Exhibition view, Portrait, 2023. Photo Julien Gremaud.

Charles Hascoët

Portrait Solo Show

JUNE 9TH - JUNE 30TH 2023

Two portraits to start. The Son facing the Mother. The first one swallows the host. The second one visits Trotsky's grave. Communion defies communism. Two ceremonies that each, in their own way, tell the story of Charles Hascoët. One can imagine these two photos frozen on the shelves of a family library. Or on the mantelpiece of a cavity buried in the depths of the painter's brain.

Charles Hascoët, Trotsky, 2023, Oil on canvas, 40.5 x 49.5 cm.

The gallery of faces continues, the family grows, the brain reveals itself. There are the grandparents, dressed in the traditional costume of the original Brittany. The beloved dog, Simone, who constantly returns like a mischievous and protective genius. 

Charles Hascoët, Jeff Mills and Aphex Twin, 2023, Oil on canvas, 30.5 x 35.5 cm.

Musicians and DJs loved by the painter—Aphex Twin, Baby Ford, or Daniel Bell—are here to provide a soundtrack to the celebration. TV series characters—Laura Palmer and her murderer Bob from Twin Peaks, Fox Mulder from The X-Files—leave the screen to join the frame and thus prove that they have a role to play among us…

Charles Hascoët, Laura Palmer, 2023, Oil on canvas, 35.5 x 28 cm.

Charles Hascoët, Fox Mulder, 2023, Oil on canvas, 25.5 x 20.5 cm.

Exhibition view, Portrait, 2023. Photo Julien Gremaud.

Charles Hascoët, Grands-Parents Hascoët, 2023, Oil on canvas, 40.5 x 30 cm.

With each gaze, a new character is discovered, the collective entity expands. A composite, bizarre, and tender family. A disparate and vibrant assembly. A paradoxical and unique tribe.

            From where does this community emerge? From which strange country? From which multiple story? The one and only story of Charles Hascoët. Through his memories and pleasures, at the heart of his tastes, which are as refined as they are popular, the artist emerges... Each face recalls a part of the painter's life. All the portraits make up the unique Portrait and weave the profound connection that unites each canvas in the exhibition.

Charles Hascoët, Communiant, 2023, Oil on canvas, 40.5 x 30.5 cm.

The artist invites us to dive into himself. He searches for himself and tells his story. He sums up all the loved ones who have nourished and inspired him. He connects the fragmented parts of an existence, the pieces of the secret puzzle—such as music, an essential and almost carnal presence in Charles Hascoët's paintings.

Exhibition view, Portrait, 2023. Photo Julien Gremaud.

Exhibition view, Portrait, 2023. Photo Julien Gremaud.

This intimate investigation passes through the faces of others. And sometimes through his own face. Like when Charles Hascoët reveals his self-portrait, from a distance, captured in the great clarity of the past. But this movement of introspection, this intimate quest, is done without gloomy nostalgia. And always with a style that belongs only to him. 

Exhibition view, Portrait, 2023. Photo Julien Gremaud.

Mastery of color—the orange interior of a bomber jacket, the chemical blue of a swimming pool, the greens of a protective nature, the blurs of a devastating party. And that particular stroke, which oscillates, never wanting to choose between the confusion of a dream's reminiscence and the precision of a vivid memory.

The painter portrays himself as a portraitist, like a writer who recounts his readings without omitting childhood tales, first loves, and great masters. Charles Hascoët makes us witnesses. He even makes us accomplices. Of his taste for appropriation and subversion. Of his sensitive gaze on the grand fragmentation of his existence. On his obsessions, his memories, his foundations.

Exhibition view, Portrait, 2023. Photo Julien Gremaud.

Exhibition view, Portrait, 2023. Photo Julien Gremaud.

  It is through the grand Portrait that Charles Hascoët reveals himself. And allows us to see all the facets of an existence, all the echoes of a painting.

He makes us his allies.

Boris Bergmann

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