Curtil’s recent body of work, ImpressionX, is an ongoing series of oil paintings on paper that appear as eroded surfaces. Composed of a succession of parallel lines, the pattern appears from the background. This structure of vivid colors emerges in a muffled universe that stifles light. The uneven surfaces reveal successive layers of indeterminate material that slowly crumble and disintegrate. At once abstract and familiar, these intriguing surfaces extend and exist beyond the limits of the paper, conferring the notion of off-screen and cropping. What we're faced with questions our own certainty – are we looking at the details of a photographic print or a painting?
Curtil uses a taping knife to apply
oil paint in consecutive sweeping movements. The painting is built up as thin
layers of paint are superimposed.
The repetition of this single, mechanical, back-and-forth gesture keeps the viewer at a distance. The surface of the painting is smooth and the brushstroke absent. Consequently, the painting acquires an automatic gesture, simulating the reproduced image. The tool is held by the artist, and its approximation gives rise to opportunities that make each painting singular. A narrative emerges from these traces and marks that disrupt the line of painting.
In this series, Robin Curtil plays with the ambiguity and paradoxes that exist between the image, the painting and its reproduction. Interested in the questions raised by the omnipresence of digital technology and the manipulation and diffusion of images through screens, Curtil brings his painting into a state of uncertainty, between representation and pure object of contemplation.