56 HENRY is pleased to announce Weekdays, the first solo exhibition at the gallery by Paris-born artist Pierre Bellot. The exhibition is on view June 29 through August 5, 2022.
The show presents five delicate watercolors on paper, all made in 2022, that concern themselves with the history of art and its representation in a distinct fashion. Four of the works reference Claude Monet’s iconic paintings depicting water lilies. Monet painted this subject approximately 250 times between 1896 and 1926, the year of his death. They have become the most recognizable, exhibited, and valuable works of Impressionism. Bellot offers up highly reduced continuations on the theme. Whereas Monet worked at sometimes massive scale—one three-panel example in the collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art measures a whopping 200 by 1276 inches—Bellot’s new works are not larger than 18 by 24 inches, a standard paper size easily obtained on Amazon or at Staples. Bellot also moves away from the weightiness of oil paint and uses watercolor instead, imbuing the works with lightness and humility. And while most of Monet’s paintings are simply titled Water Lilies, Bellot names his watercolors after the meteorological conditions or time of day: Sunny Day, Rainy Day, Foggy Day, and End of Day.
The fifth work in the exhibition, again 18 by 24 inches, is titled Van Gogh and pine branch and references Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of Joseph Roulin (1889). Roulin was a postman in Arles, France, who looked after the artist during one of his most challenging struggles with mental illness and became the subject of several paintings and drawings. Bellot’s watercolor shows a postcard of the work, most likely purchased at MoMA, where the work is in the collection, next to which we see a pine branch, as the title suggests. The pine branch could be a reference to van Gogh’s Pine Trees against an Evening Sky, also made in 1889 (whose title, interestingly, evokes Bellot’s water lily titling), or it could simply refer to the ubiquity of pine trees in the region of France where van Gogh made his home, the far west of the Provence.
Pierre Bellot (b. 1990) lives and works in Paris. He graduated from the École des Beaux Arts de Paris in 2015. Recent exhibitions include The Studio - Merci Matisse, The Gallery / Tajan, Paris (2021); Eifersucht, Parliament Gallery / Galerie Noah Klink, Paris / Berlin (2021); and Front Yard, Galerie l’Inlassable, Paris (2021).
56 Henry Street, New York
Wednesday to Saturday 12pm–6pm