Antoine Langenieux-Villard (b. 1991) is an emerging artist who concentrates on a constant dialogue between the surface of his painting and its unveiling content; an ongoing creative and intellectual challenge takes place using a complementary array of techniques and aiming to hold the tension of the visual motion. Langenieux-Villard additionally states that his “process involves a lot of collage or sewing techniques that enable me to construct the surface and disturb the chronology of layering. It acts as a map of activity”.
Bold layered compositions remarkably discern his artistic language strengthening an alternate read inspired by an automated or mechanical undertaking. Irregular curvilinear shapes feature his canvases allowing the viewer’s imagination to engage with the artist’s hand movements. Thus, these abstract shapes are executed by loose and vigorous brushwork highlighting the artist’s attention on gestural qualities. Weighing activity and stillness, excitement and doubt, the painter’s work offers a fertile framework between the known and the unrevealed. The elegant representations on canvas navigate the colourful and uncontrolled pictorial space that wave with a frenzied plasticity. Despite the spontaneity, his paint marks are based on meticulous arrangement of colour successfully assisting his efforts to build alluring identifiable imagery. Yet his compositions seem to dissolve into purely abstracted forms.
Words: Yannis Kostarias
Langenieux-Villard puts an emphasis on the tactile aspect of his work; idealistically or practically, his deconstruction sports an intriguing role within the artist’s painting boundaries. He deals with the painting’s decomposing values either with analytical or technical mediums. Unlike breaking down into simpler constituents consists of a creative activity, the art of reconstruction into his artistry becomes an even more enjoyable process. The artist himself thinks “of painting as a mode of construction- manipulating the canvas and cutting out sections of it”. At another level, although Langenieux-Villard builds his own artistic language, his imagery brings references from another important artist such as Christian Bonnefoi. Talking with the emerging painter he mentioned the influence of Bonnefoi. Both artists have developed a closer and more personal relationship as they regularly meet and talk about art; the young London-based artist is also working on a video-documentary about this painter whose influence on his work is remarkable.
Born in France in 1991, the French artist lives and works in London. He undertook an art course at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy between 2013-2014, while last year he completed his bachelor studies in Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins, London. Year 2017 was remarkable for the artist as he won the Kate Barton Award for Painting and was selected for the Clyde & Co collection award. He also won in 2016 the Queen’s Scholarship Award as well as the Phoebe Llewelyn Smith Award.
In his interview with Art Verge, Antoine Langénieux-Villard shares his approach on his abstract art and other art issues, while providing some very interesting insights about his daily life. Check it out!
Art Verge: Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Antoine Langenieux-Villard: In the studio, I am always experimenting to find ways to disrupt the material and the process. Each work produces a residue, informing subsequent works. I think of painting as a mode of construction- manipulating the canvas and cutting out sections of it. My process involves a lot of collage or sewing techniques that enable me to construct the surface and disturb the chronology of layering. It acts as a map of activity.
Art Verge: How would you define your work in few words (ideally in 3 words)?
ALV: Assemblage, tactile, versatile.
Art Verge: Can you name any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
ALV: Influences are in multiples, they leave and come back all the time but I am particularly interested in the movement support/surface. A few keys figures remains since years: Sigmar Polke, Christian Bonnefoi, Joe Fyfe, Nicolas de Staël, and Henri Matisse of course.
Art Verge: Creating a new painting can be a solitary process. If this applies to you, when you concentrate on a new artwork does it affect your social life at all?
ALV: It’s paradoxical because it does affects my social life sometimes, but on the other hand I have been meeting many interesting people through my work. I like to compare the painter to the sailor: both are in the waves, between up and down.
Art Verge: When do you know a painting is finished?
ALV: If it’s not near the studio anymore!
Art Verge: What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space like, and how does it affect your process?
ALV: After 3 years in London I have recently moved with my girlfriend to the countryside, in West Sussex. Now, I have the luxury to walk from the kitchen to the studio in 1 minute, with my coffee on a tray!
Art Verge: Which exhibition did you visit last?
ALV: Rachel Whiteread at the Tate Britain.
Art Verge: What do you hope audiences will take from your work?
ALV: A sensation, an impression, a reflection.
Art Verge: What does your mum think about your art?
ALV: Even with her eyes closed, she would put everything on her walls.
Art Verge: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
ALV: Night owl – no question about it. When I work late at night, I feel I gain time.
Art Verge: Is the glass half empty or half full?
ALV: It depends on the festivities.
Art Verge: Which are your plans for the near future?
ALV: I am part of a group show at the Unit 5 Gallery in London “Slightly seared on the reality grill” (1-4th March). There is other projects/exhibitions coming up later in the year as well. Apart from this I am planning to move to Brussels’s, which I am quite excited about!