Alain Huck studied at the École cantonale d’art in Lausanne from 1982 and 1986, where he was influenced by the néo-géo school and by his teachers, Jean Otth and Janos Urban. The notion of the image and the mysterious nature of representation already intrigued him. He worked in geometric abstraction while seeking to maintain a form of contact with reality, for instance by using extant elements, the potential volume of flat shapes, and the roughness or ductility of a given material. At this early stage of his career he produced sculptures and paintings, or works that were part-sculpture, part-painting: his only guiding principle was exploring all the paths opened up by his materials.
The idea for this work arose from the shape of a concrete roof based on a photograph of a small building. Once “flattened”, the roof let Huck play with two-dimensional geometric shapes that would become 3-D when folded a certain way. Huck produced several such paintings, picturing them almost as objects, both in their own right and potentially. The black lacquer paint here covers almost all the front of the canvas, with just a few patches left bare. The paint represents density but not excess, almost liquid occupation of the space but not full coverage.
This series of paintings joined a corpus that was already somewhat varied. Soon after completing it, he began to focus on drawing as a faster, freer technique. From the early 1990s on, the series Nouvel ordre for you and me (1992) and the archive Vite soyons heureux il le faut je le veux (Quick Let’s Be Happy We Must I Want To, 1993-2007, Geneva, Fonds municipal d’art contemporain) reflect the teeming narrative abundance he developed in this new preferred technique. Drawing let him tirelessly explore the material possibilities of his medium, still with no thought for virtuosity.
David Lemaire, Alain Huck. La Symétrie du saule, Genève, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, 2015.
Julie Enckell Julliard (ed.), Alain Huck, Vevey, Musée Jenisch, Zurich, JRP Ringier, 2006.
Jérôme Baratelli and Marie-Claude Jequier, Alain Huck. Autre chose encore, exh. cat. Lausanne, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Placette, 1990.