Born in Romilly-sur-Seine, France (1973)
Lives and works in Paris, France
After studying at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux and the Académie des Beaux-Arts Jacques Gabriel Chevalier in Brives, Olivier Masmonteil opened his first gallery in 2002. He then left to train at the Spinnerei in Leipzig (Germany). A painter and traveller, he completed his first round-the-world trip in 2012.
The possibility of painting
Olivier Masmonteil is a contemporary painter renowned for his universe, and a lover of art history and nature. With twenty-seven years of practice under his belt, his work draws its inspiration from travel, observation and contemplation of classical works and other research that has given rise to series as varied as ‘Les Baigneuses’, ‘Quelle que soit la minute du jour’ and ‘Le Bain de Diane’.
With a body of work that is as conservative as it is innovative, Olivier Masmonteil brings easel painting up to date by organising his work into three chapters: ‘The possibility of painting’, ‘The pleasure of painting’ and ‘Forgetting painting’.
One of his guiding maxims is: « It’s what I do that teaches me what I’m looking for » (Pierre Soulages).
Olivier Masmonteil wants his paintings to oscillate between dramatised staging of the landscape and impressions of nude female bodies that take part in a ballet of mythological references. The artist draws some of his references from the history of classical painting. He makes it his own, experimenting with the range of possibilities in order to reformulate an original and singular equation of his own. Reconsidering the great theorem of painting so reformed by his peers, he proposes a new ‘art of painting’.
An artist and traveller, Olivier Masmonteil draws as much inspiration from the great masters such as Ruysdael and Poussin as he does from his own travels, especially when it comes to landscapes.
Ever since his first canvas, Olivier Masmonteil has been constantly experimenting and discovering in order to achieve mastery and finally the pleasure of painting. In successive phases, he has been able to tame his medium and his art, overcoming the learning curve, finally making it his own and finally mastering his subjects which, while in the early days of his painting they were the expression of a desire to paint, gradually evolved into a need to paint.
Olivier Masmonteil has converted this established fact into a rational and theoretical discourse. Since then, he has never ceased to revise and refine his creative process, forging the keys to an analysis. Theorising his own painting in this way, the artist, when he creates, never forgets to question the profound essence of the painter’s status.