Painted for the most part on canvas, the works presented here were executed with oil or acrylic paints.
The invention of oil paint is attributed to the Flemish master Jan van Eyck (1390-1441).
Oil paints are composed of various pigments and an oil that helps the paint to dry (mainly linseed oil), blended together more or less thickly. The artist applies the paint in successive layers, giving each time to dry. One of the advantages of oil paints is that they can serve as the very matter of the painting, with varying reliefs being created by means of a spatula or a blade.
Acrylic paint dates from the 1950s. It was the favourite medium of artists such as Pierre Alechinsky. It is a mixture of traditional pigments and synthetic resins. Resistant and hard to remove, it is soluble in water and dries quickly.
Mixed techniques in painting
Whatever the physical support chosen – be it canvas, wood, metal or any other suitable surface – artists may wish to include unconventional materials and substances and apply unorthodox creative techniques. They may apply or affix paper, cardboard, sand or any number of disparate objects, and then may choose to touch up the work with pigments, lead pencil, India ink, gouache, watercolor or even walnut stain.
So-called “figurative” art usually, though not exclusively, refers to painting, drawing, sculpture and such. It draws quite deliberately on the reality perceived by the senses. First created on the walls of our distant ancestors’ caves, it features the natural world or our fabricated one along with depictions created by the artist’s imagination, in dreams or in the visions of his or her mind’s eye. Faithful in varying degree to natural reality, realism often yields to more personal, less reality-bound interpretations, some of which have names: impressionism, expressionism, symbolism, surrealism and hyperrealism among others. The distinctive feature of figurative art is always to include a recognizable reference to the world around us, whatever the changes the artist forces upon it.