Jules de Balincourt

Birds on a Boat

Mar 18 – Apr 28, 2022
Hong Kong
Exhibition Details:

Jules de Balincourt
Birds on a Boat
Mar 18 – Apr 28, 2022


12/F, H Queen's
80 Queen's Road Central
Hong Kong


Press Release



Above: Jules de Balincourt, Beautiful Storm, 2022 © Jules de Balincourt

Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of 12 recent paintings by Jules de Balincourt at its Hong Kong gallery. The show marks the artist’s first solo exhibition with Pace since he joined the gallery in 2021. This is also de Balincourt’s first solo presentation in Hong Kong since 2012.

Paintings in the show span landscape and figuration. Rendered in rich colors at large- and small-scales, these works reflect de Balincourt’s interest in using the canvas to merge his own psychological landscape with external, global landscapes. In his practice, de Balincourt often explores the relationships between humanity and the natural world. The artist, who takes an intuitive, stream of consciousness approach to painting, imbues much of his work with mystery and ambiguity.

Several pieces in Birds on a Boat feature groupings of de Balincourt’s transient, nomadic figures situated amid formidable trees, churning coastlines, and other natural settings that the artist injects with otherworldly and fantastical qualities. In these works, the artist has said, it’s unclear whether the diminutive figures have found themselves in these environments “out of leisure or out of desperation.” For viewers, the wind, rain, and other natural forces depicted in these paintings are visceral and deeply felt.

"In a lot of this work you really feel the earthiness within the paintings. I want to convey the physicality of the natural elements, such as the wind, the plants, the rain," the artist has said of his landscapes. "It's about these really basic, earthy elements, and our relationship and our vulnerability, as we attempt to coexist in a constant flux."

Other works in the exhibition feature nude male figures. Depicting torsos, arms, and obscured faces, these works blur the boundary between abstraction and figuration. Limbs and abdomens converge with their surroundings, and the artist positions his figures at a crossroads between full representation and abstraction. Like de Balincourt’s landscapes, these works defy easy narrative ascription or categorization.

Formally engaged with the work of artists like Arthur Dove and Milton Avery, as well as the traditions of Fauvism and German Expressionism, de Balincourt’s paintings can be understood as vehicles into exploring the subconscious. Rife with expressions of fragility, vulnerability, imbalance, and precarity, these works take up timely motifs and ideas.


Featured Works

Jules de Balincourt, When Things Feel Apart, 2022, oil and oil stick on canvas, 70" × 80" × 2-1/2" (177.8 cm × 203.2 cm × 6.4 cm)
Jules de Balincourt, Face Off and Hand Off, 2022, oil and oil stick on canavs, 70" × 80" × 2-1/2" (177.8 cm × 203.2 cm × 6.4 cm)
Jules de Balincourt, Birds on a Boat, 2021, oil and oil stick on panel, 70" × 60" × 2-1/2" (177.8 cm × 152.4 cm × 6.4 cm)
Jules de Balincourt, Naked Man in Nature, 2021, oil and oil stick on panel, 30" × 34" × 1-3/4" (76.2 cm × 86.4 cm × 4.4 cm)

Installation Views


About the Artist

Jules de Balincourt is known internationally for his colorful, radiant paintings that meditate on the social, political, and cultural dynamics of an increasingly globalized world. Shifting from a broader sociological view of borders, territories, and nation-states in his map paintings, the artist’s psychological landscapes bring us closer to humanity’s complicated relationships with natural and urban settings.

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