Free!

16 août 2016

Born in the early 1980s, full of energy and inundated of colors, the Free Figuration movement highlights an extravagant and amazing art.

A painting that does not deny its primitive instincts

Creator of this movement, Robert Combas says: “How can I explain the ‘figuration libre’, since I am its creator? I will quote an author, unknown yet, one of these rare writers that can be ‘free figurative’: Michel Zoom. The scene: two men meet, one of them tells the other one: ‘I caught that egg disease’, the second man answers in astonishment: ‘well, and what is that?’. The other one says ‘Nothing, I just want to be ill!’. That is a Free Figuration text. Michel Zoom is influenced by jokes, slang, and poetry. As for me, a canvas can be influenced by naive African advertisements, schoolbook illustrations, these can be mixed up with Picasso or Miró, or even with a cartoon drawing, and then you add to that made-up Arabic writings, some ‘Art Brut’ like Dubuffet or Cobra. ‘Figuration Libre’ is a way of painting that denies its primitive instincts and a desire for culture. Like Jules Vernes, I went to Tombouctou, without going out of my home. “

An art without distinctive sources

“Figuration Libre” is mainly a French movement that appeared at the beginning of the 1980s. If this painting originally should have been called "fun painting", the French artist Ben from Nice renamed it “ Figuration Libre”, before the annoyance of Combas to affix an English name. He even established the main features "30% anti-culture provocation, 30% “Figuration Libre”, 30% art brut, 10% madness. The ensemble gives something new."

In several countries, groups of new painters follow the same figurative and colorful path: the “New Fauves” in Germany,” Trans Avant-Garde” in Italy or “Bad Painting” in the United States. Occurred by contrast with the minimalist and conceptualist art of the 1960s and 1970s, the movement “Figuration Libre” gathers Robert Combas, Hervé Di Rosa, François Boisrond or Rémi Blanchard. As Cubism opened up to African and Oceanic Art, Surrealism to the childish drawings and art for crazy people; as pop art opened up to advertising  and  comics, animated by no kind of nostalgia, “Figuration Libre” artists have, through their works, taken the liberty  to include all forms of art without any distinctions. They never sought to prioritize the quality of their sources and place as much importance to a comic than a painting of a Master.

Humor and provocation

The main leitmotiv of the “Figuration Libre” painters mostly lies in the willingness to stand entirely out of Conceptual Art by using humor as a lever of creation. Inspired from all sides, their paintings are unbridled and explosive, the colors are vivid and sometimes the lines rough but they are never separated from a great sense of provocation.

Stirring with appetite and vitality in all of the existing artistic fields without any limitation, the Free Figuration spread out, after decades marked by an important artistic rigor, passion and a rich and positive frenzy.

Brigitte Lovisa-Fouché, the contagious pleasure

A native of Dax (France), Brigitte Lovisa-Fouché, a graduate of the National School Superior of Applied Arts and Craftsmanship (ENSAAMA) of Paris, was first specialized in mural art and, in particular, the stained glass. She restored the old windows of the Cathedral de Sens in Yonne, before diving with appetite in paint on wood or canvas. Inspired by the Free Figuration movement and urban artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat or Alechninsky she works combining acrylic, collage and recycling cans in a very "cartoon"style.

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