Claude Viallat

Born in 1936 in Nîmes, French artist Claude Viallat trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montpellier and Paris. As from the 1960s he embraced a radical critique of lyric and geometric abstraction and was one of the initiators of the Supports/Surfaces movement. He works chiefly on canvas or cloth without a stretcher, repeating the imprint of neutral forms in all their states. In his repetition of simple forms and his painting in acrylic on an unprimed canvas, we may recognize similarities with the art of his long-standing friend Giorgio Griffa, which is likewise characterized by a formal austerity. As from 1966, Claude Viallat put in place a formal vocabulary to which he would remain faithful. The oblong, rounded marks on Griffa’s paintings from the 1970s echo the ‘haricot’ forms that populate Viallat’s canvases. Colour is at the heart of his creative thinking and is both subject and object of an artistic production that can today be seen in the most prestigious galleries and international collections.