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Laurent Proux, Artist-in-residence in Chicago

As part of a partnership with the Cultural Services at the Consulate General of France in Chicago, Mana Contemporary will host visual artist Laurent Proux from May 1st to June 15, 2019.

Since he started to paint, Laurent Proux have chosen to work in the field of figurative painting with a clear statement: What painting can say about the working class? He developed a work about factories in a realistic way of painting and dig this approach while questioning the representation of the body at work. Having this new element entering his practice has undoubtedly transformed the way of showing the reality within his works.

Chicago, along with Detroit, is one of the biggest industrial area of the USA and has a long and deep history with the working class issues. It pushes him to visit and do research in those cities focussing on how African American artists were showing through their works the social history of their community in this difficult industrial and postindustrial context. During his residency, Laurent Proux will start a serie of large drawings based on his research.

Born in 1980 in Versailles (FR), Laurent Proux lives and works in Paris. His spray paint and graphite or oil paintings - which originate from photographs - portray workplaces emptied from their occupants. Phone shops, offices, data centers, factories... these small worlds of dehumanized geometry are blurry and filled with graffitis and signs. These compositions, bursted up by the colors, are purposedly altered in their readability and rationality by the artist, thus hacking the programmatic language. The figuration and abstraction of the paintings are also questioned, along with their capability of infiltrating and of modifying these environments which are the symbols of modernity. Since a couple of years, Laurent Proux has also added the human dimension to the industrial spaces of his works, arising the questioning of the body from the point of view of social relations.

Laurent proux’s works are among the collections of the National Center for Plastic Arts (CNAP), the Regional Contemporary Art Fund (FRAC) Occitanie and Limousin, and the Municipal Fund of the City of Paris (FMAC). His work has also been exhibited at the Shanghai Art Museum (CN), at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Moscow, Amsterdam (Arti et amicitiae) and Germany (Leipwig: Westwerk , Lia Spinnerei, Baumwollspinnerei ; Hamburg : Hochschule für Bildende Künste,  Interconti, Frappent), at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon (FR), at the FRAC Limousin (Limoges, FR), and more recently at Le Lieu Commun in Toulouse for the festival "Le Printemps de Septembre".

For his residency in Chicago, Laurent Proux received an artistic research grant from the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP).

Founded in 2011, Mana Contemporary is dedicated to providing a platform for contemporary art and artists through exhibitions, studio programs, and public programs. Mana’s community network began in Jersey City and has since expanded to include Mana Chicago and Mana Miami. Mana Contemporary continues to create new partnership opportunities that explore the intersection of contemporary art, design, new technologies, and music.