the world is Ours
Marc Padeu


July 12–August 6, 2021

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Peres Projects is pleased to present the world is Ours, Marc Padeu’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.

The paintings that make up this exhibition revolve around family life. These cinematic canvases are full of motion: a whirring fan; a plate being filled; a shoulder heaving from a sob. Intimate and energetic moments held as motion in time. These works are studies of time, reflecting on the passing of life, from birth to death implicated by the subjects of the paintings.

To render these moments of tenderness, Padeu deploys classical compositions – pyramidic as well as dynamic structures, reminiscent of both Renaissance and Baroque art histories. Immersing the viewer, by offering them access to a form of visual and spiritual ecstasy, the artist evokes the experiences of awe achieved in the religious imagery of those crowded arrangements. Drawing from a vibrant palette, his paintings are dense and intricate, allowing many opportunities for the viewer’s eye to catch on.

The traditional composition emphasizes the holiness of ordinary moments, and Padeu’s brush lends a type of visual decadence to the banal. Family dinners or an evening on the couch become suffused emotional landscapes, the joy and grief tangible.

Padeu’s interest in history connects these art historical narratives with those of domestic life in contemporary Cameroon. His work reflects how traditions of European religious painting are so embedded in our culture, allowing for moments of easy associations and connection, and continued resonance in how we look at the world today. The works presented in the world is Ours removes scale, being personal yet speaking to universal experiences. Padeu creates a world that he generously shares.

Marc Padeu (b. 1990 in Melong, CM) lives and works in Cameroon. Recent solo exhibitions include Doual’art centre d’art contemporain, Douala, and Jack Bell Gallery, London. Padeu has also participated in group exhibitions at institutions including the Galerie d’Art Contemporain de Yaoundé, Yaoundé, Musée National de Yaoundé, Yaoundé and Centre d’art contemporain, Bandjoun.