For the first time, we’ll be able to check out one of the most interesting and unknown European painters from the XIX-XX century. Felix Valloton has been overlapped by all the “isms” and their shocking aesthetics and conceptual innovations, but his painting is full of character and conflict. Subtlety charged with moral tensions and silences, secrets and darkness, despite his fresh and bold use of color.
In French, there’s this expression, “le non dit”, that is close to “the elephant in the room” but not quite. This “not said” –what’s silenced, source of shame–is one of the pillars of the local social system (strongly present in the bourgeois) but it is not only a cultural feature but also an art in in of itself. The capacity to live in a lie, to hide your head in a hole on the ground waiting for the problem to pass…
In Valloton’s paintings this trouble is there waiting to burst in the everyday scenes he painted, seemingly peaceful and plane but charged with the scariest noise of all: the infinite silence.
Felix Valloton: Le feu sous la glace
At the Grand Palais until January 2nd 2014