An Abstract Figuration

Showing an exhibition by Jean Marc Scanreigh in Nice is a given.

Scanreigh is an autodidact with an unusual background. In 1976, at barely 26, the Museum of Modern Art in Strasbourg devoted an exhibition to him, which the same year was taken by the CAPC in Bordeaux.

The catalogue is prefaced by Christian Bernard, who would lead the Villa Arson and become one of the most influential personalities (and this until now) in the contemporary art scene in France. In the connivance between the two men, in 1980, Christian Bernard presented Scanreigh at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, within the framework of the "Ateliers Aujourd'hui", and signed a new text. The exhibition will be the subject of an article in the French press "Le Monde."

Since then, one exhibition follows another, not only in Galleries in France and abroad but also in Art Centers, FRAC, and Museums. The artist's works will be at the FIAC (International Fair of Contemporary Art), now called Art Basel. His name and his artwork have always been familiar to me. Therefore, choosing Scanreigh for Laurent & Laurent gallery's first-time solo show in Nice is natural.

The exhibition "Scanreigh, a figurative abstraction" got its name from Bernard Lamarche-Vadel's review, in which he claimed that "Scanreigh's paintings are the figuration of an abstraction that takes the possession of the canvas as its subject (. ..) the transfer, the saturation effects, the chromatic perspective".

For this exhibition, I chose a selection of artworks that best represent his artistic journey. All of the pieces selected for this show attest to the artist's exploration of different mediums and styles while staying true to his roots. In particular, a set of canvases from the past decade that have never been exhibited before will be presented in the form of rare prints and wood drawings from the 2000s.

The "Scanreigh, a figurative abstraction" exhibition is intended as the

foundation for a possible retrospective where the quintessence of its creator's work is condensed.

A rich artwork, prolific and abundant.

Alexandre Laurent

Starting from a shimmering abstraction with illusionistic draped effects close to heresy when it came to the artistic standards in the genre. The artist extirpated figurative forms from this base with certain violence, which initially gave his paintings a very expressive "raw" dimension, even "punk" according to some sayings.

Then the figuration claimed even more drawing unless it was the contrary, allegiance to the line, which owes much to the practice of engraving. The references have become lunar, clownish, earthly, vegetal, and aquatic, playfully playing with the telescoping of forms and fragments of reality constantly taken up and reinterpreted to the extreme.

All this unbridled imagery which sometimes dialogues with pre-existing graffiti or old prints nevertheless obeys a rigorous composition that the colour comes jostling like a disruptive element, forcing the artist to choose his field in a sometimes-abrupt way.

Over time, the vehemence or the comical reappears in various doses in a flaky temporality where everything tries to coexist with everything. This is not to mislead the viewer. Undoubtedly, this one perceives layers and intentions with multiple keys in front of this work, but without feeling obliged to decipher what he sees at all costs. The artist does not demand anything. He wishes to agree with the spectator on the intimate chaos that everyone carries within him and this impossibility of exhausting meaning. A painting is this thing in which it is sometimes good not to identify too much to see the rest better.

Jean-Marc Scanreigh was born in 1950. Painter, designer, engraver, and publisher of prints and artist's books, he has been exhibiting since 1973. Nearly one hundred and thirty personal exhibitions have been devoted to him, including eighteen in Paris and twelve abroad. He currently lives between Nîmes and Paris.

Artworks in public collections:

• FNAC, (National Fund for Contemporary Art), Paris

• FRAC Rhône Alpes and FRAC Alsace

• National Library, Paris

• Arsenal Library, Paris

• Municipal libraries, Lyon, Nîmes, Mulhouse, Strasbourg, Nice...

• Art libraries in Lyon, Nice, Nîmes, Limoges, Mulhouse, Grenoble, La Rochelle, Villefranche-sur-Saône, Caen, Istres, Evry, Arles, Compiegne, Amiens, Angers...

• Michel Chomarat collection, Library of Lyon

• AAFA (French Association for Artistic Action), Paris

• French Embassy in Tunis,

• French Embassy in Caracas

• Public Assistance, Paris

• City of Lyon and City of Villeurbanne

• Rhône General Council

• Strasbourg Museum of Modern Art

• Contemporary Art Museum of Saint-Etienne

• Museum of Original Prints, Gravelines

• Playing Card Museum, Issy-les-Moulineaux

• Playing Card Museum, Leinfelden-Echterdingen

• Belfort Museum

• Paul Dini Museum, Villefranche-sur-Saône

• Museum of Decorative Arts, Lyon

• National Gallery of Australia, Camberra

• Cabinet of Graphic Arts in Geneva

Artworks in private institutions:

• BNP Paribas Foundation, Paris

• Hotel Meridien, Paris and Nice

• SCIC, Lyon

• Fata Morgana Archives, Saint-Clément


• Jacques Jouet, "For a historiated Scanreigh", 160 p, 340 ill., Active Memory, 2008

• Jean Binder, "A life in pictures",

284 p, 520 ill., Art Image, 2022

For its third exhibition, the Laurent & Laurent gallery is offering a unique group show in Nice: "Bruts & Singuliers, Non-Mainstream Art".

Who are these artists long shunned by the institution before the donation of the Bruno Decharne collection to the Center Georges Pompidou (National Museum of Modern Art) in Paris?

All and all are free electrons, self-taught geniuses who have ignored art schools, their fashions, their standards and their dictates.

The art and the urgency to create a work arose in their lives by surprise, imposed itself as an existential necessity, the antipodes of any notion, even idea of a career.

The Laurent & Laurent Gallery has selected ten artists, women and men, representative of the chatoyancy, the plurality and the vitality of raw and unique art in France today.

Landscape Variations is the title of our next exhibition taken from Pierre Sansot's book. The sociologist describes to us the incredible mobility of the landscape, which remains a visible place of our historical and daily action.

The landscape is the playground and the stake of our emotions. It projects us into the imagination and our desires which, mixed with memory creating self-fiction.

I invited three photographers, with distinct and singular approaches to the landscape: Xavier Delory, Paul P D'Haese and Bruno Fontana.

There are the monument and the transgression, the border and the in-between, the totem and the absence.