“Actually,” Valérie Favre muses, “my paintings are always about the same ideas. I always deal with the same issue.” Favre understands painting to be its own language, and it is the disruption that happens at the point of translation from Idea to Form that drives her artistic practice. She often paints in series, in an effort to capture the process of the temporal. Of course, the act of painting takes time, but beyond that the seriality gives Valérie Favre the option to really become intimate with her subjects and motifs.

Her series of Suicide-themed paintings is one such thematic exploration. For one decade, from 2003 to 2013 she occupied herself with the motif of suicide and created over one hundred small-format paintings on the subject. From the beginning the artist was adamant about one thing: “There is no place for the color red in these paintings.” By no means was the series meant to be palpable. Blatancy as an attitude does not interest the artist at all. For the paintings’ format Valérie Favre borrowed from analog photography. The consistency in size and color palette creates the impression of a visual encyclopedia. Suicide as a social taboo has no visual tradition for the artist to draw from. Precisely because of this gap Valérie Favre became intrigued with the subject. . The challenge of depicting the “unutterable” is at the heart of Favre’s self-concept as an artist. She is not here to concern herself with things that are easily representable.

Favre doesn’t work with preparatory drawings. Instead she literally draws her figures out of the canvas and color layers. In a wonderful manner the painter strains her imagination and that of the viewers. As Favre puts it: “I’m particularly interested to use the medium of painting in a maximum of options without limiting myself to a single technique. Like the words or variations in time for a writer, painting is a way of writing and narration of stories, of reflecting on the status of the image or even the spiritual re-entering and integrating topics from art and cinema history for me.” The artist was born 1959 in Evilard by Biel in Switzerland. Valérie Favre spent a long time in Paris, where she first worked in film and theater, before turning to visual arts. She now lives and works in Berlin. In 2012 Valérie Favre was shortlisted for the renowned Prix Marcel Duchamp in France.

Selected Solo Exhibitions
Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Strasbourg, France, 2015
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany, 2013
Kunstmuseum Luzern, CH, 2010
Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain de Nîmes, France, 2009
Musée de Grenoble, France, 2007

Selected Group Exhibitions
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 2015
La Maison Rouge, Paris, France, 2014
Musée des Baux-arts de Dunkerque, 2013
Museum of the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel, 2012
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, 2012
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2012
FRAC, Auvergne, France, 2010
K21, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2010

Selected Public Collections
Artothek NBK, Berlin, Germany

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Paris, France

Carré d’Art – Musée d’art contemporain, Nîmes, France

Fonds Municipal de le Ville de Paris, France

FNAC, Paris, France

FRAC, Auvergne, France

FRAC, Ile-de-France, France

FRAC Poitou-Charentes, France

Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland

MACVAL, Vitry-sur-Seine, France

MAMAC, Nice, France

Musée de Picardie, Amiens, France

Musée national d’Art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France


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