Uzac Paintings
    Philippe Uzac

    Texture and patina are important elements in my work. But more essentially the laying bare of the past - looking for something like an unreachable truth - uncovering hidden layers of paint, is what drives me as an artist.

     

    My paintings are pieces of decay inspired by the inner city industrial fringes where my studio is located. Downtown Johannesburg is an area that has tentatively been recovered from deterioration. Some of its surroundings are still rusted, stained, faded or disjointed… forming interesting patterns with rich textures, colours and tones in which any attentive observer can find beauty.

    A panel of veined wood’s paint pealing off, exposing ancient layers of colours - or the raw weathered wood itself - carries beauty and nostalgia. Old cement floors waxed patiently and unremittingly over the years, rusting industrial equipment abandoned in a forlorn wasteland or walls of old buildings stained and patched with layers of paper board teared off and hanging in the wind, are a source of constant inspiration and instill in me a sense of abandonment and melancholy.

    I look for an aesthetic in decay and try to capture it on canvas and on wood panels that I use as support to my work.

    I reproduce the effects of time using all sort of tools such as knives and spatulas, but also chemicals and waxes, sandpaper and glue. It is a gruelling and a very physical exercise, constantly scratching, rubbing and sanding off layers of paint.

    It is a long process as the work consist of multi-layered artist oil paints - produced in my studio with pigments sourced in Burgundy - each layer needing to dry and be “worked out” before the next one can be applied.

    My work is abstract in essence, each piece being an object in itself. I work under the urge of bringing together interacting elements - a kind of vital incubation - producing eventually an epiphany of forms, textures and colours.

    It requires patience and the “right” configuration of all the elements involved. The process starts with a first layer of deep black colour. Black is the absence of light and evokes the “Nothingness”, so dear to Martin Heidegger. But black is also one of the first colours used by man in the neolithic so, although “Nothing” is on the canvas at this stage of the process, it carries already the potentiality of Everything.

    The Black canvas stays then a few days on its own in a corner, maturing. It is the most powerful object in my studio, something like a black hole that swallows everything. It is magnificent and - as Pierre Soulages did for decades - I am very tempted to explore and abandon myself into the “Outrenoir”.

    Comes the day of the first layer of colour that will cover the black matter. The process is then unleashed. It is going to be long and chaotic and will only terminate when, looking at the work, I reach an inner Peace.

    The finished work stands by itself and “resonates”.

    It can be “observed” at every scale, something like a fractal. One of my favourite ways to look at the paintings is close to the canvas, exploring the complexity of shapes, textures and colours that play with my emotions and intellect.

    The resonance of each completed piece is “fuelled” by the black matter underneath, so powerful that sometimes it devours the layers of colour covering it.

    This repeated creative process has existential connotations: Is there anything at all under the coloured layers of life that inevitably fade away with time?

     

    Philippe UZAC

    Fox Series
    FOX 1 (Private Collection London)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2013
    01
    FOX 2 (Everard Read Gallery London)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2014
    FOX 3 (Private Collection London)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2014
    FOX 4 (Private Collection Johannesburg)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2014
    Fox 7 (Artist collection)

    oil on wood panel | 1600 x 900 | 2015

    09
    FOX 5 (Private Collection London)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2014
    FOX 6 (Artist collection)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2014
    Fox 8 (Artist collection)

    oil on wood panel | 1600 x 900 | 2015

    fox-8-copy
    Laub Series
    LAUB 1 (Private Collection London)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1200 | 2015
    laub-1-copy
    LAUB 4 (Private Collection Johannesburg)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1200 | 2015
    laub-4-copy
    LAUB 2 (Artist Collection)
    oil on canvas | 1200 x 900 | 2015
    laub-2
    LAUB 3 (Everard Read Gallery Johannesburg)
    oil on wood panel | 1600 x 900 | 2015
    laub-3-copy
    LAUB 5 (Artist Collection)
    oil on canvas | 900 x 1200 | 2015
    laub-5-copy
    LAUB 6 (Private Collection Johannesburg *)
    oil on canvas | 1200 x 900 | 2016
    laub-6-copy
    LAUB 7 (Private Collection South Africa)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1200 | 2016
    laub-7-copy
    LAUB 8 (Private Collection Johannesburg)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1200 | 2016
    laub-8-copy
    LAUB 10 (Private Collection *)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016
    laub-10-a-copy
    LAUB 13 (Private Collection *)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016
    laub-13-pg
    LAUB 9 (Artist Collection)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016
    laub-9-copy
    LAUB 11 (Private Collection Johannesburg)

    oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2016

    laub-11-copy
    LAUB 12 (Everard Read Gallery Johannesburg)

    oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2016

    LAUB 12
    LAUB 14 (Artist Collection)

    oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2016

    LAUB 14
    LAUB 15 (Donated to the Envisionit Bursary Foundation)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016
    laub-15-copy
    LAUB 16 (Private Collection Dubaï)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016
    LAUB 16
    LAUB 17 (Private Collection Johannesburg)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2016
    LAUB 17
    LAUB 18 (Sally) (Private Collection Dubaï)
    oil on canvas | 1800 x 1600 | 2017
    LAUB 18 (Sally)
    LAUB 19a Triptyque (Private Collection *)
    oil on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017
    LAUB 19a
    LAUB 19B Triptyque (Private Collection *)
    oil on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017
    LAUB 19b
    LAUB 19C Triptyque (Private Collection *)
    oil on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017
    LAUB 19c
    LAUB 20 ``The mother of all spectra`` (Private Collection Constantia - Cape Town)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017
    LAUB 20

    LAUB 21 (Private Collection Johannesburg)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017

    LAUB 21
    LAUB 22 (Artist Collection Johannesburg)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017
    LAUB 22
    LAUB 23 (Artist collection)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017
    Red1
    LAUB 24 (Everard Read Gallery London)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017
    Red2
    Entropy 1 (Private Collection *)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017
    Entropy 1
    LAUB 25 (Private Collection)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017
    LAUB 25
    Entropy 2 (Private Collection *)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017
    Entropy 2
    LAUB 26 (Artist Collection)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017
    LAUB 26
    LAUB 27 (Everard Read Gallery Johannesburg)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017
    LAUB 27
    LAUB 28 (Everard Read Gallery JHB)
    oil & gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2018
    IMG-20180113-WA0000
    LAUB 29 (Private Collection Constantia)
    oil & Gold Leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2018
    IMG-20180113-WA0001
    LAUB 30 (Private collection Geneva)

    oil on canvas | 1150 x 850 | 2018

    LAUB30
    LAUB 31 (Private Collection Durban)
    oil on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2018
    LAUB31
    LAUB 32 (Everard Read Johannesburg)
    oil & Gold Leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2018
    LAUB32
    LAUB 33 (Artist Collection)

    oil on canvas | 1150 x 850 | 2018

    LAUB33
    egoli Series
    eGOLI 2 (Private Collection London)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017
    Gold2 1130 x 830
    eGOLI 1 (Everard Read Gallery London)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 750 x 600 | 2017
    Gold1 750 x 600
    eGOLI 3 (Private Collection London)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017
    Gold3 1130 x 830
    eGOLI 4 (Private Collection London)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017
    eGoli 4
    eGOLI 5 (Private Collection Johannesburg)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1130 x 830 | 2017
    eGoli 5
    eGOLI 6 (Private Collection Johannesburg)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2017
    eGoli 6
    Gaïa Triptych (Everard Read Gallery)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 2500 x 1350 | 2017
    Gaïa copy
    eGOLI 7 (Artist Collection Johannesburg)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2017
    eGOLI 7 copy
    eGOLI 8 (Linthwaite House Hotel Lake District UK)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1500 x 1100 | 2018
    eGOLI 8 copy 2
    eGOLI 9 (Everard Read Gallery Johannesburg)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2018
    eGoli9 copy
    eGOLI 10 (Everard Read Gallery)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2018
    eGoli10
    eGOLI 11 (Everard Read gallery Johannesburg)
    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2018
    eGoli11
    KUU 1 (Artist Collection)

    oil and gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2019

    KUU 1
    eGoli 12 (Artist Collection)

    oil and gold leaf on canvas | 1500 x 900 | 2019

    eGoli12
    eGoli 13 (Everard Read Johannesburg)

    oil and gold leaf on canvas | 750 x 600 | 2019

    eGOLI13
    eGoli 14 (Artist Collection)

    Ode to Africa (Rabindranath Tagore)

    oil and gold leaf on canvas | 1145 x 850 | 2018

    eGOLI14 (ode to Africa by Tagore)
    eGOLI 15 Diptych (Artist Collection)

    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1800 x 1500 | 2019

    eGoli15 2
    eGOLI 16 ``the wall`` (Everard Read Johannesburg)

    oil and Gold Leaf on canvas | 1500 x 1500 | 2019

    44b522d2-ac83-4fcd-8081-a68aa23ca6d6
    EVERARD READ GALLERY
    6 Jellicoe Avenue - Rosebank 2196 - Johannesburg - SOUTH AFRICA
    Tel: +27(0)11 788 48 05
    gallery@everard.co.za
    EVERARD READ GALLERY
    80 Fulham Road - London - SW3 6HR - UNITED KINGDOM
    Tel: +44(0)20 7590 9991
    georgie@everardlondon.com
    VOGELSANG ART GALLERY
    112 Avenue Louis Lepoutre - Brussels 1050 - BELGIUM
    Tel: +32 485 14 88 45
    info@vogelsanggallery.com
    info@uzac-paintings.com
    SELBY / JOHANNESBURG