Philippe Cognée


Philippe Cognée is presenting a new collection of highly personal pieces bathed in nocturnal light. The artist, known for his urban landscapes, returns to the theme of interiors with a series of blurred visions where time is suspended.

Exhibition view, Nocturnes, TEMPLON Brussels, 2017
Exhibition view, Nocturnes, TEMPLON Brussels, 2017

Using polaroids and photographs from his personal archives, Philippe Cognée takes places that have long been empty and depicts them on canvas: a hotel room, a table set for a special meal, the corner of a library, an unmade bed. Lying somewhere between still life and abstraction, these reconstructed memories question the relationship between painting and memory. The artist pursues his demonstration of the power of painting and its capacity to transcend the everyday. In doing so, he seeks to revitalize the image itself, drained of meaning in a society where it is used to excess.

For over twenty years, Philippe Cognée has been exploring ordinary aspects of life – motorways, suburban houses, supermarkets, anonymous streets found on Google Earth – to paint a singular portrait of this world of ours, a disturbing and poetical portrait.

La table de Bernard M.


The artist

Philippe Cognée was born in 1957 in Nantes, France, where he lives and works. His paintings use wax that is heated and crushed, producing a blurred effect and raising questions such as the thinning away of the image and the human condition in the light of humans’ relationship to their urban environment. The artist draws inspiration from photos and videos of elements such as motorways, buildings and aerial shots. His work questions the role of art in a society where new digital technologies have ushered in the era of the image, both omnipresent and diminished.

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