Residency March 2023

Nicolas Boulard



The Red House of Nicolas Boulard is art as idea in this moment. The images you are seeing are models. But that’s how Hadrian mapped out his military campaigns, with toy ships on a pond by his “Siracusa” retreat in Tivoli. If the installation gets realized, we will have a temporary piece of architecture and art and design and environmental militancy. Boulard is commenting on global warming, you see, and inserting the dire warning in the midst of verdant fields.
And if we do not marshall the funds and regional willpower, we will nonetheless have created an image that remains in the mind, and heart, and can move thinking, as only art is able.
“What you see as a gift is a problem for you to solve,” said Ludwig Wittgenstein, as quoted in a work by Joseph Kosuth. By bringing images from the post-conceptual art of Nicolas Boulard, into the heady cauldron of Pernice, we throw down an iron gauntlet, as, perhaps one Sallier de la Tour did in Sicily, many centuries ago.

-Dr. Cornelia Lauf, Curator, Pernice Residence Project



Born in 1976 in Reims, Nicolas Boulard studied at the École supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg, where he graduated in arts in 2002. He then joined the Collège Invisible, networked post-graduate studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Marseille. His artistic work has been shown in several solo exhibitions in France (Frac Champagne-Ardenne, Frac Alsace, Frac Aquitaine, the art center la Halle des bouchers) and abroad (Moma in San Francisco, Machine Project in Los Angeles, S-air in Japan). He lives in Clamart near Paris.

During the past twenty years, Nicolas Boulard has been building an artistic work at the crossroads of knowledges and practices that usually have no relation to each other. For him, art comes from blending, like most wines. The field of gastronomy and viticulture are thus the starting point for an investigation of the modalities of creation. Nicolas Boulard questions art in terms of his in-depth knowledge of wine-making processes. And reciprocally, he shakes up the rules of viticulture by handing him the mirror of art. All of his work heterogeneously mixes artistic vocabulary and grammar with borrowings from other fields. It is an interdisciplinary and « undisciplined » work.

In the work of Nicolas Boulard, citations are frequent, in particular from the minimal art of the 70s. The works entitled Specific Cheeses studies the subject of forms starting from relationships highlighted with impertinence between cheese and minimal art. Putting artistic and gastronomic production on the same level, he questions the nature and origin of the form and the scale of the values attached to it.

In a landscape of artistic creation where artists have challenged traditional categories, Nicolas Boulard positions himself with an apparent lightness even more on the fringes of recognized practices, from a formal and conceptual point of view. He questions art as language. But beyond that, it questions our relationship to societal issues such as territory and sustainability. His work is unseemly but necessary heterogeneity, an encouragement to disobedience, against blind conformism.