James RIELLY
Artistic Practice Department

“The studio is a very important place for exchanging ideas and producing a great number of diverse projects. Students need to be open to the advantages and opportunities offered by this studio and by the École.”

Born in 1956 in Wales, James Reilly has been a professor at the École since 2006. He studied at the Gloucester College of Art & Design, Cheltenham, UK, and at the Belfast College of Art, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. He was a fellow at FAWC, USA, the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and the Tate Gallery, Liverpool. Rielly has a strong connection to the French art world: his first oneman show in a museum was in 1997 at the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Nantes. 
“Rielly has been painting family portraits for the past ten years now. The physical violence of those first paintings based on forensic science has been replaced by a more muted violence, which, though less spectacular, is ruthlessly effective. The ambiguity of the subjects is here accompanied by psychological violence, emphasized by the artist’s painting technique. The figures pose in front of a monochrome background, the scene bathed in a gentle atmosphere of mainly pale tones and pastels. They look like the sort of pictures you might hang in a child’s bedroom. But the paintings are traps, like sweets offered by a stranger lurking at the school gates. We would so much like to taste that sweetness, but common sense tells us we should run away. Attraction or repulsion? The artist toys with our ability to decode and leaves us trapped in a whirlwind of contradictory interpretations of his making.” (Marc Olivier Wahler).
James Rielly is represented by galleries in New York and Madrid. In 2010 at the Wittenbrink Gallery, Munich; in 2009 by the Imart Gallery, Seoul. Among his recent exhibitions: 2011 at La Ramis Barquet Gallery, New York, and Gallery Voges, Frankfurt; 2009 at the Studio d’Arte Raffaelli in Italy and the La Ramis Barquet Gallery in New York; 2008 in England at the Rabley Drawing Center, in Geneva at the Charlotte Moser Gallery, and in Toulouse at the Galerie Sollertis. Recent publications on his work: James Rielly Watercolours, an essay by Martin Herbert (2006); Life of Rielly, an essay by M. O. Wahler (London: Timothy Taylor Gallery, 2005); Contre-Images, essays by Régis Durand, Françoise Cohen and Daniel Buren (Nîmes: Carré d’Art, 2004).