In celebration of the anniversary of his first show at the Galerie Templon, in 1982, Jean-Michel Alberola presents Trente ans, an installation combining paintings on paper, a wall painting and a new neon work. This exhibition of all-new works echoes the artist’s large Chambre des instructions installation that recently went on show in the new Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
Jean-Michel Alberola is a leading contemporary French artist who defies categorisation. During his thirty-year career he has produced a protean body of work that straddles figurative, abstract and conceptual art, creating works that encompass paintings, gouaches, neons, sculptures, murals, artist’s books and films.
Jean-Michel Alberola works through fragmentation and superimposition, associating speech with the language of shapes. Fragments of bodies or locations mix with ambiguous statements or injunctions to invest his works with the sense of being philosophical devices. His overriding concerns centre on the question of how we observe, the role of the artist and of painting.
With his characteristic mixture of humour and lyricism, he combines artistic reflections with political and social questions, showing where his commitments lie.
Born in 1953, Jean Michel Alberola rose to prominence during the 1980s as part of the vogue for figuration libre and the return to peinture cultivée. In the past few years, his works have been shown at the Musée du Louvre (2005), the Musée d’Art Moderne in Saint-Etienne and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nancy (2008), the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (2009) and the Maison Hermès in Tokyo (2009).
His most recent film, Koyamaru, which focused on a quiet village in rural Japan, was broadcast by Arte in 2011.
His works have recently been shown as part of the Mathématiques, un dépaysement soudain exhibition at the Fondation Cartier, Néons at the Maison Rouge and Les Maîtres du désordre at the Musée du Quai Branly.
A major retrospective of his neons is now held at the FRAC Picardie in Amiens.