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Frédéric Cordier’s work embodies a (post-)industrial imaginary focusing on fast food, factories or drilling installations. His “vedute”, as he calls them, do not provoke the awe of the 19th century’s romantic visions of blast furnaces represented as steel monsters violating nature. Cordier’s frontal landscapes are imbued with objectivity, even if his engravings schematize reality or are pure “caprice”. Franz Gertsch started to paint after photographs to free himself from his sentimentality. Similarly Cordier’s engravings, as well as his ink drawings, paintings on perforated metal sheets and printed wallpapers seem to amount to the bitmap image format—either black or, more rarely, blue or white. A binary aesthetics reinforced in his linocuts by the composition of his scenes with geometric forms or segments that seem to be taken from the toolbox of a drawing software. Whether figurative or abstract, his works are composed of repeated patterns that function as analog visualizations of our digital culture.

 

In today’s world of ubiquitous images, the sacred lies in the impalpable code. Each visualization of these digital coordinates on a screen is a generation that profanes this absent original. Cordier, whose metal paintings draw inspiration in the repetitive and iconoclastic Islamic art, plays with these polarities of the sacred and the profane. His work bears witness to a fascination for the godlike perfection of mass production. But it is through meticulous craftsmanship using chisels, knives, pens and other tools that he seeks to mimic this standardization. The deliberate adjunction of errors or the dissolution of the pattern is less reminiscent of a form of subjectivity permeating the works than of digital filters or algorithms applied to the image to disaggregate it. Through his extensive manual labor, Cordier pays then homage to the mechanized and digitalized world, while stressing its hollowness that can only be remedied through his action on materials.

 

Frédéric Cordier is a Swiss-Canadian artist born in Montreal in 1985. He lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland and in Montreal, Canada. He holds a BFA from the École cantonale d’art of Lausanne (ECAL).

 

Sylvain Menétrey, 2020

Studies:

2008–2010

  • Master European Art Ensemble, ECAL/University of Art and Design, Lausanne

2004–2008

  • Bachelor in Fine Arts, ECAL/University of Art and Design, Lausanne

Awards:

2011

  • Lauréat, Bourse culturelle Leenaards 2011, Switzerland
  • Lauréat de l’atelier Vaudois du 700e, Cité des Arts, Paris

2008

  • Prix Ernest Manganel

Solo show:

2020

Linospective, Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Montréal

2018

  • Excavation, Papier Art Fair 2018 (Special project), Arsenal Art Contemporain, Montréal
  • An error occurred, Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Montréal

2017

  • Frédéric Cordier × Wohnshop Projecto, Wohnshop, Lausanne

2016

  • Dessins et Gravures, Lieux Partagés, Morges

2015

  • CORDIER INK., Engramme, Québec

2014

  • Assemblages, URDLA, Lyon

2012

  • La Suite, Gymnase cantonal du Bugnon, Lausanne

2010

  • From the ground to the sky, Helvetic Centre, London
  • Revisited Tell’s Chapel, Montbenon, Lausanne

2009

  • Pattern Patty, Espace DOLL, Lausanne

2008

  • Illusion, La placette, Lausanne

Group show:

2020

  • Papier 2020 art fair, Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Montréal

2019

  • Swiss Art Awards 2019, Messe Basel, Hall 3, Basel
  • Rien que pour vos yeux #2, Les plus belles estampes des collections, Musée Jenisch, Vevey
  • Vendu–Sold, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM), Pavillon Jean-Noël Desmarais, Montréal
  • Art Toronto, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Toronto
  • 202 432 kilomètres, URDLA × Super F-97 , Villeurbanne
  • Papier 2019 art fair, Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Grand Quai du Port de Montréal
  • Variations, Galerie Michel Descours / URDLA, Lyon

2018

  • Summer in the City II, Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Montréal
  • Art Toronto, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Galerie Laroche/Jancas, Toronto

2016

  • Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec
  • La grande place, Centre d’art contemporain (CACY), Yverdon les Bains
  • Accrochage Vaud 2016, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne
  • Art Genève 2016, éditions ECAL
  • La crème de la relève, Atelier circulaire, Montréal
  • Born in the 80’s, La Nef, Espace culturel de l’ancienne église du Noirmont

2015

  • Print Making by ECAL, Musée Jenisch, Vevey
  • La magie des mains, Regart centre d’artistes en art actuel, Lévis

2013

  • Group Show (With Imi Knoebel and Bernard Venet), Galerie Von Bartha, Basel

2012

  • Tertial, Festival Images, Gare de Vevey
  • Ni Début Ni Fin, URDLA, Lyon

2011

  • Vedute, URDLA, Lyon, France
  • Wall Floor Piece, Galerie Von Bartha, Basel
  • Covering the Wall, Musée de Pully
  • I do like Drawings, Galerie Von Bartha, Basel

2010

  • Swiss Art Awards, Halle 3, Basel
  • Miroir magique, Espace Janet, Le Havre

2009

  • Group show, Galerie Von Bartha, Basel
  • Accrochage Vaud, Espace Arlaud, Lausanne
  • Projets d’identitée du quartier de bains, Freestudio, Geneva
  • Le jour d’après, La Dépendance, Renens

2008

  • Poper, AFF, Geneva
  • I’ll never w°°k alone, Les Halles de Sierre, Sierre
  • Accrochage Vaud, Espace Arlaud, Lausanne
  • Gloria, exposition des diplômes en arts visuels, ECAL, Renens

Collections:

• Collection des estampes de l’État de Vaud, Musée Jenisch, Vevey
• Roche Art Collection, Bâle
• Gymnase Cantonal du Bugnon, Lausanne
• Galerie von Bartha, Bâle
• École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), Renens
• URDLA, Centre International estampe et livre, Lyon
• Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
• Musée d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec
• Fidelity International, Vancouver, Toronto
• Blue Bridge Collection, Montréal