Clément Rodzielski's mercurial practice revolves around images—the processes of their construction, reproduction, and circulation. Whether drawn from archives, contemporary media, the internet, or personally created, the images in Rodzielski's work undergo diverse processes ranging from multiplication, repetition, and reframing to collage, photocopying, and spray painting.Read More
'Miroirs noirs' (Black mirrors), an early body of work begun in 2006, reflects Clément Rodzielski's longstanding interest in introducing manipulated layers of uncertainty to existing images. To produce the black-and-white prints belonging to this series, the artist first laid shards of metallic paper over images of actresses and then photocopied them. In the photocopying machine, the light reflected off the mirror surfaces to produce black geometric shapes lit by white outlines, while the original portraits became silvery abstractions.
Clément Rodzielski often enlists unconventional materials and processes in his paintings to draw attention to the physicality of images. The paintings in his 'Grands A' (Big As) series (2008), for example, were made by painting on paper and sticking black tape over top to create crudely shaped 'A's. Extending beyond the frame, the 'A's served as both an aesthetic element and a material that fixed the paper to the wall.
In Untitled (2014), part of an untitled body of acrylic paintings on adhesive paper, Clément Rodzielski employed more than one frame. The adhesive film was mounted on a larger cardboard cut-out with ragged edges, and the cardboard, in turn, was encased in a black-rimmed frame. On the adhesive film, dust and grit occupy the same space as the flowing blue brushstrokes, presenting themselves as legitimate components.
An interrogation of the circulation of images forms the crux of Clément Rodzielski's practice. Some works, such as his retro movie posters, reintroduce pictures of the past back into the circuit. The modifications he made to Untitled (Elena et les hommes) (2010), however, seem non-existent because they are invisible—the artist spray painted their back side before unfolding them for presentation.
In other works, like those in his solo exhibition Tobacco Smuggling at Campoli Presti London (2015), Clément Rodzielski incorporated the content of fake cigarettes into his paintings, removing the product from the market while preserving the dissemination of its material substance.
While working with images from mass media, Clément Rodzielski has also considered the longevity (or brevity) of their life. 'Untitled (May)' (2010) consists of watercolour paintings on the back covers of May, a French art journal that once commissioned him to design the covers for an issue. When the artist failed to meet his deadline for the back, the issue was published with a blank back cover. The artist later collected a number of issues and painted on them directly to comment on the restless pace of commodity culture as embedded in magazines.
Clément Rodzielski's solo exhibitions include Animes et magazines, peintures sur papier, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris (2020); Passage du pinceau, Goton Paris (2017); A per Abisso, Indipendenza, Rome (2014); and Mille yeux, Centre d'art contemporain la synagogue de Delme, France (2014).
Clément Rodzielski's works are in the collections of prominent institutions that include Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris; KADIST, Paris; FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims; FRAC Île-de-France, Paris; and FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkirk.
Biography by Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2020