Route Nationale 6 - The Red Circle
The Association Actes has taken over the L'Etoile cinema adjoining the commune of Saulieu, looking after its management and programming. In order to make the most of the recent renovation of the place, the patrons wish to bring in an artist. A painting placed near the projection screen is what their commission is about.
In homage to Jean-Pierre Melville's film Le Cercle Rouge, 1970, shot not far from the cinema, a red painting in the format of a large circle has been placed in the auditorium. This monochrome picture is the first element of signage which it is due to be installed, as it is the forerunner of the development of a project relating to the RN 6 trunk road, focusing on the area's cinematographic links.
The mediator suggested bringing in Olivier Mosset with whom he has collaborated since the mid-1980s, the time when post-abstraction was in its infancy. In 1966 the artist joined forces with Buren, Toroni and Parmentier to question the boundaries of painting through a radical, subversive attitude. We know the story of the BMPT group. A black circle drawn on a square white canvas is the signature of Mosset's work. Keeping the subjectivity of the Ego at a distance is one of the fundamental principles of their approach. Moving to New York in 1978, he embarked on monochrome works influenced by Pop Art. Since then each of Mosset's paintings, whether a target, a screen, a degree zero painting or whatever, has questioned the potential of the pictural image. It is not surprising to learn that in 1983 the artist installed two large red monochrome paintings near the empty screen of the Rex cinema in Neuchâtel. The Saulieu commission is a rerun of that confrontation.