Swann Ronné: Tarpaulins

Swann Ronné

Artwork’s title: «Tarpaulins»

Materials Used: Acrylic & spray paint on transparent tarp

Year: 2018

Studio Based: Paris, France

Swann Ronné, Tarpaulins, 2018, Acrylic and spray paint on transparent tarp, 350 x 500 cm

Art Verge

Can you tell us about the process of making your work ?

Swann Ronné

I have different processes because I’m working on several series ; paintings on canvas and on tarpaulin. Here, this is a series of 4 paintings on tarpaulin started 1 year ago. They are made on the floor, in my studio. The transparency of the tarp compels me to start the painting by considering all the traces already present on the ground: paint stains, ink blots, scratches, footprints etc …
So I start the painting by taking some of this accidental forms, which are mostly the remains or residues of my previous paintings but also the traces of the activity of others peoples who share my studio. The size of the paintings (350 x 500 cm) forces me to walk on it, often barefooted, I move inside it to register a new activity in response to the traces that I observe. I try to adapt my tools to this monumental format. To apply the paint, I use a wide variety of tools such as marker, floorcloth, sponge, spray or brushes.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Emergence, Conflicts, Balance.

Would you use another three different words to describe the ‘Tarpaulins’ series paintings?

Massive, Instinctive, In situ.

How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?

When I arrived in my new school in Paris last year, I discovered this place that we call “the red galleries”. It used to be conventional white galleries before their renovation. This is now a gigantic space with large colones, stone and moldings ; the opposite of the conventional white cube. This is a very special space and quite complicated to take in hand for a painter because the wall is divided by 4 large red panels. I immediately saw them as four huge red monochrome that could serve me as background. So I wanted to “attack” this site in situ while making a coherent proposal. These paintings were shown on the occasion of my degree show.

What colour is used the most in this painting?

The red of the walls but it’s not me who painted it… otherwise I think it’s black, but it’s not a colour, ya?

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

I don’t know yet but I would like to try new things, to “attack” new places of character. The last tarp I made was for an exhibition in Hamburg; at the end, I didn’t want to bring it back, it didn’t make sense. So I tried to hang it on a street in Hamburg, at the top of a facade, a building or a billboard. But I couldn’t find the right spot. After all, I brought it back to Paris, it’s now folded in a bag, stored in a closet, waiting in the dark…

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

There are too many but Albert Oehlen is definitely the one I can not get enough of. His ability to mix a wide variety of gestures and his capacity to renew himself make him one of the painters that interests me the most. I also recently discovered the work of Philippe Vandenberg. Really powerful!

How do you know when this painting was finished ?

The paintings were done very quickly; one in half a day, because their size forced me to monopolize almost all the studio and I couldn’t afford to do it for a long time. Once I felt there was enough pictorial material, the painting was stopped. You must know that I could really discover the paintings only when I hang them because they are shown upside down, on the unpainted side, like a painting on glass. It creates good as bad surprises…This protocol full of constraints avoids a bit this problem . On the contrary when I do canvas paintings, I still have troubble stopping at the right time. That’s why I need to do both.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like ?

I share my studio with fifteen other artists ; sculptors, video artists, musicians and painters. It’s located in the heart of Paris, on the third and last floor of my school. The studio is very big but the light is rotten. There is something really cool when the weather is nice, we can go out through the windows and climb on the rooftops to smoke cigarettes, we have a view on the most beautiful courtyard of the school.

Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?

I do not like the “message”. I don’t want to be boring. I have no messages but intentions. What interests me in this series of works is to speaks of the stage of moving painting from the creative space to the exhibition space. Here, this displacement take totally part of the process of conception. There is also the idea to erect the floor on the wall.

What does your mum think about your art?

Biggest fan, dad was too. Mum’s house is full of my paintings but she still hangs them in the wrong way… It make me laugh but the first thing I do when I go home is to put it back in the right direction.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

“Natural Wine”, Wade Guyton’s solo show at Chantal Crousel Gallery, Paris. Very good !

Which are your plans for the near future?

I am still in school at the moment, it’s quite comfortable. It allows me to focus only on my work. I take this time to adjust my work as best as possible to be as satisfied as possible for my end of cursus graduation show, that will take place in June 2020. For now, all the rest is bonus.

Additional Works

Swann Ronné, Artist’s Portrait
Swann Ronne, Ice Hockey is six to six, 2018, oil, acrylic and spray on canvas, 195 x 140 cm


© All images are courtesy of the artist

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