Nicolas Party in conversation with Joost Declercq
A conversation between Nicolas Party and Joost Declercq on the occasion of the exhibition "Three Seasons" at Xavier Hufkens (19 May—15 July 2017).
For his inaugural exhibition at the gallery, Swiss artist Nicolas Party has executed two site-specific murals that transform the interior while creating a singular environment for a recent group of large-scale pictures and bronze sculptures. Working exclusively in vivid, highly-pigmented chalk pastels – either directly on the walls or primed canvases – Party invites us to rediscover this once popular but now often neglected medium. Respectful of the traditions that precede him on the one hand, but radically extending them on the other, the artist’s handling of the medium is anything but academic. Here, all associations with drawing, delicacy and fragility have been supplanted by a fresh, graphic sensibility and a technique more akin to painting. Unlike paint, however, pastels are blended directly upon the support: a task that requires great exactitude and foresight.