Entretiens sur l'art Alain Séchas

Wednesday 30 October 2019 at 7 pm

Alain Séchas is currently presenting in the exhibition Futur, ancien, fugitif at the Palais de Tokyo a vast wall of drawings made and posted every day on his Instagram account, for one year, between 2018 and 2019.

These are mood tickets designed, very funny, in the manner of this artist to whom drawing and humor always go hand in hand. The artist uses the media Insta, ultra-sensitive, feverish and viral, with the usual phlegm of his art hot and cold, immediate and distanced.

Humor irrigates the art of Séchas, since always, even his abstract paintings distill an irony « with secret noises », according to the expression of Marcel Duchamp. They reflect an original perplexity, question their existence. The humor of Séchas resides essentially in its synthetic line, which combines the qualities of the drawing of the press, the comics or the caricature. A condensed, fast, neutral and incisive line. These types of drawing that share a common language interest the artist in that they «build a “vulgar” space», popular. Séchas indeed explores a common space, realistic and fictional, that, as he himself explains, urban middle classes1.. He cuts his scenes in ordinary life, his famous characters with cat heads bringing the distance of fiction and comics in particular, to which they refer. These figures, both stylized and ghostly, are in a precise and indeterminate present, the era, made of what we see and hear, collective and personal memories, but also of everything that goes through the head. The artist mixes current and dated references, evoking the 1960s and 1970s, as is the case of his creatures, those women with sexed and sexy body, while certain moods recall the films of Jacques Tati.

The line captures a detail, a gesture, a situation that hits the mark. A woman smokes a cigarette in a bourgeois interior (Bouquet, 2017) where Matisse shows. A woman turns on the gas (Briquet, 2017), another puts his bag of garbage in the garbage bin (Sac poubelle, 2017). The artist digs the banal to the point of absurdity and brings out the absurdity of extreme banality. His characters all have the same bewildered look: their white eyes wide open seem to be crossed by a reality that exceeds them. A void lives in them just as it haunts terribly innocuous situations.

The paintings are to be taken in the first degree, says the artist willingly. Which? That of painting, figures, situations? All this at once. The artist uses methodically and jubilantly a science of the first degrees. Indeed, the first degree of reality can save from an ordinary madness that appears everywhere: the ice cream that we eat, the walk with the dog, the cigarette that we smoke, the evening with friends, the shouting with her husband or with a friend, a bouquet of flowers. The first degree can also drive you crazy and take the form of brute violence or frank laughter. Because in Séchas, we kill, we commit suicide by chocolate and by hanging, coldly and funny.
His universe is double, is divided into many facets, both concrete and refined, realistic and fictional, figurative and abstract, superficial and deep, drive and restrained. Elegant, the art of Séchas fully assumes the inherent seduction of painting, the visual arts, and gives us a mirror larks whose eyes would be the game escaped somewhere in the present…


Alain Séchas was born in June 1955 in Colombes. He was a professor of drawing at the National Education until 1996. From 1981, his work as an artist explores the drawing as a projection to which the viewer does not escape. From a simple drawing on paper to the enlargement in moving volumes of characters with a cat’s head, the humorous (sometimes black) and human dimension is very present in his work.
He is represented by the Laurent Godin gallery.

alain sechas 169
alain sechas 169
Fondation Pernod Ricard
1 cours Paul Ricard
75008 Paris
Free entrance
Free admission, without reservation