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About

Alan Salabert was born and raised in a Franco-Hispanic household on the Illinois Mississippi river valley.  From a very early age, he developed his artistic skills by avidly experimenting with varied techniques and mediums. 

 

At seventeen, he entered the architecture program at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where he first learned the art of technical drafting.  The daily rigor of architecture school left little time for the artistic explorations he was a accustomed to, and demanded he express his creative abilities in his projects.  He would exercise his free-hand drawing skills his third year at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Versailles France where he kept an architectural sketch journal of his European excursions.  Upon graduating, he continued his studies in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.  He returned to France on fellowship the summer of 1998.  Based in Bordeaux, he researched the remnants of German bunkers built during the Second World War. 

 

At twenty-four, Alan graduated and took a position with an architecture firm in downtown Chicago and once-again began actively free-hand drawing and painting.

 

In 1999 Salabert began working on a series he entitled “Primary Sketches: Man Language Culture”.  In its inception, this series touched upon his own theoretical reflections pertaining to the nature of man.  His work evolved into an investigation of the inherent values of color, texture, and composition inspired by artists such as Mark Rothko and Alberto Giacometti.  Undeniably, he was heavily influenced by his own architectural background.

 

His earliest pieces were composed of clearly defined foreground figures on layered washes of color that created a serene sense of depth.  This would give way to the inversion of the foreground figure to a negative, and later using it as a device to fill the canvas.  This saturation integrated foreground and background, adding texture to his work through the creation of a grid.  There is fine balance between structured and organic in these grids, as the intent is rigorously laid out, but in execution each quadrant is allowed to manifest itself in an accidental way. The end result gives his work an archeological sensibility.  Each piece to him was a snap-shot of an ever-evolving series- something to learn from and build upon.

In 2012 Salabert mounted his last and largest solo exhibit serving as a13 year retrospective containing 78 selected pieces.  This served as a book-end for over a decade of minimalist work.

In 2024 Salabert has once again opened his studio- exploring new work.

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