"Voyages sur le motif"

27.01.2023 – 24.03.2023
27.03.2023 - 07.04.2023

Galerie 75 Faubourg collaborates with Galerie Enrico Navarra to present an exhibition of the artist Renk, showcasing a selection of his most recent works on canvas from the series Voyages sur le motif. Painted in seven places from 2020 to 2022, 13 of the 24 canvases are on view today at Galerie 75 Faubourg, and the last 11 canvases will be displayed at Villa Navarra (Le Muy, France) this summer. The exhibition also reveals all the stages of their creation through videos.

Started in Paris, the series Voyages sur le Motif is mostly the result of several stays in Brittany. Each canvas was painted in front of nature, facing the sky, and bears the name of its place of creation: Champ de Mars, Dinard, Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel, île de Bréhat, Crozon, île de Bruc, Belle-Île… Renk follows the path of the impressionists and, as they did, carries his equipment to paint outdoors, without prior sketch. He paints “sur le motif”, “on the spot”. Self-taught artist, he uses spray paint to represent skies in which the colors fade to reveal the harmony. The sky is at the center of his search, not for its picturesque effect but to illustrate, with spontaneity, the variations of colors, shadows and lights. These works are an accumulation of his tag “Renk”, in different sizes and colors, endlessly repeated until it disappears.

Born Walig Nicolet in Rennes in 1987, he started tagging in 2000 with the blaze 100REMOR after seeing a TV report about graffiti. A few years later, he met several taggers and graffiti enthusiasts during his training in communication in Bagnolet. He then changed his name to Renkar, before choosing Renk in 2007, which becomes his artist name.
In 2011, after a revelation during a trip to the Sinai desert in Egypt, Renk fully dedicates himself to paintings on canvas. “One evening, while watching the sunset, Walig has an epiphanic moment. The sky and the colours seemed to speak to him. The message was clear and concise: ‘painting will be your whole life’. (David Rosenberg, Renk, E?ditions Skira, 2021)

While graffiti is a means of expression often associated with notions of vindication, appropriation, and territory, Renk seems instead determined to make his tag disappear by repeating it endlessly, yet retaining the creative gesture and technique of aerosol. The relentless repetition of his tag has always been the basis of his work, but his method evolves with each series. Until then, all his paintings were created from his imagination, and painted indoors. Renk began to paint in the daylight, facing nature, after having set up a frame in the vineyards during a stay in the South of France. And soon were born his first canvases painted while contemplating the sky.

“I come from the world of graffiti. My intention was to go into the studio to make paintings, and after a number of years it has become the opposite – it has become ‘I want to get out of the studio’.” (Renk, 2022)

An artist full of contrasts, between abundance and order, maturity and childhood obsessions, the serenity of his paintings and the energy of his creative act, Renk brilliantly blends his influences from street art and impressionism to create Voyages sur le motif.