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Jean-Michel Alberola: Les rois de rien et les années 1965-1966-1967

Templon, Paris

Artist: Jean-Michel Alberola

Jean-Michel Alberola marks his return to the City of Light with a protean exhibition that takes us on different journeys with its combination of new painted walls, canvases, silkscreens, works on paper and neon pieces.

Artworks

Jean-Michel Alberola

Oil on canvas

89 × 117 cm

Jean-Michel Alberola

Oil on canvas

89 × 146 × 3 cm

Installation Views

We encounter the irresistible Rois de Rien [Kings of Nothing], Néons Lacaniens [Lacanian Neon Pieces], Émeutes de Watts [Watts Riots] and various Tatlins which adorn the walls of the ground floor, plunging the visitor headfirst into the artist’s poetic, engaged and humorous universe. Hanging side by side, Alberola’s works form a series of philosophical puzzles questioning the perspective of artists and their role in society.

The basement continues the exploration the artist initiated in Brussels in March 2023 with 1965-1966-1967. “A turning point heralding the explosiveness of politics in the 1970s,” explains the artist. “Those three years still had a sense of freedom, before money began to infiltrate the artistic domains of the music and film industries in the late 1960s. People realised that counter-culture could be sold. That’s when everything changed.”

Alberola has spent over 40 years gathering, annotating, rubbing out and re-writing in charcoal or blue and ochre pastel a multitude of information about the era. These flyers, shoulder to shoulder, build bridges with the present by reflecting the various events shaping today’s world, from the march against antisemitism to the war waged by Russia in Ukraine.

Born in 1953 in Saïda, Algeria, Jean-Michel Alberola lives and works in Paris. He made a name for himself in the early 1980s with a practice combining conceptual art and figurative painting. He has been represented by Galerie Templon since 1982. His work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Louvre (2005), Bibliothèque Nationale de France (2009), Maison Hermès de Tokyo (2009), Frac Picardie in Amiens (2012), Palais de Tokyo (2016) and the Louvre’s Centre Dominique-Vivant Denon (2018). It has also featured in several group exhibitions, such as Light House at the Fondation Boghossian in Brussels (2021) and Ex Africa at Paris’ Musée du Quai Branly (2021). In September 2021, the Institut Mémoires de l’Edition Contemporaine (IMEC) gave the artist carte blanche and presented the results, centring on Franz Kafka, at the Abbaye d’Ardenne in Caen. In Janvier 2024, Centre Pompidou-Metz will be including his work in the group exhibition Lacan, l’Exposition, Quand l’Art Rencontre la Psychanalise.

Installatioon view, Jean-Michel Alberola: Les rois de rien et les années 1965-1966-1967 at Templon, Paris, January 6 - February 24, 2024. Photo © Adrien Millot

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