintures – Group show

From a selection of paintings from the Frac Bretagne collection, the exhibition creates five connections with no other ambition than to interpret a posteriori and to show the reasons why these works were chosen to appear in one of the important ensembles of the Frac Bretagne.


FRAC BRETAGNE, RENNES, FRANCEFrom 30/03/2019 to 26/05/2019


Unfurled: Supports/Surfaces 1966-1976 – group show

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit will present the first exhibition in the Midwest and most comprehensive show to date of the French art movement Supports/Surfaces. This group of fourteen artists, along with several others who were closely affiliated, lived and worked in the south of France, producing artwork marked by an interest in materiality, a lyrical use of color and expansive ideas of what constitutes a painting. French society was undergoing social protests and upheavals in the 1960s that mirrored the civil rights and anti-war movements in the USA. The Supports/Surfaces artists sought new forms and methods to reflect their times: standard art materials were dropped in favor of homespun non-art materials (bed sheets, rope, dish rags) and figuration was replaced by loose, permeable grids that hinted at a more democratic method of art-making and a proposal for humane society.

Curated by Wallace Whitney



Vingt-quatre heures de la vie d’une femme – Group show

250 works novelize the intimate and the universal.

The exhibition Vingt-quatre heures de la vie d’une femme (twenty-four hours of a woman’s life) tells the story of an imaginary and multiple day. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and objects of design illustrate this fiction of everyday life, from awakening to dreaming. The works are presented differently, in a spirit closer to everyone’s everyday life, reconnecting art to the present. It’s about telling another history of art: a history of emotions and life.

MAMC, SAINT ETIENNE, FRANCE From 01/01/2019 to 22/09/2019


Dans le secret des oeuvres d’art – group show

MUSEE FABRE, MONTPELLIER, FRANCE From 24/03/2018 to 02/09/2018


Supports/Surfaces, Les origines – group show

The exhibition Supports/Surfaces: the Beginning, 1966–1970 shows which process took over the course of the 1960s up to the creation of the group. In order to gain an understanding of the short-lived but important Supports/Surfaces movement, one must plunge oneself into the years of research, confrontations and oppositions that led up to it. These four years were a time of intense and wonderful artistic effervescence in the midst of a period marked by the social and political upheavals of the events of May 1968. An examination of this history from its origins enables us to gain a new perspective on the movement by focusing on these years marked by the jubilation of artists in the midst of reinventing their work from the ground up.

The exhibition brings together major works of this period, some which have not been shown since that time, and provides insight into the profound questioning that lay behind the creations over the course of these key years: the deconstruction of painting, confrontation with Nouveau Réalisme (“New Realism”) and the certain death of painting, external exhibition, the placement of works in space, the importance of the object and its manipulation.
With Avec André-Pierre Arnal, Vincent Bioulès, Louis Cane, Marc Devade, Daniel Dezeuze, Noël Dolla, Toni Grand, Bernard Pagès, Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Patrick Saytour, André Valensi et Claude Viallat.

CARRE D’ART DE NIMES, FRANCEFrom 13/10/2017 to 31/12/2017


« The Surface of the East Coast. From Nice to New York »Groupshow

‘The Surface of the East Coast. From Nice to New York’ will be gathering more than 70 works of artists from the Supports/Surfaces movement and from the New York new art scene, aiming to establish a dialogue between two different countries and generations,by showing how they can echo,feed on each other,and today tackle new formal issues and trains of thought.

Curator : Marie Maertens

With Justin Adian – André-Pierre Arnal – Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke – Vincent Bioulès – Anna Betbeze – Joe Bradley – Sarah Braman – Pierre Buraglio – Louis Cane – Marc Devade – Daniel Dezeuze – Noël Dolla – Adam Henry – Jacob Kassay – Lucas Knipscher – Erik Lindman – Landon Metz – Sam Moyer – Bernard Pagès – Jean-Pierre Pincemin – Patrick Saytour – Gedi Sibony – André Valensi – Claude Viallat.

 A bilingual catalogue will be published by Editions cercle d’art on the occasion of the show.

LE 109, NICE, FRANCEFrom 6/23/2017 to 10/15/2017


Book Signing – Claude Viallat

Saturday September 27th, 05:00 pm

A l’occasion de la parution du catalogue de l’exposition du Musée Fabre de Montpellier “Viallat une rétrospective” Somogy éditions d’Art et la Librairie Flammarion Centre ont le plaisir de vous convier à une séance de dédicaces avec Claude Viallat le samedi 27 septembre à 17h00.



Viallat a retrospective

From June 28th to November 2nd 2014

Étudiant à l’École des Beaux-Arts de Montpellier en 1955-1959, puis à celle de Paris en 1962-63, Claude Viallat invente en 1966 une forme neutre, proche d’une palette ou d’un osselet.

Il sera un des fondateurs, en 1969, du mouvement Supports/Surfaces, remettant en question les supports traditionnels de la peinture et libérera la toile de son châssis pour peindre sur des toiles libres.

Composée d’une centaine d’oeuvres, l’exposition retrace le parcours de l’artiste de ses premières œuvres à aujourd’hui. Elle explore toutes les techniques et matériaux employés par l’artiste, des dessins d’étude aux formats les plus monumentaux. (…)




Robinson, ou la force des choses(Group Show)

From January 28th to May 27th 2012

L’exposition « Robinson, ou la force des choses » réunit trois artistes issus du groupe Supports/Surfaces ayant entretenu un lien privilégié avec la région niçoise. Les rencontres et expositions réalisées sur le territoire demeurent d’ailleurs fondamentales dans leur parcours artistique. Le MAMAC se devait de revenir sur leurs pratiques respectives. (…)