Les Veilleurs


Acrylic on canvas

230 x 400 cm (90 9/16 x 157 1/2 x 1 3/4 in.)

Shown in front view on a monumental canvas, children are placed in rows in the manner of a school photograph. However, the seemingly innocence of this scene hides an enigma. Dressed up in carnival-like costumes, the children are holding fluorescent spears towards the sky. They seem like ghostly figures blending into another space-time continuum from where they observe the viewer.

Claire Tabouret's paintings have a dream-like quality and ooze “disturbing strangeness”. The artist looks for daily life moments of confusion, both in gathering rituals and in intimacy. To do so, she finds inspiration in archive photographs and classical painting. Here, she conjures up Frans Hals' group portraits and Géricault's mysterious light.

The painting Les Veilleurs (“watchmen”) (2007) was first shown by the Pinault Collection in the exhibition The Illusion of Light at Palazzo Grassi, in 2014.