The essence of Harold Ancart’s practice is movement: it skits from one medium to the next, transitioning effortlessly from the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional worlds. Each installation the artist makes – which can include sculptures, wall-sized photographic prints from damaged negatives, drawings, and series of bold paintings – has a way of overriding boundaries: the works, in which colour but also observation are key elements, draw the viewer in, to a seductive, creative space.
Ancart’s paintings and drawings, the main focus of his practice, are distinctly graphic. High contrast forms are illuminated by light, crisp accents. Applied with oil stick, the areas of solid colour often have frayed edges. These are reminiscent of American Color Field painters, like Clyfford Still. Contrary to the artistic missions embraced by these mid-twentieth century artists – the sublime quest for an absolute – Ancart’s practice is rooted in visual delectation. This is the contradiction upon which Ancart’s work hinges: in his paintings, with an openness of form, the abstraction – which we know, but often forget, to be inherent in even the most figurative of paintings – is laid bare, without question, while the depiction remains undeniably present. Recent work has taken the shape of plywood structures that fold out both horizontally and vertically, adding multiple viewing options, both upright and on the flat.
Harold Ancart (b. 1980, Brussels, Belgium) lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions include There is no there there, The Menil Collection, Houston, TX, USA (2016) and Tierra Vaga, Casa Wabi, Oaxaca, Mexico (2016, with Michel François). He has participated in critically acclaimed group exhibitions including Myth/History II, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China( 2015); Europe, Europe, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2014-15); The Great Acceleration: Art in the Anthropocene, the 9th Taipei Biennial (2014); Champs Elysées, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013) and I Know You, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2013).
text by Harold Ancart, published by Triangle Books, 2016, 120 pages
text by David Breslin, published by Triangle Books, 2016, 64 pages
text by Harold Ancart, published by Triangle Books, 2015, 176 pages, English
includes a conversation between Harold Ancart and Michel François, published by Xavier Hufkens, 2014, 32 pages, English
published by Triangle Books, 2013