amsterdam

Jean-Charles Blais

Barbara Farber

In Jean-Charles Blais’ new works, it is not his familiar blue color that plays the lead role, but black. Blais’ tendency to simplify shapes and forms, which began in 1987, has progressed further here; he depicts massive, monumental figures and body parts with clear, perspicuous structures. Blais uses black—a color of emptiness and obscurity—chiefly for the contours of his mysterious silhouettes of the backs of heads with turbanlike headgear. These shapes can also be interpreted as cutouts or shadow outlines for an anonymous typology of people. The bodies are absent, and one can only sense them beyond the edges of the pictures. In contrast to his earlier works, Blais no longer places these rudimentary depictions of the human body on the ripped edges of poster fragments. He now paints over them and places them in the center of the picture. The writing that shimmers through the almost white

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