Date James Rielly

04.09 – 25.10.1998

Project Project

James Rielly

« How far can an individual take his own fantasies ? », James Rielly asked himself in 1995, painting a series of small format pictures taken from photographs of forensic medicine (Variations on death by auto-eroticism). A year later, his fascination for corpses, death and gaping wounds triggers a surprising switch, in the form of family portraits. Father and son have forefingers sticking out of their flies, and seem to be born from a cloning operation ; a child wakes up with a black eye ; two hydrocephalic twins try to relieve their bladder ; a little girl hugs an abandoned leg in her arms ; a boy wonders why he is saddled with a hare lip…
James Riellyas works – painted in light, or even pastel hues – exude ambiguity : in them, violence is just below the surface, and pain is glaring, yet each picture seems to be imbued with a strange serenity, and a silence that is at once soothing and menacing.
James Rielly’s small paintings are like the candies offered you by a stranger when you get out of school. We should like to sample all that sugary sweetness, but at the same time reason urges us to run away.

Marc-Olivier Wahler translated by Simon Pleasance

Opening September 3 1998
Exhibition from September 4 to October 25 1998