Hervé Heuzé painted portraits for several years. One day, one of his collectors visited his studio and asked him to paint a… landscape. The artist thought about it and agreed with one condition: that no human figure be depicted. Hervé Heuzé began to reflect on today’s notion of landscapes. Would he let himself be swallowed up by the path laid out by the media and delve into the cityscapes of suburban public housing, so as to give a respectable “social” and “fashionable” veneer. ? To think thus, would be to not know Hervé Heuzé.
Instead, we have majestic landscapes of mountaintops. At first glance, the white snow, the jutting boulders, the purity of a blue sky demonstrate striking realism. The space is enormous, and you sense how tiny human beings are in such a place, even when they aren’t present. It makes you think of the great American landscape artists, and you almost hear an echo of their epic inspiration. We say “almost” because Hervé Heuzé, like any viewer, is well aware that these are not virgin territories. These massive peaks were conquered long ago, and they are the daily domain of hikers, skier, amateur paragliders, and other mountaintop sports. And yet, in our imagination, these landscapes are still connected to the ideas of adventure and purity. These are the landscapes of our fantasies.
Gradually, the viewer gets an inkling that these are imaginary landscapes inspired by landscape photos of the Alps. Thus, these mountains are represented in a frontal view, like his portraits, without changing perspectives, centered between a view of the sky above and a view of the ground below. The daring way he paints the sky and the clouds is a testament to the pleasure the creator derives from painting. These paintings emit sensuality. The snow is depicted with such smoothness that it needs not envy Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings of pastries and scenes. These landscape paintings repeat the formal elements of his portraits: the solid figures in the sky and this lack of substance, the gentleness of the strokes, the brilliance of the colors, the neutrality of a “photograph”.
In the new most recent paintings Hervé Heuzé represent glaciers. A neutral blue sky and these chaotic forms which look abstract let people think of a computer generated painting which it is not. Hervé Heuzé makes reality as confusing as virttuality.
If David Hockney represents the paradigm of the American landscape by painting the Grand Canyon, Hervé Heuzé has used this series of Alpine landscapes to show us the fantastical archetype of the European landscape.
HERVE HEUZE, Landscapes
Paysages. Peintures récentes
June 14 - August 30, 2003
Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard
51-53, rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile
Previous exhibitions at this gallery of contemporary art
Paul Henry RAMIREZ, Elevatious Transcendsualistic, April 26 - June 7, 2003
YEK, Glare, March 8 - April 23, 2003
Risa SATO, Risa Campaign, February 1 - February 26, 2003
Next exhibitions at this gallery
Carl FUDGE, September 6 - October 14, 2003
Adam ROSS, The City at Night Dreaming of Itself, October 18 - November 18, 2003
Stefan HOENERLOH, Cities made in Magrathea, November 22, 2003 - January 13, 2004
Olaf RAUH, Playgrounds, January 17 - February 17, 2004
Beverly FISHMAN, Ecstasy, February 21 - April 6, 2004