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Tullis Workshop, Garner Tullis New York
Jean-Charles looked straight out of the foreign film noir: he in black, his girl in white, what a photogenic pair. Blais' work at the time was painted on posters scraped from metro walls. His work at the studio was printed on upsum board-a non-archival board used in the printmaking process-because he was unfamiliar with archival papers. This work signifies the feeling an artist often has when away from their studio, in a foreign land, feeling they have to produce.
Monotype and encaustic paintings
Jean-Charles Blais was born in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique) on October 22, 1956. At the tender age of eighteen he enroled at the "École des Beaux-Arts" in Rennes, where he studied for a total of five years. Since the early 1980s Jean-Charles Blais studied the work of the Nouveaux Réalistes, Pop-Art and Arte Povera of Mario Merz, especially the works of the so-called "affiches arrachées", which had a fundamental influence on Blais' work.
This work, which is determined by the choice of material used to carry the picture, marked his departure to a new kind of painting. On the basis of torn-off advertising posters which are then stuck on top of each other in multiple layers, Jean-Charles Blais developed a pictorial language, that was less interested in the suface of the two-dimensionally formulated message and more concerned with the space articulated "behind" the surface. The multilayered nature of the material and the view to the incidental edges and creases create associative structures.
On their basis Jean-Charles Blais created representational motifs, figurative elements, houses and animals, plants and tools on the back. Thanks to numerous solo exhibitions in France and later also in Germany and the USA, Jean-Charles Blais' works became known to a larger audience during the eighties.
His first large-scale work in a public space attracted a great deal of attention in 1990: Jean-Charles Blais was commissioned to design the Paris Metro station "Assemblé Nationale". In 1996 the "Telephone Booths" project for the "Thinking Print" exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art in New York followed.
Digital technologies and new materials have been in the centre of Blais' creative work since the turn of the millennium.