Avec et sans peinture

  • Art
  • Drawing and illustration
Critics' choice
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Exposition 'Avec et sans peinture'
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Vue de l'exposition / © TB
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Simon Hantaï, 'Etude I, suite pour Pierre Reverdy', 1969 / © Adagp, Paris 2014 / Photo : © Claude Gaspari
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Eva Nielsen, 'Silo', 2011 / Photo : © Marc Domage
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Bruno Perramant, 'La Couverture rouge (Léviathan)', 2011 / Photo : © André Morin
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Farah Atassi, 'Playroom', 2012 / © Farah Atassi
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Vue de l'exposition (Valérie Jouve) / © TB
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Vue de l'exposition (Valérie Jouve) / © TB
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Vue de l'exposition / © TB
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Vue de l'exposition / © TB
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Vue de l'exposition / © TB
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Vue de l'exposition / © TB
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Vue de l'exposition / © TB

Over the course of the last century, photography and cinema dealt painting a blow without quite managing to kill it off. Now, at a time when the likes of Gerhard Richter model paintings on photos and Bill Viola effectively builds canvases from video, there's a strong case to be made for the renaissance of painting – albeit as one element in a new, syncretic kind of visual art.

Redefining painting is at the core of this, the MAC/VAL's sixth exhibition of its collections. As can be expected from this forward-thinking contemporary gallery, the works on display here show scant regard for the 'rules' of painting – many of them, as the show's name implies, don't even use paint. Wood, photos and neon tubes provide the raw material; cheap artworks are daubed with emulsion; and in a mammoth work centred on four Palestinian women the conventions of portrait art are boldly subverted. The art of painting is never banished – it's merely turned on its head. Few Parisian galleries tackle discourses in contemporary art with the relish and intelligence of MAC/VAL. Their latest doesn't disappoint.

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