Of varying sizes, the sculptures of Jacques Julien (b. 1967, lives and works in Paris and Montdidier) evoke at the same time sport icons and children’s fairytales, cartoon and spooky stories. Such references provide the backdrop for spatial and formal digressions that remove any function and any logical sense from his sculptures, giving them a both familiar and incongruous aspect.
At the Centre d’art contemporain La Halle des bouchers, Jacques Julien unfolds two sets of sculptures that echo the special features of the site. Firstly, some large tubular figures remind us of the uncluttered and stylized silhouettes by artists like Joel Shapiro or Matt Mullican: in constrast with the dark color of the floor, these seated, kneeling or lying figures can equally evoke human appearances and geometric shapes.
In addition, Jacques Julien has conceived a set of small scale sculptures presented in plastic basins and other domestic containers. Ironically, he stages each of his sculptures as if it was popping from the washbowls, thus questioning both the scale ratio of the spectator facing the artwork as well as the precepts of traditional sculpture displayed on a neutral pedestal.
If the works of Jacques Julien clearly highlight a form of mockery, the artist’s practice remains not less analytical and poetical: “If I had a perfect artwork, one would laugh heartily and yet everything would be made of seriousness and gravity, the context and the content would chat as good neighbours (...)”.
The artworks of Jacques Julien were produced with the kind support of CMS Solutions