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The Artivist



Self-taught fanatic of the work of Yves Klein, in 1985, he developed chrome yellow no. 2 which he named, in homage to the international Klein Blue, International Aurèle Yellow (IAY). The patent for the formula is filed with the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property) four years later, in 1989. In 1986, he met the Popular Powers, street painters, Fred Kleinberg (Fred La Trace) and Mano Solo (Boredom).

One night, at the bend of an avenue, he discovers a poster placed at the top of a street lamp: it is a wanted notice for a lost dog, named Bob, offering a hundred dollars reward to anyone who brings him back to his owner. The poster represents the naive drawing of a bull terrier framed by these words: “$100 Reward for friendly “Bob” the Bull Terrier wanted”2,3.

It was also at this time that he met Andy Warhol with whom he plans an artistic work around the image of the dog: a series of screen prints on the lost dog. But this collaboration came to an abrupt end following the death of Andy Warhol on February 22, 1987. Three days later, Aurèle Ricard exhibited in Paris at the Duval Dunner gallery, a representation of the “lost dog” poster. built from melted tar and pieces of metal recovered from the Caulaincourt bridge in Paris, then under restoration. By becoming the first public tribute to the pioneer of pop art, the exhibition announces the end of industrial art, and the “dog lost in tar”4is described as “the first post-industrial work of art”. The same year, in New York, he named and founded the Industrial Dollar Artistic Service (S.I.D.A) and created the journal Polazine.

In 1988, Aurèle left Paris temporarily to settle at the Caze mill in theAveyron to Naussac where he created the I.A.C (Information Antecedent Behavior) foundation (International Aurèle Corporation): a space for creation and exhibition of contemporary art. There, he worked, among other things, on the S.P.A series (Pirate Symbol Added - Without Speaking of Others - Without Pretension - Protective Saga of Art) which shows the journey of the dog Bob, lost in the work of the greats of the history of contemporary art (Arman, Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Bertrand Lavier, Andy Warhol…).

In 1989, the Lara Vincy galleryinvites him to exhibit the S.P.A series in Paris. This series will give rise to a work entitled SPA produced on the initiative of the art critic Pierre Restanymet a few years earlier. Also in 1989, Aurèle became friends with Jacques Villegléwhich put him in touch with the Belgian gallery owner Sabine Wachters with whom he exhibited, a year later, a retrospective covering four years (1986-1989) of his production on the image of the dog Bob. At the same time, he participated in several group exhibitions in France and abroad.

In 1991, he was invited to present his works at the American gallery owner Leo Castelli. On February 22 of the same year, in Paris, in homage to Andy Warhol and Yves Klein, he illuminated theObelisk of Concord in Paris by placing sheets of colored gelatin in front of the spotlights surrounding the monument. This performance gave rise to a film, Yellow Obelisk, directed by the artist Yuris Lesnik. It was also at this time that he began a regular collaboration with the stylist Agnès b. : building on the success of the “Think or Thanks a lot” exhibition presented at the gallery of the day in 1995, Agnès b. suggested that he extend the exhibition in his Tokyo gallery, the B. Yourself Gallery. The following year, Aurèle Ricard went to Japan for the first time where he presented Plein Soleil. The exhibition becomes itinerant and is enriched with new pieces produced live. This experience will give rise to the exhibition “Aurèle” at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in Fukuoka in 1997.

It was also during this period that Aurèle Ricard was invited to the Bionnay castle, by curator Morgane Rousseau and will reside there for a year. Then he discovers theIndia. He created in 1996, at Goa, a hotel that he named the Ninon de la Caze Hermitage, and launched construction, with Petr Kavan, from a sculpture workshop in southern India, to  Mamallapuram, in the state of Tamilnadu. The workshop was opened in 1998: around ten people work there permanently on the famous blue granite stone. The following year, Aurèle created a monumental sculpture, Jungle Big Heart, for the school of fine arts.Auroville.

In 1999, during a trip to New York, Aurèle Ricard met the American photographer Nan Goldin, with whom he settled and worked with his partner at the time, Joana Preiss. The fruit of this triangular collaboration gave birth to the film The Ballad of Love, presented for the first time during the “Dire Aids” exhibition at the Turin Museum of Modern Art in 2000.

In May 2005, Aurèle participated in the international contemporary art fair of Shanghai. He met Pia Pierre, director and owner of the Hong Merchant gallery, who, following the enthusiasm of the Chinese public, invited him to exhibit at the second session of the fair, in the fall. In the meantime, Aurèle Ricard participates in the group exhibition “Two Europe Two Asia” at the Duolan Contemporary Art Museum in Shanghai. The same year, in France, with the Lara Vincy gallery, he exhibited at the Fiac from Paris; he organizes a personal exhibition “LoveLoveLove” at the Michel Klein space (Rive Gauche) and participates in two group exhibitions: “Yo to be Gitan” with Fred Sathal at Tokyo Palace in Paris, and “Animalités” at Georges Pompidou Museum of Arts from Cajarc. Also in 2005, Aurèle Ricard founded the I.A.C (Information Antecedent Behavior) editions, and created six bronze dogs lacquered with chrome yellow no. 2 (IAY) as part of a public order initiated by the Denys-Puech Museum of Fine Arts from Rodez.

In 2006, in addition to his participation in several group exhibitions, the artist exhibited in three international contemporary art fairs (Art Paris, Art first in Bologna, Art Fair in Shanghai) as well as at the urban sculpture biennial in Shanghai, city in which he decided, the same year, to establish a workshop.


The yellow LostDog by Aurèle Ricard at Art Paris 2006, Paris, Grand Palais.

In 2007, with a view to2010 Universal Exhibition in Shanghai, Ricard and the French architect François Scalipresent the project to raise, in the modern district of Pudong from Shanghai, the lost dog on the scale of an 80 meter high tower in translucent and luminous resin. The Yellow LostDog would house a museum tour (the LostDogMuseum) with the dual purpose of warning and informing by conserving everything that man destroys, loses and has already lost in his frantic race towards modernity: a museum "of lost city and submerged cities.” This proposal, comprising 4,300 m2 of surface area on eight levels, remains under study.

In 2009, Ricard was invited by the French State and COFRES (French Company forShanghai World Expo) to participate in the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai (“Better City, Better Life”) on the theme of sustainable development and “new” environmental technologies in urban areas. For the occasion, he created, with the help of Chinese engineers, a giant plant sculpture: a 4.5 meter high dog covered with a selection of depolluting plants: (LostDogCo2), largely inspired by the work Puppy from Jeff Koons(1992). “It’s a green sculpture made of depolluting plants,” explains Ricard, “It’s also the prototype of a new generation of works of art that convey their own message”6. At the same time, the Chinese government and the city of Shanghai awarded him the Sculptor of the Year prize at the Shanghai Art Fair that year.

In 2010, his sculpture LostDogCo2 was presented from May 1 to October 31 at the Shanghai World Expo in the atrium of the French pavilion7 alongside the works of the three other artists, Zao Wou-Ki, Yan Pei-Ming and Chen Zhen, selected to represent France at the exhibition8.

The same year, the artist opened a LostDog Gallery9 at Le Passage, a major complex located in the heart of Shanghai city in the Moganshan arts district. Aurèle Ricard conveys a message of urgency and resistance of which the lost dog is the symbol.

Also in 2010, on the occasion of Art Paris, the Nathalie Gaillard gallery presented under the nave of the Grand Palais a monumental work GiantLostDog covered with gold leaf as well as a virtual work of art “LostDogConnection” created in association with Publicis Dialog. This project open to all is a collection of videos made by Aurèle: the collection of all the answers to a simple but profound question: “And you, what have you lost?”. The project was taken up again in the fall as part of the official Nuit Blanche à Paris route.

In 2011, Aurèle presented “Singing in the Rain” at Lara Vincy, a series dedicated to the acid rain of Fukushima in which his LostDogs cried tears of glitter. The same year, the city of Rodez and the Denys-Puech Museum offered him carte blanche for the summer of 2012. Twenty years after his first retrospective “Duty to interfere or insider trading? », Aurèle signs an open, participatory and collaborative work of monumental dimensions entitled “Art is the Others”. The exhibition consisted of the installation, live transformation and ephemeral exhibition-tour in the public space of four monumental GiantLostDog sculptures. At the same time, an army of one hundred and twenty dogs took over the basement of the museum for an exhibition entitled “The Utopia of wanting to conclude”.

In 2013, Aurèle traveled between Italy where he produced his first Carrara marbles and participated in the Pietra Santa Sculpture Biennale and Hong Kong where he prepared a project for the official route of the French May Festival (2014). In collaboration with Héritage 1881 and Avenue des Arts Gallery, it presents in the middle of a French garden recreated for the occasion two monumental sculptures in Tsim Sha Tsui. With “No other future but the future” the artist takes up two themes that are dear to him. The LostDogCo2, a true work of art, actress of its own message, shows us the urgency but above all offers a path for future generations, the other GiantYellow work presented is transformed with live children.

In 2015, Aurèle produced his first monumental bronzes and devoted himself to the creation of his monograph. In 2016, Aurèle was decorated with Arts and Letters.

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