In the continuity of the exhibition of outdoor works in the Jardin des Tuileries, FIAC gives carte blanche to a contemporary artist in the musée Eugène Delacroix, in collaboration with the musée du Louvre. Situated in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the musée Eugène Delacroix is an unexpected haven of peace, niched between courtyard and garden. Designed by the painter himself, the studio was transformed into a museum through the initiative of Maurice Denis and other major painters of the 1920s. It is a site dedicated to artistic creation.
It is a site dedicated to artistic creation.

During FIAC week, a cultural mediation service is provided by students of the Ecole du Louvre.

Free access upon presentation of your FIAC ticket.

Jean Claracq

Jean Claracq

Training Ground & Burj Al Babas, 2021

Tempera sur Papier

peinture: 14,4x13,4 cm / cadre: 28,5x28,5 cm

Courtesy galerie sultana. 

Photo: Marc Domage

On the occasion of the 2021 edition of FIAC Hors les Murs, the Musée Delacroix presents an exhibition of new works by the contemporary French painter Jean Claracq (b.1991, Bayonne). Claracq’s miniature paintings hover between reality and fiction. Rendered with remarkable precision, his privileged subjects – young men often drawn from people he encounters on Instagram and other social media – become avatars in vernacular scenes of a hyper-connected yet isolated world. Drawing from a dizzying archive of images culled from books, magazines, the internet, and public space, Claracq’s multilayered compositions collapse space and time, converging disparate ideas and contradicting perspectives to create deeper meaning and ways of understanding reality.

 

Similarly, the dialogue forged through this special presentation of Delacroix and Claracq’s paintings reveals unexpected affinities between the artists who, born nearly two hundred years apart, share a common impulse toward the representation the interior state of the individual reflected against the backdrop of an overwhelming world. Taking the intimate format of portraiture as a common point of entry, Claracq’s seven oil on wood and tempera paintings respond to two works from the museum’s collection: Portrait de Auguste-Richard de la Hautière (1828), a real fifteen-year-old Parisian student; and Romeo et Juliette au Tombeau des Capulets (c.1850), a dramatic portrayal of William Shakespeare’s ill-fated lovers in the final moment before their demise.

 

“Dark yet delicious, luminous but still.”[1] These words, expressed by Charles Baudelaire to described Delacroix’s epic, gestural tableaux, equally capture the vibrant serenity of Claracq’s oeuvres. Delacroix eschewed religious subjects, preferring instead to render historical and current events, or scenes from literature in biblical proportions. Similarly, Claracq’s iconographic, luminous paintings of mundane, secular moments are imbued with a sacred air. Claracq constructs his quiet, subtly erotic scenes – young topless men hanging out, taking selfies, or brooding –from hundreds of digitally collected visual fragments, assembling them together in one heterogenous composition to produce a world that is realer than the eye can see. This approach at once references the totalizing, omniscient perspective developed by Flemish renaissance painters to convey the concept of visio Dei [vision of God] and the flattening effect of the internet on the hierarchy of information, which in the twenty first century, has practically replaced God as the universal organizing principle in our lives. Claracq paints with a magnifying glass to include miniscule details such as the titles on the spine of books or the google search on a lit-up iPhone. These deceptively illustrative paintings are constituted of more than the eye can see, with the individual at its center amidst the natural sublime.

 

[1] Charles Baudelaire, ‘L’Oeuvre et la vie d’Eugène Delacroix’, L’Art romantique dans Œvres completes de Charles Baudelaire III, Paris, Calmann Levy, 1885.


Audrey Illouz