Signature de l'artiste contemporain François Malingrëy


François Malingrëy places the human being at the heart of his paintings. In his medium and large formats, he invites the public to an immersive journey into a raw, almost melancholic world. A graduate of the Illustration workshop in 2013, the artist looks back on his career.

François Malingrëy is one of those artists who can be described as primitive, instinctive. When it comes to explaining his work, there is – in fact – no real explanation: “During a final year assessment (editor’s note: an assessment allows us to take stock, during the year, of the work, experiments, references and research of the student), I was asked what I did and I was unable to answer! I was just doing it, it just came to me”, recalls François Malingrëy.

Son of a press cartoonist, he first started with illustration. He entered the Épinal school for the DNAT Images et narration (National Diploma of Arts and Techniques), then continued at the Haute école des arts du Rhin where he joined the Illustration workshop in equivalence. He hesitated to go into Scenography, and then why not join the Painting workshop? “In the end, I realized that I was very free in Illustration”, explains the young artist, “the teachers were very open, I could really do what I wanted”.

“François had his own place in Illustration. Beyond the narrative aspect of his work, it was very interesting to have a student like him in the class because it brought a lot of reflection on the very thin boundaries between contemporary art and illustration,” recalls Salomé Risler, teacher in the Illustration workshop. “We saw very clearly that he had things to do and say in painting, that he was not necessarily destined for publishing, but we encouraged him in this direction, it is important to let students experiment and go down paths that are their own. This allows the illustration to move forward,” she concludes.

It was finally at the end of the fourth year that François Malingrëy asserted himself as a painter. “I left for a semester in Bristol, I don’t know if it was the fact of being disconnected from my usual environment, but it was there that I gained confidence in my work and that I understood that it was painting that attracted me,” he says. He then launched into large formats: “I find that this format engages the body, we really immerse ourselves in it and we could sometimes believe that the characters exist and are alive. He paints naked people, never completely undressed but where flesh is predominant. “I represent intimacy, but with a lot of modesty.

In 2015, François Malingrëy participated in the Salon de Montrouge, which promotes young contemporary artists. He won a prize and everything accelerated: “Montrouge was very important from a professional point of view. People come there to discover young artists, I met people with whom I worked later”. His prize also allowed him to be exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, “an immense prestige”. The same year, he presented a solo exhibition at the Bertrand Gillig gallery in Strasbourg. He then signed with a young gallery, Galerie T&L, and then with the Le Feuvre & Roze gallery, both in Paris.

Now settled in the capital, François Malingrëy tells of the importance for him of being in Paris. “I met a team of people barely 20 years old, highly motivated, who wanted to build workshops at the gates of Paris. I thought it was a crazy bet, but they were determined and they succeeded! For 3 years, I had a 25m² workshop for a hundred euros a month. The fact of having a place dedicated to his art reassures enormously the people with whom you work, it facilitated a lot of things”, explains the young artist.