Digressions pariétales is the latest installation/exhibition by renowned French painter and graphic designer Jean Jullien, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Lyon, France. Paintings of ocean movements and beach landscapes are surrounded by black sketches and text drawn on the gallery’s white walls, serving as a fully operable canvas. The two elements coincide in a beautiful symmetry of silly and also tranquil, described as an “interrogation of tourism and movement, exploring the artist’s own relationship with landscape and leisure through painting and drawing.”
The large-scale paintings are, as described by Jullien, “serene and contemplative,” capable of expressing a romantic attitude towards the relationship between humans and their surroundings. But in this installation, the tranquil sceneries in the paintings live unisolated from the surrounding black and white drawings that are more like sociopolitical commentaries. Jullien has created such sketches on his Instagram for years, sometimes silly, but always with an intellectual yet fun critique. To him, the wall drawings and text serve as an open sketchbook or “a framework by which the artist can question the ramifications of one’s relationship to nature — our fascination with it and our desire to conquer and mark it.”
Digressions pariétales was created as part of the group show Comme un parfum d’aventure, which includes the works of Marina Abramović, Guillaume Bijl, Jean Dubuffet, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Yoko Ono, Erwin Wurm and many more. See the images from the exhibition below and head to MAC Lyon’s website to learn more.