François Réau consistently draws in black and white. The result carries the mark of the past, of a childhood home that burnt to the ground, and a grandfather who was a coal merchant.
He says he thinks through drawing: “When we draw, it’s a way of understanding things, to define them. We define something or we address it, and as such, we also encompass things using a line.” This is his view of the nature and landscapes he portrays on paper, using mainly lead pencils and graphite pencils.
He also designs immersive installations that take into account the spiritual aspects of the venue, creating an unspoken connection between the history of the place and the viewing experience. His landscapes are spread out, or on the contrary, come closer together around a single detail, a piece that portrays all the materiality, whether it’s plant, mineral or liquid.
Very much in line with the Arte Povera movement, he focuses on time and space. He uses recovered and perishable materials, natural resources or second hand items. They are used in such a way in the space available, that these materials will enable him to create a whole new vocabulary that relates both to his style of drawing, and to everything he portrays with a stroke, a line or a marking.
This is a special attention he has chosen to pay to the world around him and to the invisible he defines. The white areas are places for breathing, pockets of air where the artist plays on the notions of appearance and disappearance.
His Nuages (Clouds) exhibited in the Agnès Varda Courtyard Galleries portray the sublime and fragile beauty of our world.
Artwork for the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire
“Here, I was really looking to push the boundaries of drawing. I wanted to create an artwork that makes a direct reference to Nature or to this part of the landscape, and that, in a certain way, constitutes a symbol of what has gone unnoticed in the observation. For me, something which fundamentally represents a unique portrayal of movement. It was also essential for me to provide the viewer with an experience of the image that could surpass the physical realm, in producing the artwork in a fairly large format, so that it loses its definition as an object. It can hence be seen as a view.” François Réau
The cloud is an inconsistent structure that is constantly changing shape. In fact, it symbolises something that can surpass a standard observation and is a one-of-a-kind portrayal of movement. It can be considered as a clear image of the process of transformation, of something that doesn’t necessarily have a defined shape, something that embodies a metaphor of everything that overwhelms our ability to understand.