Within the frame of « Nice 2017. Ecole(s) de Nice »
In the autumn of 1969, Noël Dolla began working on a series of pieces on a landscape-scale in the hinterland of Nice.
Then active in the Supports/Surfaces movement, he invented new forms into Nature, working with their ephemeral dimension to create an intimate, even private encounter with pieces drawn directly onto the mountain. Propos Neutre Nº2 – Restructuration Spatiale (spatial restructuring) was produced on 5 October 1969 at an altitude of 2 000 metres, on the summit of the Authion mountain range. Noël Dolla painted pink circles onto rocks and low walls, “bringing altitude to painting”. On 5 February 1970, he created a new Restructuration Spatiale on the same peak, drawing three monumental coloured circles on the mountain’s snowy slope.
Various members of Supports/Surfaces were experimenting their work’s interaction with public spaces and nature, circumventing traditional art systems and its Bourgeois circles, they claimed to create new dialogues between their art and their audience (Daniel Dezeuze, Bernard Pagès, Patrick Saytour and Claude Viallat).
Dolla, however, was the only one to create site-specific works on a landscape-scale that existed only in the time and space granted by nature and in the memory of those who came to share the experience. The reversibility of these creations resembled English land art more than America’s more assertive productions, but it was only later that Noël Dolla became aware of the international synchronicity of his approach. Other works followed, in the mountains, on the beach of Nice and in various public spaces. The exhibition looked back at both these historic productions and his more recent projects through a series of documents and photographs. For the occasion, the artist decided to create a major site-specific project that would literally transform the Ponchettes into a tribute to painting. It is within his large scale painting that he introduced the survey of his former landscape-scale interventions
Hélène Guenin, director of MAMAC with Elodie Antoine, art historian