Jean-Michel Alberola

1965 – 1966 – 1967 (détails)

French artist Jean-Michel Alberola is transforming the Galerie Templon Brussels space with a new protean exhibition focused on the three years he considers pivotal: 1965, 1966 and 1967.

Exhibition view, 1965 – 1966 – 1967 (détails), TEMPLON Brussels, 2023
Exhibition view, 1965 – 1966 – 1967 (détails), TEMPLON Brussels, 2023

Conceived as an installation, the exhibition combines painted walls, canvases, silkscreens and works on paper, offering a fascinating journey through the influences, passions and commitments of the unclassifiable artist.

Born in Saida in 1953, Jean-Michel Alberola spent the early 1960s in Algeria, in the midst of the war of independence. This traumatic experience, which led to his exile, caused the young Alberola to develop an obsessive focus on world news, politics, music and film. A focus that has left an enduring mark on his work. «I don’t believe in inspiration,» he explains, «but rather in a way of reading the surface of the world, of being clearly aware of it and being able to do something with it.»

From the 1965 Watts riots to the release of Thelonious Monk’s jazz album Straight No Chaser, and excerpts from Jean-Luc Godard’s scripts, Alberola depicts a poetic movement centring on a period he considers fundamental to understanding recent contemporary history. «Most of the time, I wait for political realities to form questions and become images to be fashioned,» he explains, «all it needs is one thing to come to my mind for me to find myself with a lot of work.» As always, the artist’s aim is to «tell stories», his story, to recount the world as he sees and imagines it, but also to shed indirect light on the power of art and its ability to transform the present.

Le Roi de Rien XXVI, 2022


The artist

Born in 1953 in Saïda, Algeria, Jean-Michel Alberola lives and works in Paris. During his thirty-year career he has produced a protean body of work that straddles figurative, abstract and conceptual art. Gouaches, sculptures, artists’ books and films represent the different facets of his exploration of the fragility of beauty, ambiguity of perception, the role of the artist and the purpose of art. With the mixture of humour and lyricism characteristic of an engaged artist, he combines artistic reflections with political and social questions. 

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