François Arnal

Jousse Entreprise | 6 rue Saint-Claude

François Arnal came to painting as an autodidact in 1947, practicing an informal and materialist abstraction, before constructing a pictorial universe of marks and imprints. In 1965, the everyday object entered his painting and brought him a step closer to the Nouveaux Réalistes: For each work in his “Bombardements” series, which he continued working on through 1971, one or several objects were placed on the canvas and the whole thing covered in spray paint (in French, peinture à la bombe aérosol); then the objects were taken away so as to preserve only the negative imprint, a white silhouette against a typically black, but sometimes red or green, background, inevitably evoking Man Ray’s rayograms, midway between manifestation and erasure of the real. Like Man Ray in his aerographs from the end of the teens, Arnal here seeks to eliminate the painter’s traditional tools, his mastery of

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