Works Presentation Artists Press Download

Extended until Wenesday 13 July included

May 13 - July 2, 2016

On the occasion of his seventh one-man exhibition in the galerie Lara Vincy, Jean-Luc Parant has come back to his very first drawings, invented in 1973, when he discovered that he not only had two hands but four: a right hand and a left hand with his eyes open, but also a right hand and a left hand with his eyes wide shut.
That was when that possibility of four-handed drawing became a working constraint, chosen so that it finally freed the artist’s drawing by adding to it another constraint: that of the systematical accounting of the little balls of Indian ink that fill up the page. The little drawn balls fill up, open-eyed, the outlines of the hands, to be repeated the same number of times with the eyes closed in the outlines of the hands of the same size.
Jean-Luc Parant himself writes regarding the eyes shut project:

we leave traces because we don’t see completely and because the hands and the skin are born of that blindness and touching always implies creating night around us, and we touch because it is night, and the most profoundly etched marks are those that were inscribed with eyes shut in the darkest possible night, and those that are the most precisely traced are those that were engraved thus with the most left-hand, the one which the eye had never used and which sight never guided, and only the most hand, the blindest hand can tell of our night and of our attachment here, within the infinite universe. 
Extract taken from 351560 petites boules les yeux ouverts et les yeux fermés de la main droite et de la main gauche, Théâtre Oblique, 1975

In that exhibition, that founding principle of four handed drawing is taken up again, but on a new support: pages of writing in Braille with protruding dots, chosen for the quality of their texture on the one hand, but also, of course, on account of the relationship that those pages create between the visual artist who draws the balls and the writer writing about the eyes.  On single pages or assembled in 2, 4, 6, 8 or more, Jean-Luc Parant draws hands of every size: the shape of the outline of his hands, enlarged or reduced, seen from close-up or from afar, filled with balls or overspilling with them, according to whether it is day or night on his eyes. The same quantity of balls differently fill up or spill over the shape of the hand’s outline but represent just as much what the surface contains as defined by that outline.
For Jean-Luc Parant, these constraints of shapes and numbers in his work are like an alphabet, like a limited number of signs to be combined differently to alter their meanings. Thus the artist has the impression of being more totally accurate from the passage from the eyes shut to the closed eyes (imprecise), from the passage from the right hand to the left hand (less skilful).
« To us who have never seen each other and who will never be able to see each other in our entirety, coming forward or retreating before us, to us who will always be the same size for ourselves – in our real size –, sight gives us the opportunity to be reduced to the scale of a keyhole», he tells us.
These hands of every size, giants’ hands that become children’s hands, are like eyes: they are indeed hands that see what JLP draws. The exhibition À quatre mains could just as easily have been entitled Les mains voyantes. Indeed, whereas the hands, once they attain adulthood, remain the same size, JLP transforms them, in the galerie Lara Vincy, into eyes capable of going everywhere, of seeing everything.

Kristell Loquet
Translated in English by Ann Cremin

Thursday 9th June from 6 pm to 8 pm, signature by J.-L. Parant Le silence du monde, éditions Au crayon qui tue

Jean-Luc Parant was born in 1944 in Tunis, Tunisia.
He lives and works in Normandy, France.
The publishing of his poetical and literary works makes up a corpus of over 200 works, he is represented in many public institutions and collections, specifically: Centre national des arts plastiques (Fnac), La Défense/F / Donation Cordier, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris / Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Strasbourg/F / Musée d’art contemporain, Lyon/F / Musée d’art contemporain, Marseille/F