New paintings by Xavier Veilhan were presented by Sandra Gering Gallery at its former Soho location.
The images in Veilhan's large scale canvases are simple visions, like remnants of dreams. Each could be described in one short phrase: a man levitates over a city; a man stands in a forest. This simplicity of content is intended as a foil against the complex process behind the work. The paintings grew from Veilhan's desire to completely split the conceptualization of the image from the physical process of making the painting. The process was designed to remove the artist's personality from the work.
Beginning with drawings, Veilhan proceeded to photograph figures and backgrounds, which he then digitally collaged to arrive at the desired images. Although technically the imagery was complete at that point (Veilhan's previous series had been photographs made in exactly this manner) the process further involved translating the digital photographs into paintings. Veilhan engaged three friends to collaborate on the paintings, adding one further layer of remove between himself and the work. As in some ateliers of the 17th and 18th centuries, these painters were not envisioned simply as assistants, but as integral participants.
Veilhan discovered that this process did not have its expected effect. The collaborative experience brought unpredictable elements to the work. Although the manner of execution was designed to neutralize his personality in the paintings, Veilhan found the harder he tried to avoid it, the more that effort brought his vision forward. The isolated figures are revealing. The moments captured reflect universal dreams as translated into the artist's language.
This is Xavier Veilhan's third solo exhibition at Sandra Gering Gallery. The new paintings are a logical progression from the large scale photographs in his 1998 exhibition, one of which is currently installed at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.