Xavier Veilhan
France, 1963
Xavier Veilhan (Lyon, France, 1963) began his studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, followed by a period at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, where he was a disciple of Georg Baselitz, and at the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques in the French capital. Early on in his career, he displayed an interest in punk and has collaborated with musicians on several occasions, including the band AIR and Sébastien Tellier. By now probably the best-known, French artist of his generation, he began to draw international attention during the mid-nineties. At the time, he was working with large-format, digitally manipulated photographs that resemble paintings and have a very particular iconography. He designed the sets that appear in the images and, perhaps most importantly, the costumes as well. In certain pieces, they recall theatrical designs by the artists of the avant-garde. The end result is a collage of fragments reassembled to suggest a strange narrative alluding to a historical past or to elements taken from a universal fantasy. He has increasingly focused on sculpture, culminating in an exhibition of his work at the palace of Versailles in 2009, which enjoyed great international recognition. In addition to its technical sophistication, his work is defined by the immense care that goes into adapting the materials and forms to the needs of each individual project. He has also shown a growing interest in installation, creating works that range from truly spectacular, such as the one he did at the Centre Pompidou in 2004, to incredibly subtle, like the piece he made for La Conservera (Murcia) in 2012. The digital processing of images and volume goes hand in hand with a simplification of form: in the series ‘Light Machines’, which he created for the Espai 13 at the Fundació Joan Miró, he built “screens” out of 1024 light bulbs that conveyed the chiaroscuro of a brief film strip through the brightness of their light. The resolution of the video had previously been reduced to 1024 pixels so each one corresponded to one of the light bulbs. “The combination of electricity and a digital aesthetic,” Veilhan states, “produces a ghostly film that borders on abstraction. The image repeats again and again, without end, so that it takes on the hypnotic quality of a flame.”
Elena Vozmediano

Artworks by the artist included in the Collection Artworks by the artist included in the Collection

  • Light Machine No. 7 / 2002