Jules de Balincourt

Jules de Balincourt

Musée d’art contemporain de la Haute-Vienne, Château de Rochechouart

Left: Jules de Balincourt, We and Me, 2012. Oil, acrylic and enamel on panel, 243.8 x 243.8 x 6.4 cm. Courtesy of the artist and gallery Thaddaeus Ropac (Paris–Salzburg). Right: View of Jules de Balincourt, Starr Space’s archives, 2006–2009. MDAC Rochechouart.

March 6, 2014

Jules de Balincourt: Misfit Island
March 1–June 8, 2014

Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart
87 600, Rochechouart
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 10am–12:30pm and 1:30–6pm

T + 33 (0) 5 55 03 77 77
contact.musee [​at​] cg87.fr


This spring, Rochechouart Museum of Contemporary Art hosts Jules de Balincourt. Misfit Island, the first one-man show in a European museum by Jules de Balincourt. Although French by birth, the artist spent his teens in California before finally settling in New York, where his brand of brightly coloured neo-pop painting began to spark interest in the early 2000s. Rochechouart’s exhibition amply illustrates his original style and approach with a selection of works from 2006 to the present day.

Whether figurative or abstract, the pictures teeter on the brink between strange yet realistic visions of life today. All of them were painted directly on wood panels, working without preparatory sketches or photographic models. Many of Balincourt’s signature elements, such as explosions, maps and landscapes feature prominently in the fifteen paintings on display. Jules de Balincourt likens himself to a “tourist of globalization who consumes culture visually and intellectually.” Layers of accumulated images mix references to historical paintings (i.e. exotic Gauguin’s landscapes or Jasper Johns’ maps…) together with ironic statements written in graphic letters and pixelated abstractions. Elsewhere we witness gatherings of disenchanted utopians on the roofs of giant buildings or deep in wooded landscapes. These visions of our existence today seem infused with an awareness of global society, enmeshed in modern technologies and the ambient political climate. For Jules de Balincourt, “Misfit Island is an idea or metaphor, not literally an island but a refuge or alternative utopian model of sorts in which idealists, romantics, revolutionaries, artists, philosophers, whatever it maybe people questioning current constructs or paradigm converge and question hopes of a better enlightened more socially conscious reality.”

Accompanying the paintings for the first time is a range of material (including leaflets, posters, photos and videos) documenting three years of activities at Starr Space, a community centre the painter opened and ran in Brooklyn. For Jules de Balincourt, “Starr Space grew organically. In 2006 Bushwick there were no bars, yoga studios, movies, music venues, farmers markets or a space where the local Latin church could host a 300-person party till three followed by Sunday free communal yoga. I never thought of Starr Space as an ‘art project,’ or in that moment did not really make the direct connection between some of the ideas in my work and what ideas or ideals Starr Space represented. But now in hindsight it is loud and clear: the connections between my work often representing ‘alternative’ communities, removed isolated microcosms attempting something as idealistic as a better, more communal-based world.”

Jules de Balincourt (b. 1972) graduated from California College of Arts in San Francisco and Hunter College in New York. Recent solo exhibitions have been held, for example, at the Mori Museum of Art in Tokyo (2010) and at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2013). He has participated in many other shows such as Greater New York at MoMA PS1 in New York (2005); Notre histoire… at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2006); Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation at the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum in Spain (2007), or more recently Parallel Universe at the Reggio Emilia Collezione Maramotti in Italy (2012) and L’Ange de l’histoire at ENSBA School of Fine Arts in Paris (2013). 

Carolee Schneemann. Precarious
March 1–June 1

The Rochechouart Museum of Contemporary shows a selection of pieces made by Carolee Schneemann between 2000 and 2010, in particular two of her monumental works displayed in the wooden-beamed top-floor gallery at Rochechouart Castle (More Wrong Things, 2001; Precarious, 2009). American artist Carolee Schneemann (b. 1939) is a pioneer figure of feminist art, performance and “expanded cinema” and the flow of imagery and contemporary sounds in both works contributes to an ongoing expression of her ideals and vision.These recent works gathered in Carolee Schneemann. Precarious resonate as a rebirth of historical genre painting, bringing into perspective the flood of digital images the media bombard us with, in the name of news broadcasting. 

Sleeping Beauty. Works from the Collection 
March 1–September 21

Rochechouart Museum of Contemporary Art houses a rich collection of contemporary art and the present re-hang privileges works that involve plant life, have nocturnal connotations or an aura of mystery about them. 

With works from Robert Combas, Maggy Cluzeau and Julien Dubuisson, Guillaume Leblon, Glenda León, Rodney Graham, Laurent Montaron, Gabriel Orozco, Giuseppe Penone, Gerhard Richter, Daniel Tremblay, and Jordan Wolfson.

Raoul Hausmann: Sounds and Visions. Selection from the Raoul Hausmann Collection 
March 1–September 21

Selections from the Rochechouart Museum of Contemporary Art’s Raoul Hausmann archives are on permanent display in the museum. Raoul Hausmann (1886–1971), founder of Berlin Dada, moved to the local area after the Second World War and never ceased to experiment with collage and sound poetry, seeking connections between sounds and images, between words and shapes.


Jules de Balincourt at the Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart
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Musée d’art contemporain de la Haute-Vienne, Château de Rochechouart
March 6, 2014

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