Maxime Biou. “Hélène”, 2020. Oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm. 4,500 Euros


Text by Marine Relinger for the exhibition catalog of the 6th edition of the Emerige revelation grant, L’Effet Falaise

Winner of the Amis des Beaux-arts and the Diamond scholarship in 2016, just graduated from the Beaux-Arts in Paris, Maxime Biou has mainly painted his loved ones, seized with expectation, relaxation, sometimes sleep. This possible melancholy composes, moreover, a genealogy of heavy bodies, exempted from the usual worldly postures: this is the benefit of abandonment, from which a certain fragility emerges. Whether the model is painted from life or from a snapshot taken by the artist, the pause time is excessively long: the time it takes to capture this presence-absence and represent time in painting; the time it takes to capture a body in its materiality, confronted with the materialist touch chosen by the young painter, inspired by Bacon or Lucian Freud.

“The material and its composition interest me in the first place. The subject and the effect it produces, on me or on others, is a more recent question, ”he reports. Photography is also only a medium, a certain number of elements being painted head-on or simplified, in favor of an imaginary capable of overturning the spaces of the family home from which all of its production comes. .

One of these last canvases – which he never titles – represents his father seated against a wall, his dog coiled against him. space. Until recently, Maxime Biou was able to turn away from the figure, human or animal, to grasp the objects and the voids that surround it. The sketch of an unmade bed, a tribute to that of Delacroix, sits on his easel -: the setting is rapid, in search of a balance between mastery and spontaneity of the gesture; the quest for the infinitesimal for a presence is all the more remarkable there, in the absence of a body.

Fascinated by the freedom of the Masters, the young painter seems to explore, thus, one of the great paradoxes in painting, according to which it seems impossible to arrive at a figuration which does not have abstract properties (like to realize an abstract painting presenting no figurative quality).

Marine Relinger

2019, Exhibition catalog of the 6th edition of the Emerige Revelation Grant,

The Falaise Effect, Les Editions Particules.

4 500 

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