L'Atlas - portrait

L'Atlas /   Jules Dedet Granel

France 1978

Urban Art, Photography, Calligraphy, Video Art


Jules Dedet Granel
March 12, 2017

L’Atlas is a French artist whose work is all about lines and forms. The main theme of his paintings, graffiti, and installations is the displacement of the people around the world. The spirit of his art can be compared to limitlessness, where borders and frontiers are described as mental barriers. Having the roots in street art, he gradually got familiar with diverse types of calligraphy and geometry that have overtaken the primal aspect of his art, but he still knows to ‘attack’ street walls once in a while. L’Atlas uses different mediums like canvas, video, spray paint, sticky tape in his mission of creating universal language and signs that can be understood by everyone. Since his childhood, the artist has been attracted by the energy of the cosmos and universe that is represented by calligraphy and life and revived by paint.

L'Atlas - Gênes, 2008, privacy policy at home gallery new york, 2017
L’Atlas – Gênes, 2008

L’Atlas’ Education and Style

Jules Dedet Granel better known as L’Atlas was born in 1978 near Toulouse, but he grew up in Paris where he started street writing and tagging in 1991, being inspired by hip hop and rap emerging culture. The artist studied History of Art and Archeology in Toulouse where he met Smail Bour Quaiba, a traditional calligraphist, on whose invitation he spent three months in Morocco learning classical calligraphy. Then he went to Egypt, where he accidently come to know Munir al Shaarani, a Syrian refugee, known for his modern approach in which he combines three forms, calligraphy, design, and architecture, all in one. Other than that, the author also traveled to Syria, China, Greece and other places where he upgraded his knowledge, but Arabic touch remained dominant in his art. His works remind of an intersection between geometric abstraction and minimalism where every letter is a form, and every form is a letter. Most of his pieces are in black & white combination which he finds as a form of resistance and a binding line between the people and the city. At the same time, this choice when applied to his photos is used as a reading tool, and as a reminder of the things that have disappeared.

His works remind of an intersection between geometric abstraction and minimalism where every letter is a form, and every form is a letter

L'Atlas - Be What You Are, log for help in video mural terms in Strasbourg, France, 2012, new york
L’Atlas – Be What You Are, mural in Strasbourg, France, 2012

Influence and Symbolism

As the artist admits, a very big influence on him had Daniel Buren, who created a link between conceptual art and public spaces. While creating, the author uses his paintings as meditative objects. During his visit to China’s mountains, he was introduced with Tai-Chi, which he compares with his painting process because both have certain gestures and moves that are repeated until perfection is reached. L’Atlas tries to put together his interest in geography, maps, and archeology on one side together with his devotion to the history of writing on the other side. So it is a mixture of topography and typography. The street art for him is just a continuity of land art, consisted of the maximum use of space, so naturally he defines himself as an in-situ artist. L’Atlas’ pictorial universe is used to represent cities through geometrical and graphical labyrinths and compasses, which is primitive and contemporary at the same time.

L’Atlas tries to put together his interest in geography, maps and archeology on one side together with his devotion to the history of writing on the other side

L'Atlas - videos mural in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2005, new york
L’Atlas – mural in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2005

Amazing Projects, Installations and Shows

In 1998 the artist met Agnes B. while tagging her delivery truck, and since then, they have collaborated on a number of projects, L’Atlas’ work was also printed on her t-shirts. In 2001 this French multi-talented guy decided to change spray-cans for the tape and focused on Kufi, geometric code which he transposes into the Latin alphabet. He also designed a sparkling water bottle for Perrier brand. In 2015 he participated in a project called Extraordinaire that is the biggest project in his career so far. It consists of four different monumental installations, as a part of a global interactive performance, in four cities, New York, Mexico City, Seoul, and Paris. The idea is to use four elements, Earth, Air, Water, and Fire as media, with each carrying a certain message. The project he is most proud of is taking photographs of his first seven works on his journeys around the world. L’Atlas’ art can be seen in numerous streets, galleries, and exhibitions in various cities around the world like Miami, Rome, Paris, Jakarta, Marrakech, and Moscow.

The artist lives and creates in Paris, France.

Featured image: Portrait of the artist
All images copyright of the artist; All images used for illustrative purposes only

Year Exhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016OvergrownGalerie Martine Ehmer, Bruxelles, BelgiumSolo
2016SquaresGalerie Cedric Bacqueville, Lille, FranceSolo
2016French ConnectionsSpeerstra Gallery, Bursins, FranceGroup
2016France InYoojin gallery, Busan, FranceGroup
2016IneditGalerie David Pluskwa, Marseille, FranceGroup
2015PhosphenesLelia Mordoch Gallery, MiamiSolo
2015TRANSVERSALWunderkammern, Rome, ItalySolo
2015L’Atlas & Morran Ben LahcenVilla des arts de Casablanca, Casablanca, MoroccoDuo
201550 Ans d’Art Urbain a ParisGalerie du credit municipal de Paris, Paris, FranceGroup
2014ShapesCatherine Ahnell Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2013Extractions Galerie Magda Danysz, Paris.Solo
2013SfumatoGalerie Martine Ehmer, Bruxelles Solo
2013GéodésiePercept Gallery, LyonSolo
2013StructuresGalerie Cédric Bacqueville, Lille Solo
2013Paralells Fabien Castanier Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
2013Urban RenewalMartine Ehmer, BruxellesGroup
2013CyclesArt Factory, Saint-Denis (La Réunion)Group
2012PersistenceGalerie Lebenson, ParisSolo
2012InksGalerie Lorenzetti, LyonSolo
2012Lumières et géométries Galerie Lélia Mordoch, ParisGroup
2012Au delà du Street ArtMusée de la Poste, ParisGroup
2012Printemps de SeptembreToulouseGroup
2012White wallBeirut Art Center, BeyrouthGroup
2012Vasarely vous a à l'œil Musée en Herbe, ParisGroup
2011MorphologieGalerie David Bloch. MarrakechSolo
2011PunitionsSkalitzers Contemporary. BerlinSolo
2011GradationsGalerie Lebenson, ParisGroup
2011L'Atlas vs TancAlliance française de New DelhiGroup
2010L'ATLAS IS HEREMois de la Photo Off, Galerie G, ParisSolo
2010StratesMaison des Arts, CréteilGroup
2009City fragmentsGallery Nine5, New YorkSolo
2009The way of artESA, ParisSolo
2009Etats des lieuxGalerie du jour, ParisGroup
2009Né dans la rue - GraffitiFondation Cartier, ParisGroup
2009Collection GalliziaGrand Palais - ParisGroup
2008D'un monde l'autreGalerie Il trifolio Nero, GênesSolo
2008Cosmic GraffitiEspace Beaurepaire, ParisSolo
2007I WAS HEREGalerie Beaubourg, ParisSolo
2007GraphologyPalais de Tokyo, ParisGroup
2006SynapsesMusée du Montparnasse, ParisGroup
2004L'invention du mondeCentre Georges Pompidou, ParisGroup
2001Street ArtGalerie du Jour, ParisGroup
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