Claude Viallat/ Claude Viallat

France 1936

Abstract Art

Claude Viallat
Claude Viallat
Male
France
1936
March 1, 2016
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Aubais, a commune in the Gard department in southern France, is well known for its bull tradition. Camargue Bull Run or Bandido is somewhat strange and today considered cruel practice – Gardians on Camargue horses (an ancient breed of horse indigenous to the Camargue area in southern France) lead the bull that runs through the streets of Aubais. Claude Viallat, a French abstract artist, was born in Nîmes but grew up in this town, from which he carried off a strong fascination with bulls and tauromachy. Besides Claude’s artistic career, he dedicated a great amount of time and energy to create his famous and rich collection of objects related to bulls. It was precisely his collection that was taken as a starting point for the Musée des Cultures Taurines (Museum of Bull Tradition) in Nîmes, established in 1986.

Creating a New Formal Language and Rejecting Classical Painting Conventions

Claude Viallat attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Montpellier, and it was there where he made strong friendships with artists such as André-Pierre Arnal, Vincent Bioulès, Daniel Dezeuze, Toni Grand, François Rouan, and Henriette Pous, his future wife. From 1958 to 1961 to served army in Algeria and upon his return Claude was admitted to the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he met Joël Kermarrec, Pierre Buraglio, and Michel Parmentier. During his stay in Paris, Viallat discovered works of American artists like Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, Sam Francis, and Mark Rothko. Their intriguing style led Claude towards abstraction – and in 1963, he was strongly determined to create a brand new formal language that will reassess classical painting conventions. A method he developed involved one shape attached on canvas without any stretchers. Claude Viallat’s first solo show was held at Nice’s Galerie A in 1966.

A method Viallat developed involved one shape attached on canvas without any stretchers

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Claude Viallat – 1970-056, 1970 Image copyrights © Bernard Ceysson

The Supports/Surfaces Movement and Viallat’s Role in it

In June of 1969, during an exhibition at the Havre Museum titled La Peinture en question (The painting in question), Vincent Bioulès, Louis Cane, Marc Devade, Daniel Dezeuze, Noël Dolla, Jean-Pierre Pincemin Patrick Saytour André Valensi, Bernard Pagès and Claude Viallat wrote the catalog where they claimed that the subject of the painting is the painting itself and that the paintings on display are related only to themselves – meaning that the personality of the artist, his biography or even art history has absolutely nothing to do with the essence of the idea that the artwork transmits to the viewer. This is how and when a movement called Supports/Surfaces was created. This group is characterized by an original approach that gives more importance to materials, creative gestures and the final work than the subject itself. A Supports/Surfaces group was a short-winded movement that brought together artists whose practice of painting questions its basic components. Challenging traditional pictorial means, these artists joined in a research of the theoretical reflection and political positioning within the journal Cahiers-painting. In time, disagreements grew between group members and the split happened in 1972. Very often a Supports/Surfaces is considered the last movement pioneering French modernity and which definitively closed the cycle. Claude gave up on his membership in the group on May 3 of 1971 when his disagreement with the political and theoretical orientations by Louis Cane and Marc Devade escalated.

Viallat is known for using recycled materials in his works

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Claude Viallat – 1983-021, 1983 Image copyrights © Bernard Ceysson

During his Supports/Surfaces period of time, Viallat used recycled materials in his works at the time: objects and stuff like tarpaulins, umbrellas, various fabrics, woven or knotted rope. Also, he developed a method where he would neutrally repeat the same pattern or a shape over and over again. A shape is applied to a variety of surfaces with a brush and a stencil, and a work is always left unsigned. The main focus is on the color itself: the combination of different colors in the composition and any optical effect it can produce. Claude’s experimentation with found objects evolved to a group of paintings he titled kitsch as he used materials such as glittered or lamé fabrics, tie-dye velvet and printed Pop art design.

The main focus is on the colors – their composition and optical effect

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Claude Viallat – 1980-051, 1980 Image copyrights © Bernard Ceysson

From Teaching Art to a Massive Career Retrospective

In 1972, Viallat took a trip to the States where he was quickly mesmerized by the work of Jackson Pollock and Native Indians. Upon his return, Claude moved to Marseille to teach at the École des Beaux-Arts of Luminy. In 1979, Claude Viallat got the position of a director of the École des Beaux-Arts in Nîmes. In 1982, The Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou organized his retrospective and in 1988, Claude represented France at Venice Biennale. From that moment, this artist became known for the use of sails in his artworks. More precisely, Claude only used two types of sails: Venetian and Catalan, expanding his range of materials and methods used in an artistic process. This year, 1988 was very fruitful and diverse for this author. Viallat inaugurated his stained-glass windows of the Gothic Choir in Nevers Cathedral, but also participated in a Supports/Surfaces at the Musée d’Art Moderne of Saint-Étienne, which must have brought him some sort of closure of that stormy but fertile period of his life.

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Claude Viallat – LA COULEUR À PERTE DE VUE installation view, Luxemburg, 2014. Photo credits Bernard Ceysson

Claude Viallat for Hermès and Sergio Rossi

Until 2010, Claude has been experimenting with painting on curtains, umbrellas, and sails. But, that year, Claude Viallat actually let himself into few collaborations directly with the world of fashion! He designed a small collection of boots for the prestigious brand Sergio Rossi, presented at that year’s Milan Fashion Week. And, he didn’t stop there. Next in line was synergy with Hermès, established in 1837. Especially for this brand, Viallat created a series of designs for their trademark silk scarfs, woven by the house of Hermès. As an inspiration, Claude chose to reference the infinite possibilities of colored forms systems and quasi-living, organic forms like the amoeba, for example.

Claude Viallat was honored with the Fine Arts Academy’s Fondation Simone et Cino del Duca award in 2006, and his 2014 retrospective at the Musée Fabre in Montpellier once again reminded the artistic community of his achievements, presenting the extent of this work and a half of century-long career. This artist never stopped questioning traditional norms, canons and forms of art, being sometimes extremely radical but exactly that approach is what left us with a rich and always surprising oeuvre – a Claude Viallat’s endowment residing in many museum collections like those of Musée National d’Art Moderne, Fondation Cartier, CAPC Bordeaux, Museum of Modern Art, The Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal.

Claude Viallat for Hermès and Sergio Rossi

Until 2010, Claude has been experimenting with painting on curtains, umbrellas, and sails. But, that year, Claude Viallat actually let himself into few collaborations directly with the world of fashion! He designed a small collection of boots for the prestigious brand Sergio Rossi, presented at that year’s Milan Fashion Week. And, he didn’t stop there. Next in line was synergy with Hermès, established in 1837. Especially for this brand, Viallat created a series of designs for their trademark silk scarfs, woven by the house of Hermès. As an inspiration, Claude chose to reference the infinite possibilities of colored forms systems and quasi-living, organic forms like the amoeba, for example.

This artist is represented by Galerie Brugier-Rigail from Paris.

Claude Viallat lives and works in Nîmes, France.

Viallat’s portrait image copyright © Musée Fabre in Montpellier Agglomeration and Barbara Gaviria
Artworks images copyright © Bernard Ceysson

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015THE PAINTING ITSELF (Ulrich Erben, Claude Viallat and Pino PinelliABC ArteTrio
2015Entre Eux et MoiGalerie Catherine PutmanGroup
2015Painting | before, afterPaul Rodgers / 9W GalleryGroup
2015MultiplesGalerie Catherine PutmanGroup
2014Oeuvres récentesGALERIE DANIEL TEMPLONSolo
2013Claude ViallatMusée Arsenal, Site de l’abbaye Saint Jean des VignesSolo
2010Claude Viallat, From point to pointNîmes, FranceSolo
2010WolleGalerie Bernard Ceysson, LuxembourgSolo
2009RaboutagesGalerie Daniel Templon, ParisSolo
2010Claude ViallatMusée National du Mali et "Quartiers d'Orange", Bamako, MaliSolo
2008Claude ViallatGalerie Catherine Issert, Saint Paul de Vence, FranceSolo
2008Claude ViallatPark Ryu Sook Gallery, Séoul, KoreaSolo
2006Claude ViallatGalerie Daniel Templon, ParisSolo
2005Claude ViallatMusée Matisse, Le Cateau Cambrésis, FranceSolo
2005Oeuvres récentesGalerie Oniris, Rennes, FranceSolo
2005Claude ViallatGalleria d’Arte Marchetti, Rome, ItalySolo
2004Portes et FenêtresGalerie Daniel Templon, ParisSolo
2004Claude ViallatMuseo del Chopo, Mexico; Jardin Borda, Curnava; Museo Metropolitano, Monterrey; MACAY, Merida, MexicoSolo
2003PortesAssociation l'Enfance de l'Art, le vallon du Villaret, Bagnol les Bains, FranceSolo
2003Domaine viticole de Haut GléonDurban, FranceSolo
2003Cordes et filetsMusée bibliothèque Pierre André Benoit, Alès en Cévennes, Gard, FranceSolo
2003Galerie Annie LagierL'isle sur la Sorgue, FranceSolo
200320 ansCollection FRAC Basse Normandie, Caen, FranceSolo
2003Claude ViallatGaleria Estiarte, Madrid, SpainSolo
2002Claude ViallatGalerie Cheim & Read, New York, USASolo
2002Claude ViallatMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienne, AustriaSolo
2002Claude ViallatGalerie Adolf und Christiane Von Ribbentrop, Eltville am Rhein, GermanySolo
2002Claude ViallatMusée municipal de la Charité sur Loire, FranceSolo
2002Claude ViallatMusée de Sommières, FranceSolo
2002Claude ViallatAmbassade de France, Tel Aviv, IsraëlSolo
2002Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
2002Claude ViallatArthothèque de Nantes, FranceSolo
2001Oeuvres récentesGalerie Oniris, Rennes, FranceSolo
2001Oeuvres récentesGalerie Athanor, Marseille, FranceSolo
2001Claude Viallat, oeuvres récentesGalerie Hélène Trintignan, Montpellier, FranceSolo
2001Claude ViallatCentre de la Vieille Charité, Marseille, FranceSolo
2001Claude ViallatGalerie Charlotte Moser, Genève, SwitzerlandSolo
2001Claude ViallatChapelle des Capucins, et inauguration des vitraux, Aigues Mortes, FranceSolo
2001Claude ViallatPalaçio Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilSolo
2000Claude Viallat, RépétitionMusée Dongyu, Liaoning, ChinaSolo
2000Claude ViallatCentre d'art contemporain de Toulouse, FranceSolo
2000Oeuvres sur papier (1968 to 1970)Musée d'Art Moderne de Saint Etienne, FranceSolo
2000Nouvelles peintures sur tissus BucolLe Rectangle, Lyon, FranceSolo
2000ObjetsGalerie Daniel Templon, Paris, FranceSolo
1999Claude ViallatGalerie Oniris, Rennes, FranceSolo
1999Claude ViallatInsitut Français à Casblanca, MoroccoSolo
1999Claude ViallatSt. Petri Kirche, Lûbeck, GermanySolo
1999Claude ViallatGalerie Plurima, Udine, ItalySolo
1998Claude ViallatGalerie Daniel Templon, Paris, FranceSolo
1998Claude ViallatGalerie Lia Gredt, LuxembourgSolo
1998Claude Viallat, la période de Nice 1964/67Château de Villeneuve, FranceSolo
1998Claude ViallatArtothèque du Limousin, FranceSolo
1998Travaux RécentsEspace Hérault, Paris, FranceSolo
1997Claude ViallatMusée de la mine, Salle des Pendus, Saint Etienne, FranceSolo
1997Claude ViallatMusée Fabre, Montpellier, FranceSolo
1997Claude ViallatMusée de l'Hôtel Dieu, Mantes la Jolie, FranceSolo
1997Claude ViallatAgence Culturelle tropézienne, Maison Coccoz, Saint Tropez, FranceSolo
1997Claude ViallatTemple de Caussade, FranceSolo
1997Claude ViallatGalerie Henry Orenga de Gaffory, Patrimonio (Corse), FranceSolo
1997Carré d'ArtMusée d'Art Contemporain de Nîmes, FranceSolo
1997Claude ViallatMusée Savoisien, Chambéry, FranceSolo
1997Claude ViallatGalerie Yahia, Tunis, TunisieSolo
1997Claude ViallatTemple de Caussade, FranceSolo
1997Claude ViallatGalerie Plurima, Udine, ItalySolo
1996Claude ViallatMCB CréationSolo
1996Claude ViallatEcole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts, Paris, FranceSolo
1996Claude ViallatMusées de la Cour d'or, Metz, FranceSolo
1996Claude ViallatMusée Château d'Annecy, FranceSolo
1996Claude ViallatEcole des Beaux Arts d'Annecy, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatGalerie Art et Essai, Université de Rennes, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatGalerie du Cloître, Rennes, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatEcole Régionale des Beaux Arts de Rennes, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatADDC, Périgueux, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatGalerie Hélène Trintignant, Paris, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatGalerie Thérèse Roussel, Perpignan, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatMusée Municipal de Clamecy, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatVilla du Parc, Annemasse, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatMusée Victor Charreton, Bourgoin Jallieu, FranceSolo
1994Claude ViallatAcadémie Libanaise des Beaux Arts, LebanonSolo
1994Claude ViallatGalerie Itsutsuji, Tokyo, JapanSolo
1994Claude ViallatGalerie Won, Séoul, KoreaSolo
1993Claude ViallatMusée d'Art Moderne de Céret, Collioure, FranceSolo
1993Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1993Claude ViallatEspace Fortant de France, Sète, FranceSolo
1993Claude ViallatEcole des Beaux Arts du Mans, FranceSolo
1993Claude ViallatCentre d'initiatives artistiques de l'Université de Toulouse Le Mirail, FranceSolo
1993Claude ViallatGalerie Larock Granoff, Paris, FranceSolo
1992Claude ViallatGalerie Artefact, Tel Aviv, IsraëlSolo
1992Claude ViallatMusée de la culture bédouine, Khibboutz Lahav, IsraëlSolo
1992Claude ViallatGalerie Appart, Saint Etienne, FranceSolo
1992Claude ViallatGalerie Itsutsuji, Tokyo, JapanSolo
1992Claude ViallatSagacho exhibit Space, Tokyo, JapanSolo
1992Claude ViallatMusée national des Beaux Arts d'Ankara, TurkeySolo
1992Claude ViallatMusée des Beaux Arts de l'Université Mimar Sinan d'Istanbul, TurkeySolo
1992Claude ViallatGalerie Turchetto / Plurima, Milan, ItalySolo
1992Claude ViallatMusée de Montbéliard, FranceSolo
1992Claude ViallatGalerie ColtSolo
1992Claude ViallatChâteau d'Arsac, FranceSolo
1991Sup. Hors Sur FaceCRDP de Poitiers, FranceSolo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Athanor, Marseille, FranceSolo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Oniris, Rennes, FranceSolo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Won, Séoul, KoreaSolo
1991Arte Fiera 91Bologne, ItalySolo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Wentzel, Cologne, GermanySolo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Christine Debras et Yves Bical, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
1991Claude ViallatMusée national d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, FranceSolo
1991Claude ViallatCentre Culturel Jean Gagnant, Limoges, FranceSolo
1991Claude ViallatPinacothèque d'Athènes, Entrepôt du port de Thessalonique, GreeceSolo
1991Claude ViallatCentre Culturel de Séoul, Korea Solo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Hyundaï, Séoul, KoreaSolo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Carreton, Nîmes, France Solo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Cadaquès, Cadaquès, SpainSolo
1991Claude ViallatGalerie Athisma, Lyon, FranceSolo
1991Claude ViallatEglise Notre Dame des Sablons, Aigues Mortes, FranceSolo
1991Claude ViallatEcole des Beaux Arts d'Annecy, FranceSolo
1989Claude ViallatMusée des Oudaäs, Rabat, Morocco Solo
1989Claude ViallatEcole des Beaux Arts de Quimper, Centre d'Art, FranceSolo
1989Claude ViallatPalais des Congrès, Perpignan, FranceSolo
1989Claude ViallatRencontres d'Art Contemporain, Clermont Ferrand, FranceSolo
1989Claude ViallatGalerie Thérèse Roussel, Perpignan, FranceSolo
1989Claude ViallatMusée d'Art Moderne de Céret, Collioure, FranceSolo
1989Claude ViallatGalerie Kamakura, Tokyo, JapanSolo
1989Claude ViallatGalerie Wentzel, Cologne, GermanySolo
1989Le RafourCondrieu, FranceSolo
1989Les Filets de Claude Viallat dans VienneEtendard 3, Vienne, Isère, FranceSolo
1988Claude ViallatInstitut Français de Cologne, Germany Solo
1988Claude ViallatGalerie Wentzel, Cologne, GermanySolo
1988Claude ViallatGalerie Won, Séoul, KoreaSolo
1988Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1988XLIIIème Biennale de VeniseItalySolo
1988Claude ViallatCentre Culturel du Caire, EgyptSolo
1988Carré d'ArtMusée d'Art Contemporain de NîmesSolo
1987MücsarnokBudapest, HungarySolo
1988Claude ViallatSara Hildenin Taidemuseo, Tampere, FinlandSolo
1988Claude ViallatPulchri Studio, the Hague, the NetherlandsSolo
1986Claude ViallatGalerie Municipale d'exposition, Saint Priest, FranceSolo
1986Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1986Claude ViallatCentre Culturel d'Annonay, FranceSolo
1986Claude ViallatGalerie Kamakura, Tokyo, JapanSolo
1986Claude ViallatMusée archéologique, Cavaillon, FranceSolo
1986Claude ViallatGalerie Jacques Girard, Toulouse, FranceSolo
1986Claude ViallatGalerie des Arènes, Nîmes, FranceSolo
1986Claude ViallatGalerie Athanor, Marseille, FranceSolo
1985Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1985Claude ViallatGalerie Zoographia, Bordeaux, FranceSolo
1985Claude ViallatFondation du Château de Jau, Cases de Pène, FranceSolo
1985Claude ViallatGalerie Athanor, Marseille, FranceSolo
1984Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, ParisSolo
1984Claude ViallatChapelle de la Salamandre, Nîmes, FranceSolo
1984Claude ViallatInstitut Français d'Ecosse, Edimburgh, ScotlandSolo
1984Claude ViallatIntitut Français de Valencia, SpainSolo
1984Claude ViallatEcole des Beaux Arts de Limoges, FranceSolo
1983Claude ViallatKunsthalle, Düsseldorf, GermanySolo
1983Claude ViallatGalerie Won, Séoul, KoreaSolo
1983Claude ViallatGalerie Wentzel, Cologne, Germany Solo
1983Claude ViallatFondation Joan Miro, Barcelona, SpainSolo
1983Claude ViallatGalerie des Ponchettes, Musée de Nice, FranceSolo
1983Claude ViallatCaia de Ahorros de Valencia, SpainSolo
1983Claude ViallatMusée d'Art et d'Industrie, Saint Etienne, FranceSolo
1982Claude ViallatGalerie Wentzel, Cologne, GermanySolo
1982Claude ViallatGalerie Leo Castelli, New York, USASolo
1982Claude ViallatMusée national d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, FranceSolo
1982Claude ViallatGalerie Athanor, Marseille, FranceSolo
1982Claude ViallatMusée des Beaux Arts, Montréal, CanadaSolo
1981Claude ViallatGalerie l'Atelier, Nice, FranceSolo
1981Claude ViallatGalerie Kamakura, Tokyo, JapanSolo
1981Claude ViallatGalerie Ace, Venice, California, USASolo
1981Claude ViallatGalerie Ace, Vancouver, CanadaSolo
1980Claude ViallatCAPC, Entrepôts Lainé, Bordeaux, FranceSolo
1980Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1980Claude ViallatNeue Galerie, Aix la Chapelle, FranceSolo
1979Claude ViallatGalerie Wentzel, Hambourg, GermanySolo
1978Claude ViallatGalerie Arta, Geneva, SwitzerlandSolo
1978Claude ViallatMaison de la Culture, Orléans, FranceSolo
1978Claude ViallatGalerie Vega Manette Repriels, Plainevaux, BelgiumSolo
1978Claude ViallatAbbaye de Sénanque, Gordes, FranceSolo
1978Claude ViallatGalerie Athanor, Marseille, FranceSolo
1978Claude ViallatMusée d'Art et d'Industrie, Saint Etienne, FranceSolo
1977Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1977Claude ViallatGalerie Sanguine, Collioure, FranceSolo
1976Claude ViallatGalerie A 16, Galerie Le Flux, Perpignan, FranceSolo
1976Claude ViallatGalerie Pierre Matisse, New York, USASolo
1976Claude ViallatPalais des BeauxArts, Brussels, Belgium
1976Claude ViallatVan der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal, GermanySolo
1976Claude ViallatGalerie Daniel Templon, Milan, ItalySolo
1976Claude ViallatGalerie CM, Saint Etienne, FranceSolo
1975Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1975Claude ViallatGalerie Athanor, Marseille, FranceSolo
1974Claude ViallatMusée d'Art et d'Industrie, Saint Etienne, FranceSolo
1974Claude ViallatGalerie Delta, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
1974Claude ViallatGalerie Malabar et Cunégonde, Nice, FranceSolo
1974Claude ViallatMaison de la Culture de Rennes, FranceSolo
1973Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1971Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, FranceSolo
1971Claude ViallatGalerie Daniel Templon, Milan, ItalySolo
1968Claude ViallatGalerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France Solo
1968Claude ViallatMusée d'Art Moderne, Céret, FranceSolo
1966Claude ViallatGalerie A., Nice, FranceSolo