Cemetery IV (Primary Title)
Jean Olivier Hucleux, French, 1923 - 2012 (Artist)
"Reality is a trap and I do not pretend to recreate it. Far from it! It is the opposite, it is another reality, it is a painted reality."—Jean Olivier Hucleux
A pioneer of realism in Europe but little known today, Hucleux struggled with his gift for accurately translating the visible world onto canvas. The clarity and precision of his paintings made them appear to be photographic, as if produced mechanically, without an artist’s hand. Though close observation of his work reveals the use of brushes, airbrush, and stencils, Hucleux embraced the seeming erasure of the artist with monklike humility.
Hucleux began the Cemeteries series in 1971 and exhibited the works to acclaim that year at Documenta, the international contemporary exhibition in Kassel, Germany. As renderings of minute detail across expansive surfaces, these works combine ordinariness with an almost mystical stillness—fitting for their subject.
Monumente, Stadtische Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany, June 26 – August 12, 1973
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