"Melancholy and heavy summer night,
Full of silence and darkness,
Lulls on the azure that a soft wind touches
The shivering tree and the crying bird.
Paul Verlaine, The Nightingale (Sad Landscapes), Saturnian Poem, 1866.
By placing his exhibition under the auspices of Paul Verlaine's Saturnian Poems - the title "Sad Landscapes" is borrowed by the artist from one of the four sets of Paul Verlaine's collection (Melancholia, Eaux-Fortes, Paysages Tristes, Caprices) - Austin Eddy makes no secret of the poetic dimension of his work.
Born in Boston in 1986, Eddy studied painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York in 2011. "I think the first thing I remember making was a rudimentary drawing of a Ninja Turtle. It consisted of a series of squiggles that took up half the page and roughly recalled the shape of a silhouette. I don't remember if it was drawn in green or just in pencil.
The birds, a motif that he now invokes iteratively, and reminiscent of those of Matisse and Brancusi, are like gateways into the painting of feeling that is his work. Simple, immediately identifiable by the viewer, they are also a repertoire of abstract forms: the eyes are circles that can be added together and concentric, the beaks are pointed forms that open in two and produce a more or less flared triangle, etc. In fact, his work was essentially abstract (until 2018). Now, with its false airs of naive painting, of Folk Art with decorative aspirations, Austin Eddy's painting is certainly a singular mirror of the present day of art, where everything is re-evaluated without grandiloquent trial, where no style seems taboo any more, but where the ambition of the avant-garde has not yielded. It is a painting that is also very conscious of what it is today: a kind of experience for the viewer. "I don't know exactly what I hope people will take away from my paintings, other than a kind of experience. I hope it makes them think about something other than looking at their phone.
The Sad Landscapes exhibition is held in the former winery of the Prince de Conti - an 18th century house situated in the middle of the famous La Romanée Conti vineyard. It brings together new paintings, a collection of drawings made over the past three years, and a significant body of bronze sculpture in which Austin Eddy evokes memories of modernist sculpture.
- Éric Troncy