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Martial Raysse: Visages

The Lévy Gorvy Gallary announces the United States representation of French painter Martial Raysse. Raysse began making portraits in 1961. Composed in a bold, exuberant palette that he termed “Martialcolor,” these early paintings were based on stereotypical images of the female face gathered from classical paintings and popular media, such as advertisements, fashion catalogs, and publicity stills.

Defined by vibrant hues and sharp contrasts, they dispensed with naturalism in deliberate pursuit of what the artist praised as “false relationships” and “bad taste.” Raysse’s most recent portraits, while still executed in an intensive color palette, seek to convey the essential nature of their sitters. His subjects gaze out from the canvas but seem to simultaneously look inward, as if lost in thought, exuding a sense of pathos and enigma that leaves the viewer intrigued and unsettled.