Christian Lhopital – The Extravagant Eye, 40 Years of Drawings
On the sheet as on the walls, the continuous movement of the artist’s hand and his tools brings out figures and clouds of the very lightness of the materials. It frees wandering and fanciful forms, cruel and facetious, often uncertain but always committing us to join them in a space haunted by sediments of readings and music, by the oripals of an era and the spectacle of the world.
From the first ballpoint pen drawings of the seventies to the last watercolours, not to mention the sculptures of stuffed animals imprisoned in the painting, the retrospective of the works of Christian Lhopital proposed by the 19 Crac will bring together forty years of work to bring out the multiple “adventurous coherences”1 that this work has woven between its various series and beyond the eras. Not programmatic but observed in hindsight, these “coherences” remain above all guided by the “extravagant” and sharp look of the artist, a libertarian wandering alone made possible by drawing. “The more I draw, the more free I am,” he says. Christian Lhopital’s graphic virtuosity has often been emphasized, but it only counts for the formidable freedom of treatment it allows him, on the thread of prettiness and bad taste, illustrative and fantastic, pathetic and burlesque.
Anne Giffon Saddle
(Excerpt from: Anne Giffon-Selle, Solitude and Multitudes, Galerie Michel Descours, Lyon, 2019)
1 G. Didi-Huberman, “Drawing, Desire, Metamorphosis (sketched on the wings of a butterfly),” in Le Plaisir au dessin, Lyon Museum of Fine Arts, 2007-2008, p. 226.