Lionel Borla
Texts and Artworks

French artist born in 1974, lives and works in Marseille. Lionel Borla has exhibited his works in New York, Barcelona, Brussels, Shanghai, Paris, Lyon, Aix en Provence, Marseille, Lourmarin,...

Aesthete, lovers of freedom, beauty and harmony, Lionel Borla draws his inspiration from music, particularly the practice of the piano, whose silhouette constitutes an inseparable graphic element of his interior scenes. But also in architecture, as a return to his years of training in architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Marseille where he discovered the thought of Le Corbusier. A thought that still inspires him today (musicality, harmony, line, rhythm, universality...).

A protean and free artist, Lionel Borla enjoys associating practices, creating bridges between the arts, architecture, painting, photography, sculpture and music.


portrait Lionel Borla




For more than 20 years, Lionel Borla has been developing an original and personal pictorial language that marks his entire work. Some elements of Art Deco furniture, a piano, a cat and above all a female figure, which often takes the form of a swimmer, her "Universal Silhouette", a kind of reminiscence of the Corbusier's modulor, and which quickly established itself as her artistic signature. A black shadow that now punctuates all his works, a stable and stylized silhouette that travels through flat spaces and dialogues with the other figurative elements in refined spaces.

Lionel Borla's work is built like an architecture, the drawing and line are graphic and geometric. The composition is stable and harmonious, the colours skillfully combined.

Music, architecture, landscape are his favourite themes. On the flat surface of the support, feather and Chinese ink or brush fed with inks, walnut stain or acrylic, write the fundamental idea that is staged, graphically rhythmic. The compositions then present a series of graphic signs that gather around a key idea: a stylised silhouette or the representation of stylized masses in a harmoniously composed space-plan.


detail Accoustique Bleue




Stylistically & technically, Lionel Borla's work is divided into :

The works paints with acrylic on Vergé paper mounted on an ivory background whose colours, deliberately aged with walnut stain, bring singular and delicate atmospheres. The extinct and dull tones around the blue-grey, grey-green, Naples yellow and Sienna earth compose the chromatic palette of these paintings around the themes of the Mediterranean landscape, the beach, interior scenes, music and architecture.

While in his inks, gouaches and watercolours, colour is much more present. It takes the form of large flat areas which then act as a succession of shots, bringing the work back to a strict frontality. Flat tints of refined colours crossed by a stylized silhouette which, on some sides, recalls Persian illumination and miniature (notably in the work Acoustique Bleue). While acrylics on Vergé paper emphasize the meticulousness of the drawing, watercolours and gouaches clearly play on the graphic aspect, the sign, the rhythm and the line. The right angle, the square and the flat colors are the formal tools that magnify the graphics. These compositions are grouped under the themes "landscape graphics", "travel in fertile landscapes", "graphic papers", "lyrical graphics", "sombrecume", "graphic shadows" and "graphic rhymes" among others.

Finally the iPadrawings (digital drawings created using ApplePencil on iPad Pro and printed in limited and numbered series)

Based in Marseille since 1997, Lionel Borla exhibits his paintings in New York, Barcelona, Brussels, Shanghai, Paris, Lyon, Aix en Provence, Marseille, Lourmarin,...



Graphic chronology & stylistic landmarks
 
1998


  • First inks on paper with the appearance during the summer of the silhouette sign called "universal silhouette".

  • First works (inks on paper) in the series "lyrical abstraction and figurative anecdote" made with coloured inks and Indian ink.

  • First works dealing with musical and bullfighting themes (inks on paper).


1999


  • First works in the "graphic prints" series made with coloured inks and India ink, with sponges, tree leaves, crumpled plastic or yoghurt pots.


2000


  • First works in the series of "acoustic landscapes" and "acoustic pine forests".

  • First works in the "housing unit" series.


2002


  • First works combining inks and walnut stain.  Series entitled "landscape graphics" and "utopaysages" made on paper or laminated.

  • First works in the series entitled "Domus" made with coloured inks and India ink on paper.

  • First works in the series entitled "Patchwork" made with coloured inks and India ink on paper.


2003


  • First works in the "signs on signs" series made in Chinese ink on sheet music.


2006


  • First works in the "graphic design by the sea" series on the theme of swimmers using a personal mixed technique (acrylic patinated with walnut stain + Indian ink + pastel varnished pencil).


2007


  • First works in the "graphic interiors" series (mixed technique) on the theme of interior scenes and reading lights created in mixed technique with bathing silhouettes.


2010


  • First works in the series entitled "Journey through fertile landscapes" (walnut stain, blood ink, Chinese ink and white acrylic on paper or laminated) combining abstraction and figuration.


2011


  • First artists' books made as a single piece entitled "graphic papers" (India ink, watercolour, gouache on Arches paper).

  • First works in the "Sombrécume" series, in which Chinese ink is used in a unique way. 

  • First works in the series entitled "acoustic rhythm" and "graphic rhythm" combining abstraction and figuration and created in gouache.

  • First works in the series entitled "Spatioterrae" made with gouache.


2012


  • First works in the series entitled "graphic shadows" (gouache on paper or laminated cardboard).

  • First works in the "Time of Dream" series

  • First works in the "graphic game" series


2013


  • First works (inks on paper) in the series entitled "figurative traces".

  • First works (gouaches on paper) in the series entitled "lignes de villes".

  • First works (gouaches on scores and score covers) of the series entitled "music papers" of what I call my "graphic recycling".

  • First works (gouaches on sheets of Diderot and d'Alembert's encyclopedia) in the series entitled "graphic encyclopedia" of what I call my "graphic recycling".

  • First works (inks on paper) in the series entitled "light graphics".

  • First works (various paper gouaches: catalogues, book pages) in the series entitled "graphic sheets" of what I call my "graphic recycling".


2014


  • First works in the series entitled "graphic petals" made in watercolour with Chinese ink.

  • First works in the series entitled "Landscape Bodies" made with gouache and Indian ink on large sheets of Arches paper (large Jesus format).

  • First works (gouaches on sheets of 19th century architectural portfolios) in the series entitled "graphic constructions" of what I call my "graphic recycling".

  • First works in the series entitled "Graphic windows" made with gouache and Indian ink on watercolour paper.

  • First works in the series entitled "Iconic Windows" made with gouache and Indian ink on watercolour paper.

  • First works in the series entitled "Graphic bathers" made with gouache and Indian ink on watercolour paper.

  • First works in the series entitled "Les Sisyphes" on watercolour paper.


2015


  • First works in the series entitled "stained glass graphic" made with gouache associated with Indian ink.

  • First works in the series entitled "graphic pebbles" made with gouache associated with Indian ink.

  • First works in the series entitled "graphic petals" made in watercolour and Indian ink.


2016


  • First works in the series entitled "IconicXX" made with gouache and Indian ink

  • First works in the series entitled "chromatic architectures" created with gouache

  • First works in the series entitled "graphic traces" made with gouache and Indian ink

  • First works in the series entitled "Museums for Men" made with gouache and Indian ink

  • First works in the series entitled "Être dans les petits papiers" produced in a mixed technique with collages on watercolour paper

  • First works in the series entitled "Graphic myth" made in Indian ink on watercolour paper

  • First works in the series entitled "chemin faisant" made in Chinese ink on paper

  • First works in the series entitled "mare nostrum" made in Chinese ink on paper 


2017


  • First works in the series entitled "Commedia grafica" created in watercolour, gouache and Indian ink

  • First works made with "pin-ceau" in Chinese ink.  First impressions of the photographs taken by iPhone


2018


  • First impressions of iPadrawing (digital drawings created with ApplePencil on iPad Pro and printed in limited series)

  • First of the "drawings of a stamped" series combining postage stamps and gouache and India ink on watercolour paper.


2019


  • First works of the series "Cards to play and to create" mixing glued playing cards and gouache and Indian ink on watercolour paper.





Exhibitions (resume)


2019
SIAC, Salon international d’Art Contemporain. Marseille.
Galerie Espace Castillon. Toulon
Sm’Art Aix en Provence
Art3F Paris
Lifestore. Marseille les docks village


2018
SIAC, Salon international d’Art Contemporain. Marseille.
Art3F. Toulouse
Grand marché d’Art Contemporain de Vincennes.
Sm’Art Aix en Provence
Art3F Lyon
Lifestore. Marseille les docks village


2017
Le Cinéma, repaire artistique. Roquevaire
SIAC, Salon international d’Art Contemporain. Marseille.
Exposition personnelle - Galerie Jérome B. Bordeaux
Artoulouse. Toulouse
Grands marchés d’Art Contemporain de Paris.

2016
SIAC, Salon international d’Art Contemporain. Marseille.
Salon d’art contemporain Art3F Nantes, Metz
Sm’art Aix – Aix en Provence
Grands marchés d’Art Contemporain de Paris.
Artoulouse. Toulouse
Exposition personnelle chez Et moi et moi. Marseille
Exposition personnelle Galerie Z’. Montpellier


2015
SIAC, Salon international d’Art Contemporain. Marseille.
Salon d’art contemporain Art3F Nantes, Lyon.
Grands marchés d’Art Contemporain de Paris.
Salon d’art contemporain de Toulouse.


2014
SIAC, Salon international d’Art Contemporain. Marseille.
Salon d’art contemporain Art3F Nantes, Lyon, Montpellier.
Grands marchés d’Art Contemporain de Paris.
Salon d’art contemporain de Toulouse.


2013
Salon Sm’Art Aix. Aix en Provence.
Galerie du Cyprès. Saint-Rémy de Provence.
Exposition personnelle chez « Espaces atypiques » (unité d’habitation Le Corbusier). Marseille.
SIAC, Salon international d’Art Contemporain. Marseille.
« Depuis ma chambre à dessiner… » Exposition personnelle chez Actes Sud. Arles
Grands marchés d’Art Contemporain de Paris.
Exposition personnelle à la galerie Florian Arar. Bordeaux.


2012
Salon Sm’Art Aix. Aix en Provence.
Galerie Contempo. Helsinki.Finlande.
Exposition personnelle chez « Espaces atypiques » (unité d’habitation Le Corbusier). Marseille.
ArtNîm. Représenté par les agents d’artistes Gérald et Cécile Bueno.
SIAC, Salon international d’Art Contemporain. Marseille.
Art Metz. Foire d’Art Contemporain de la Grande Région. Metz.


2011
Galerie Ange Basso. Paris.
Exposition permanente chez L’art et la façon. Paris 17ème.
SIAC, Salon international d’Art Contemporain. Marseille.
Art Metz. Foire d’Art Contemporain. Metz.
Galerie Alice Dhomont. Saint-Rémy de Provence.
Grands marchés d’Art Contemporain de Paris et Chatou.

2010
SIAC - 10ème salon international d’art de Marseille.
Foire d’art contemporain Art Metz.
Grands marchés d’art contemporain de Paris.


2009
Exposition collective "paysages rêvés" galerie Espace Castillon, Toulon.
"Paysages acoustiques" exposition personnelle à l'opéra-théâtre d'Avignon.
Exposition personnelle. galerie Z. Aigues Mortes.


2008
Galerie Alice Dhomont. Saint-Rémy de Provence.


2007
Galerie Dérapages. Bruxelles.
La galerie. Saint-Rémy de Provence.
Galerie Schwabe. Verden. Allemagne.
Galerie Sculptura-Art. Königstein. Allemagne.


2006
Exposition Galerie Z, Aigues Mortes.
Galerie Tristan. Issy-les-Moulineaux


2005
Présentation des œuvres par Ejis au salon d'art de Shanghai.
Expositions collectives et salons à Paris, Metz.


2004
Expositions collectives et salons à Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulon, Valbonne.
" Musique " exposition collective à la galerie Elisart à Châtenay-Malabry

2003
" compositions…graphiques ". Exposition personnelle à la galerie du P'tit Michaux à Bar Le Duc.

2002
"Oeuvres récentes " exposition à l'hôtel de Ville de Simiane.
Oeuvres présentées par la galerie Chramaï à Artenim, Nîmes.

2001
Expositions collectives à Marseille, Aix en Provence, Arles.
" Résonances " exposition avec le sculpteur René Revellotti et le photographe Jean-Marie Le Gros.

2000
" Lyrisme " exposition personnelle au centre d'Art Sébastien à Saint-Cyr sur mer.
Début de la collaboration avec la galerie Jacqueline Bricard à Lourmarin.
Collaboration avec la galerie Paris Images à New York.

1999
Début de la collaboration avec la galerie Contrast à Barcelone.


























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