“American Dreams” by Lionel Tréboit | Art-Hop-Polis

Come join us at the FEU for the first opening of the season as part of Art-Hop-Polis! We are pleased to host the exhibition American Dreams by artist Lionel Tréboit. The exhibition will be open October 3rd-31st.

“After watching people pass by, I wanted to revisit through painting the emblematic places of Chicago and New York through our American dreams. Spontaneously, I painted these cities with the idea of making portraits of them rather than landscapes, portraits of Chicago and New York in which architecture appears as the central subject. While my paintings reflect my poetic and melancholic vision of these cities, American dreams can be guessed in the play of architectural space. Subliminal messages or ostentatious slogans, the imprint of American dream symbols is inscribed on various supports: monumental architecture, urban sculptures, signage and other advertising panels that combine in a profusion of images as in Times Square. Icons or totems, these images by their intensity overflow the very reality of my paintings. I express this intensity in my painting by using acid colours or vibrant red colours. It symbolizes the renewed energy of the American city that emerges from our American dreams. My practice is part of a process to transcribe the sublimated from real images: I take photographs and then make more subjective drawings.Conceived from photography and drawing, my painting ultimately reflects a symbiosis between reality and imagination. My paintings play with the first impression of an image that seems obvious, but whose evidence fades when the eye plunges into the work. This ambivalence between “real and imaginary” in my painting echoes the evocative power of American dreams in our collective imagination. In order to highlight a particular aspect of the city, I have anchored bystanders and architecture in distinct spaces that respond to and sometimes oppose each other: Thus, in Flatiron Building, the parallel between people walking on the pedestrian crossing and the architecture of the buildings accentuates the verticality of New York. The banality of the macadam contrasts with the exuberance and monumentality of the architecture. To translate the desire for greatness and surpassing American dreams, I brought out the massive and imposing character of buildings that in my painting fit together like the pieces of a building set. In Wink, New York, by juxtaposing the silhouette of a New Yorker in the shadows with a poster of Andy Warhol’s luminous Marilyn, I wanted to mark the gap between the reality of everyday life and American myths. These megacities are also attractions: In Mirror Game, Millenium Park, passers-by play with their image and that of the buildings reflected in Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate sculpture. This desire to play with the city evokes the dream of innocence. In Tempo Chicago, runners are like caught in weightlessness, in pursuit of freedom beyond the skyscrapers, to escape the weight of buildings. The dynamic that I wanted to breathe into this collection reflects my desire to capture, through architecture, the constantly renewed energy that drives Chicago and New York. This incompressible energy transporting us into the imagination of the American city opens a door on our imagination, while American dreams question us about our future.” -Lionel Tréboit, June 2018

About the Artist

Lionel Tréboit is a French painter born in 1966. Graduated from the Beaux-Arts de Paris in 1989, he lives and works in Paris. The urban landscape is the recurrent subject of his painting. His approach consists in transcending urban reality and updating “a poetics of the city”. Depending on the play of light, the image sometimes seems to appear, sometimes it dissolves. Indeed, his paintings play with “the first impression of an image that seems obvious, but whose evidence fades when the eye plunges into the work”. Urban space and human figures inspire him with new arrangements of reality. Conceived from photography and drawing, his painting reflects a symbiosis between reality and imagination. He has exhibits in France, notably in 2016 at the Orangerie du Sénat, and in the United States.

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday from 10am to 12:30pm and 2:30pm to 6pm. Evenings or weekends by appointment only: contact@feusa.org

Guided tour with the artist on: Sunday, October 28th at 6pm after the Rendez-vous Musical (concert starts at 5pm) Monday, October 29th from 3pm to 6pm Tuesday, October 30th from 3pm to 6pm Wednesday, October 31st from 3pm to 6pm

Exceptionally closed on Friday, October 5th

The vernissage will take place on Wednesday, October 3 from 7-8:30pm as part of Art-Hop-Polisart hopping at the Cité internationale. The detailed program will be published on CitéScope in September. Join the Facebook event page to receive a reminder and follow the Art-Hop-Polis Facebook page!

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