ARTICLES DE PRESSE
Denis Frémond is a mysterious man. It is almost impossible to find a veritable biography, or an interview in which is answers contain any truth amidst the comedy and farce. The artist is an enigma and his ethereal oil painting too are perplexing.
Spacious and airy, they have a restrained palette rendering the scenes peaceful and meditative. The titles are often lengthy and cryptic, revealing the cerebral undertone in their reference to great authors, philosophers and composers.
Realist in style, the paintings have an atmosphere of introspection arising from a synthesis of cinematic ambience and painterly observation. Recalling the great American realist Edward Hopper, they are modern in their austerity but also full of nostalgia and a tension which prompts us to search for some covert symbolism.
Reflection and shadows contribute to the ambience and tone. The artist favours the golden hour before dusk, the crisp new light of dawn and the dense dark of midnight. Often amidst these shadows, is a solitary figure, a man inconspicuously occupying a small part of the canvas. His presence imposes a reflective calm and stillness to the works, yet also a gravitas. We detect a loaded sense of some impending action or drama. We cannot help but wonder about this figure, his thoughts, and who he might be. Is it the artist himself ? His alter ego ?
Whether walking, reading, playing the clarinet or reclining in an armchair – it is always the same man. Similary, the artist repeatedly revisits a select
few settings. A villa on the Amalfi Coast, a brasserie in St-Germain, anelegant Manhattan penthouse – these landscape are recognisable and yet the circumstances are ambiguous. As great artists have done throughout history, the artist uses a particular scene to experiment with different seasons, times of day and light. Similary, in dreams our minds often revisit the same scenarios or locations time after time. Denis Frémond maintains a journal of his dreams published on his webside, and an excerpt suggests that we might interpret his paintings as dreamscapes illustrated.
5 Mai 2012 : Dream clearly set in one of my paintings, at the start of which I experience an inexplicable feeling of guilt. I approach an area more or less identifiable, where I find a bay window. The window is there, I touch it. At the moment when my hands touch it, it breaks. Then I feel the outside air, I hear the gentle waves of the sea, I see the beach in partial shadow.
Though his style is certainly realist, his paintings are peppered with the strange scenarios and unexpected juxtapositions of surrealism; a man standing on a diving board covered in snow or an ordinary school bag, dissected. Though cool in their austerity, they are not melancholy and a humility prevails. The lone figure is aloof and introspective, but never hostile. As in surrealism, there is something veiled in these works – something that cannot be understood and a sentiment of something lost. Denis Frémond is a pictorial poet, the eloquent tableaus elucidations of his dreams and involuntary memories.