Louis Fratino
Tom's Chair, 2019
On loan to the exhibition L’Âme primitive at Musée Zadkine, Paris, France

Curated by: Jeanne Brun, Claire Le Restif and Pauline Créteur

At the beginning of the last century in Paris, Ossip Zadkine was one of the artists who invented a new sculptural language by turning toward the “primitive”.
Well beyond formal research, the radical nature of his work then testified to a distrust of modern civilization and its values. In the gesture of the craftsman, in the faith of the Romanesque sculptor, in the naivety of the sign-painters of his native Russia, Zadkine saw not a lack of knowledge or technique, but the vanished or threatened example of a genuine link to the world.
It is through the song of this “primitive soul” that Zadkine’s work is in dialogue with those contemporaries of his who claimed to be wild, Fauvist, Neo-Primitivist; but also, so intimately, with those who today are still seeking to give utterance to “the palpitation of human life shattered by the tragic”.

Louis Fratino's ceramics highlight and develop his passion for a kind of narration where snapshots of life chain up, like everyday life dramaturgy tableaux, suspended moments in the flux of reality. Within this thread, assembled in relief with overlaid pictures, we find the artist's affective world, the poetic and erotica of his paintings, where the attention to the real life situates between the ethnographic transcription of the lived moment (in the underground, in is flat, in the street or at the beach) and a sort of mute suspension, almost sacral, half-way amid De Chirico's The Enigma of the Hour and the shredding of Mâyâ's veil in Eugenio Montale poetic oeuvre. The Italian modern Primitives have been the main spokes persons of Fratino's research, around a dialogue that has elaborated on a terrain of Modern mediations and influences (Carrà, Morandi, Sironi, Martini, Fontana) and Postmodern (Clemente, Paladino), as a kind of contemporary hyper-modernism deliberately putting aside the scholarly quote so to reflect – with the same more or less bygone models – on the the cognitive process of shape and language.

Thom's Chair originates from the Kervahut—Collection Laurent Fiévet.