September 03 • october 15, 2022

For his new exhibition, Carambolage à l’ouverture de la pétanque cosmique, Maxime Duveau opens up his graphic research to chromatic experimentation in a new way.

The cut vinyls adjusted to the windows operate like colored stained glass and reconfigure the space of the drawing in all its dimensions. Motifs of urban landscapes and some snippets of enigmatic silhouettes come back like samples of a repetitive music which Maxime Duveau explores the narrative potentials and the infinite variations, playing today also with the prism of the color.

For the past ten years, the artist has been drawing on an iconographic repertoire based on the clichés of a fantasized America of the sixties. The photographic archive that began during an initiatory road trip in California has recently continued in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where he is originally from. L.A. regarding Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, notes Maxime Duveau: “Are the palm trees in Los Angeles really from Los Angeles? The more time passes, the more I wonder. And I wonder if Tarantino couldn’t have shot his heist scene in Pulp Fiction at the Orange Yellow at the end of Piéplu Street rather than in a diner on Sunset. Polarized between reality and fiction, a personal anachronistic mythology is woven from these preliminary photographic researches.

The source images of this same collection are also recalled and reinvested plastically according to various exploratory technical modalities. In search of happy accidents, Maxime Duveau pushes to the limit the mechanisms of resumption, transfer and translation, from one graphic territory to another… The successive manipulations – developed from cut films, prints (digital or silk-screen), savings sizes, reproductions of drawings and views of previous exhibitions, or by detour of experimental photographic processes (cyanotype, negative inversion, overexposure …) – are mixed and superimposed as layers to other areas still enhanced directly with charcoal or colored pencil.

The layers of graphic writings interfere by transparency and opacity on the same plane. The echoes resound in space as well as in time according to the rules of a “cosmic petanque” summoned by the artist. As an initiated player, Maxime Duveau “makes squares”: patterns come to collide and replace those drawn during the previous game at the gallery Espace A VENDRE. Forms and counter-forms are repeated, in loop and in shift; they give each other the replica and ricochet visually in the space of the sheet of paper or of the exhibition itself, while they also resound in deferred: reminiscences of a returning graphic genealogy.

With variable density, the layering of writings produces superb effects of palimpsest. By very organic bursting of the iconographic partition, the visual stratifications elaborated by Maxime Duveau thwart our reference marks. In front of these vertigo of signs, floating indices and colored signals, we are disoriented. Parasites, duplications, mise en abyme, trompe l’oeil … above, below … at all levels, surfaces and writings are entangled and telescoped, via the reserves of paper that is also discovered. Are they printing frames, stamping, reproductions of drawings, the drawing itself vigorously pencilled or discreetly blurred…? Unstable, the graphic territory seems haunted by its stories, its repentances, its projected and colored shadows.

Anne Favier 2022