Text by Anne Giffon-Selle
For the exhibition Le Pan, La Pente, Le CAP, Saint-Fons, 2015
Translated by Paul Berry
David Wolle's paintings, though representational in style, never refer directly to reality; they go beyond the traditional antinomy between abstraction and figuration, where they affirm their contemporaneity. The artist uses two processes to personify his imaginary forms and endow them with the same presence as an object, a figure or a portrait. Wolle inserts and isolates his forms against a panoramic backdrop, and, like in so many transfers, the forms float and drift in unpredictable atmospheres or landscapes. The other process takes place prior to painting, in his earlier works the artist created small-scale models made of plasticine that he would then represent on canvas, today, he inserts and alters his images with the use of a computer.
These invented forms, Wolle transposes onto the canvas their status, their surfaces and their ambiguous materiality; evoking architecture and living organisms, pastries and rococo ceramics. Their odd, undulating forms seem to have been made from the very substance of the paint itself, the fluidity and malleability of which, as well as the garish and unstable colours – in particular, the tinted whites -, embodies the subject almost to a point where it becomes a deformed and monstrous liquefaction. For if the technical virtuosity of oil paint is used to affirm the pictorial act as representation, it is to further explore the confines of verisimilitude and transport the subject to the very limits of its own disappearance. Wolle's paintings depict what has yet to come in to existence; it is the very process of the invention of living things by which the art of mimesis comes into being on the canvas.