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Default to Ancre

"I have always thought that the work of painting had something ambiguous. I therefore wanted to exacerbate this ambiguity. In "66/67", before the camouflages, I made some paintings in which I dealt with the image and politics, but in an ambiguous way. We can interpret them as we wish. I wanted to show how cultural and other codes were outdated. Everything that allowed us to establish an exchange, a contact, at the level of painting, was only a convention. I wanted to show that this convention meant nothing. In fact, I checked that we could easily say the opposite of what we wanted to say with very clear theoretical codes.


I've also always had a problem with political engagement. I have always liked to assume a somewhat provocative attitude, that of being on the left in a bourgeois house and reactionary in a left-wing house."

Peter Valentiner


I'm a lonesome cowboy
1 & 2

Autumn Fair
Lyons 1969


In the painting "I'm a lonesome cowboy", produced in 1969, Valentiner "collages" different images in a pictorial surface divided according to the order of the Mondrian grid. However, the grid is only respected in the orientation and the distribution of the partial images, but not in its limits, so that the result is the impression that they are postcards glued on top of each other. each other and next to each other. The postcard impression is further enhanced by the patterns and their extremely striking formal reduction to simple silhouettes: the silhouette of a rodeo cowboy appearing on the back of a horse in front of the luminous circle of a rising sun, the image of the shadow of another cowboy leading a cow home at dusk, the silhouette of an American downtown and the image of a Korean flag waving in the wind. By associating them with the central figure of a GI in full armour, who gets lost - "I'm a lonesome cowboy" - like a solitary figure in a Far Eastern landscape, they all acquire a political and critical content that stems from the contrasting oppositions of these "idylls" for advertising purposes.

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