I always loved museums and I have been visiting many exhibitions. But during the full lockdown in a way I forgot how much they mean to me. Putting my foot into the “After the Gold Rush” exhibition was again a great moment – a bit like coming home. I realized that museums are kind of spiritual rooms for me – especially when they have generous space, only few visitors, a delicate hanging and good art. So after the opening of our community lockdown I took a shower in art.
Who is Jules de Balincourt? And what about the Gold Rush?
I didn’t know what to expect – did you know this artist? So I went without expectations for the pure reason that it was possible to visit and full of trust in the choice of the CAC Málaga museum. Jules is a French born artist, who’s parents immigrated to California in his youth. So the title is more a metaphor for all the traveling, the hopes and the chances of a new start he and his parents experienced in his youth. This is a rather short answer. But you will find more competent sources at the end of this post!
I have to confess, Jules de Balincourt was not known to me. Its interesting which artists become like old acquaintances or good friends and which are completely out of sight. That´s surely a question of personal taste and education – but I wonder how much the culture of each country plays a role in defining who the big players are.
About 30 large paintings in very strong and somehow false colours are to be seen in the exhibition room. For me it seemed something between kind of naive and real and irreale. So in a way rather open, what to think about the paintings. I am not an interpreter, you will find interesting the explanation of this article in the English Sur.
As an artist I am very much interested in the overall impression and in some painting details.
What I spotted
Presented are works created in the last 10 years. All of the paintings in large format are painted on wood – the artist comes from ceramic – so the harder support is something that he is very familiar with.
Some of the colours seem thinly applied and also sanded down. This makes them appear in places as if they were painted on threadbare worn fabric – an interesting effect, since the material is rather hard and very resilient where they are applied.
Even the seemingly relatively realistic scenes get a tipping effect from the unreal colours. So it’s never quite clear what story the characters are telling in the setting.
View of some more paintings – tap the paintings to enlarge.
The painting of the soldiers sticks a bit out of this kind of dreamy-distant atmosphere. The artist talks of the theme of isolation, nature and cities. It is unexpectedly a bit of a shock to suddenly come face to face with this life-sized group of soldiers with faces that are not clear to read.
Links to “After the Gold Rush”
You will find more information about my visits to the CAC Málaga here:
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