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Floating Through It

Floating Through It
signed, inscribed, titled and dated 'Jules de Balincourt, "FLOATING THROUGH IT", 2010' (on the reverse)
oil and acrylic on panel
94 x 82in. (238.8 x 208.3cm.)
Painted in 2010
Jeffrey Deitch, New York.
Private Collection, USA (acquired from the above in 2010).
Private Collection, Europe.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
J.D. Balincourt, Jules de Balincourt, New York 2013, pl. 87 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
New York, Deitch Projects, Jules de Balincourt: Premonitions, 2010.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. This lot will be removed to our storage facility at Momart. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Momart. All collections from Momart will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

Brought to you by

Tessa Lord
Tessa Lord Director, Senior Specialist

Lot Essay

Looming more than two metres in height, Floating through it (2010) is a vivid, compelling landscape painting by Jules de Balincourt. A broad turquoise river snakes its way between brilliant green and orange banks; it is dotted with rafts full of people, receding in scale towards a cavernous pictorial distance. Framed by branches of dark leaves, the picture places the viewer amid the undergrowth, watching the scene below from a subtly voyeuristic vantage point. Up close, we can see a man dragging a dinghy onto the luminous shore, and people gathered at a picnic table: they are regarded by two fishermen on the opposite bank, and some rafters who have just made it over the rapids. For all its paradisiacal glow, the scene is rich in narrative detail and uncanny, cinematic tension. Organised fun and natural wilderness, adventure and danger, the primal power of group dynamics: undercurrents and intrigues surge through the painting, exemplifying de Balincourt’s interest in ‘spaces and places that teeter between a utopian Eden and the post-apocalyptic’ (J. de Balincourt quoted in M. Dzama, ‘Searching the Wave of Possibility’, Juxtapoz, December 2017).

De Balincourt, who was born in Paris in 1972, lived in Ibiza, Zurich and California during his childhood, primarily growing up near Malibou Lake in the Santa Monica Mountains. Today based in New York, his travels continue to inform his work: he frequently visits Costa Rica to pursue a passion for surfing, which might be seen to inform the watery thrill-ride of the present painting. California, with its vibrant and varied scenery, provides a particular inspiration as a flashpoint for man’s uncertain relationship to nature, and the constructed myths of the American frontier that inform both individual and national identity. ‘I guess I felt perpetually like an outsider looking in—and I still do’, he says. ‘I think it’s important because it enables me to look at things objectively. It’s almost like being a cultural anthropologist’ (J. de Balincourt quoted in E. Spicer, ‘Jules de Balincourt’, Studio International, 3 May 2016).

Working directly and intuitively, with no preparatory drawings, de Balincourt values accessibility and free association in his paintings. While he is informed by the work of artists such as Alex Katz, Peter Doig, David Hockney and Paul Gauguin, he does not engage in abstruse concepts or formal dialogues with art history. ‘I’m just sort of bouncing through life and the world,’ he says of his subject matter. ‘… I’m also continually exploring themes of escape, communities on the margins, failed utopias, travel and leisure’ (J. de Balincourt, quoted in Y. Wallin, ‘Painting the World: Q+A With Jules de Balincourt’, Art in America, 17 June 2011). Psychedelic, romantic and spiked with disquiet, Floating through it is alive with his wry, wide-ranging sensitivity to the natural and social environments of modern life.

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