Timothy Archer "Contre-sorts"

From 04 to 27 February 2016

Vernissage on Thursday 4 February from 6 p.m.

For his second personal exhibition at Polad-Hardouin gallery, Timothy Archer plans to appropriate and uphold the full and unique dimension of the venue. The large-format paintings and drawings on the ground floor, vivid, bright and energetic, will counterbalance the drawings on black backgrounds and the masks on the basement level. The artist invites us to go down in this underground world to explore our own dark side. Far from clashing together, these two worlds communicate and interpenetrate. Sorts et contre-sorts are the two sides of the same medal.

Most of the works presented were created in Berlin, where Archer has been living for the past two years. “I left Lille and went to Berlin to get out of my comfort zone, to question my pictorial style and to permeate it with new experiences”, he explains. While Archer's work reveals his taste for the Primitivism so beloved by Expressionists, he went to Berlin to draw inspiration from contemporary painters such as André Butzer, Jonathan Meese or Bjarne Melgaard. However, Berlin's constantly evolving artistic scene did not offer him that much-awaited encounter.

Nevertheless, the years spent in Berlin allowed Archer to refocus his pictorial style, far from his familiar world. The buzzing life of the capital led him to a formal renewal and to adopt a more vivid, brighter and fluorescent chromatic palette. Aerosol paint, which is responsible for the mat, powdery texture of some of his canvasses, allowed him to integrate several pictorial elements of street art, a genre in which Berlin has played a pioneering role. Archer's multiple encounters with the local art scene and collectors also gave him the opportunity to present his works on several occasions.

Despite their opulent and prolific appearance, Archer's paintings are far from impulsive. Quite to the contrary, they are the fruit of a patient and carefully planned work carried out by night in his workshop. His skilfully prepared backgrounds, sometimes entirely covered in deep black paint, allow shapes and light to stand out. The rhythm of his hand imposes its own movement and conjures up, in oil paint or oil pastel, the figures that form his compositions. Their imposing presence can be seen, for instance in Archer's large bird in electric green and red tones, surrounded by masks and waves that suck up its oxygen, or in the rosary of eyes that seems to naturally originate from the sight of the main figure in La Graine et l'Abondance. Shapes, senses and colours are combined in a unique alchemy that confers to Archer's painting the effervescent energy of a potion.

Painter, designer and sculptor Timothy Archer was born in 1982 in Boulogne-sur-Mer. He currently lives in works between Lille and Berlin. After graduating from the faculty of fine arts in Lille, since 2011 he has been presenting his works in several European cities such as Paris, Marseilles, Berlin, and Prague. After joining Polad-Hardouin gallery in 2013, he presented his works inside the gallery's premises as well as at the Outsider Art Fair (New York) and at Art Paris. This is his second personal exhibition at the gallery.