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In November, the Collection Société Générale launched a call for projects to the new graduates from the Beaux-Arts de Paris. Its theme was “The world as home”, and its goal was to show support to young artists in circumstances that weigh notably heavily on culture. 14 laureates were picked among more than 150 candidates. The jury who chose them was presided by Frédéric Oudéa and featured members of Société Générale, Jean de Loisy, Marie-Ann Yemsi, and Guy Boyer. The winners will have one or several of their artworks join the Collection and will be granted 5,000 euros. Introductions.

For the selected painters, figuration is a crucial part of art. With brightly coloured acrylic paint, Ymane Chabi-Gara portrays herself in the place of characters depicted in a world mirroring their inner self. As for Sophia Fassi, she uses oil paints to draw intimate, poetic portraits based on photographs. Algerian painter Bilal Hamdad works with oil paints too: focusing on places where paths cross, he hyperrealistically shows lonely characters, usually caught in transit, in urban settings. Guillaume Valenti  uses hyperrealism as well: on wide oil canvases, he creates exhibition spaces that are both convincing and fictive, composed with hundreds of images of real galleries, thus offering a reflection on the new condition of images.

In the field of graphic art, Chelsea Mortenson mixes different media and techniques, especially when it comes to engraving (woodcut, linocut). Looking for a contemporary take on the sublime where it is human actions that trigger terror, she creates landscapes both turbulent and serene. Laura Tolen from Cameroon explores with ink and pencils her mixed cultural background that places her at the crossroad of several worlds. In greyscale, monochromatic layers of Indian ink, Justin Weiler evokes railings, shutters, and screens using shadow plays, chiaroscuro, reflections, and transparency. And in her “Body” series, Katarzyna Wiesiolek meticulously draws in charcoal anonymous backs representing both the familiar and the unknown. 


Chelsea Mortenson, Tempête dans Les Landes I (matin), 2019, gravure sur bois et lino, imprimée à la cuillère sur papier de chine, 97 x 200 cm

Photography is not left out: Elsa & Johanna submitted two pictures of their “Beyond the Shadows” series. Both autobiographical and fictional, made in Calgary, they show the two artists in cinematographic sceneries. Lucas Leglise uses photography to question the medium, as seen on пл 44 43 and C7497, taken during a Trans-Siberian trip with a camera damaged by the extreme cold of the region, and Winnifred Rielly questions intimacy and otherness through performance, sculpture, and photography.


ELSA & JOHANNA, «Breakfast in America», issue de la série BEYOND THE SHADOWS, 2018, Photographie numérique, Encre pigmentaire sur papier Baryté, 90 x 60 cm

Finally, three three-dimensional projects have been picked. Franco-Syrian artist Bady Dalloul makes mixed-materials sculptures that bring imagination and reality together, tackling political, sociological, and historical subjects. The work of Prosper Legault uses neons and mixed techniques for a result that is lucid, tender, and disillusioned. Lastly, Léonard Martin creates gigantic figures inspired by Quattrocento paintings and the processional giants from the North of France: one of these will join the more than 1,200 works of the Collection.


PROSPER Legault, «Je te fais marché, (de l’art contemporain)», 2020, 150 x 90 x 30 cm, acier, néons, pvc, promenade en ville

C. Perrin
Cover visual : Bilal Hamdad, L’Attente, 2020, Huile sur toile, 162 x 130 cm