Hervé Télémaque: 'A Hopscotch of the Mind' review
Time Out says
Hervé Télémaque saw the political potential of Pop, and pushed it to bursting. Born and raised in Haiti, Télélmaque spent a few years immersed in the abstract expressionism of New York before settling in Paris in the early 1960s. There, he set about building a visual language that would fuse pop aesthetics, found imagery and abstraction, all with a singularly political purpose.
The 1960s paintings here are angry, intense, colourful things. He takes aim at racist tropes in French culture, pictures of police brutality and military imagery. It’s brutal, impactful stuff, like a vicious mix of Tintin, Lichtenstein and radical politics. The self-portrait, playing on comic book depictions of black people, is the perfect distillation of all those ideas.
Earlier works are rougher and harsher, full of angry brushstrokes and graffiti-like marks, a sort of proto-Basquiat.
The later paintings are a little too bloated and aimless to have anything like the same impact. They’re not as clear in their intentions or targets, and sort of stumble as a result. It’s the 1950s and ’60s works that really standout. Radical, personal, passionate, and with a defined aesthetic. Pop perfection.