Xavier Noiret-Thomé’s painting cannot be contained by traditional aesthetic oppositions between figuration and abstraction, figure and ground, drawing and colour, iconophilia and iconoclasm, high and low. It subverts those dichotomies in a joyous, turbulent frenzy that is utterly free of melancholy. If this painting has sometimes been described as "Postmodern," that is more a matter of intellectual laziness than artistic imperatives. For there is not a jot here of that contemporary cynicism that plays with figures from the past only to prove their obsolescence. There is nothing fake about the energy that runs through Noiret-Thomé’s painting, no more than there is about his admiration for his predecessors.
The artist accepts painting in all its states: Noiret-Thomé is open to everything that happens, emerges, and occurs at any moment of its elaboration. He is a painter on the watch, in ambush, more than a painter of protocols and pre-established programs. Whenever he embarks on a painting, the artist is thus particularly attentive to incidents, to accidents. There is no question of a program; it is more a case of the implementation of pragmatic methods, without any formal discrimination or aesthetic catechisms.
Xavier Noiret-Thomé does not fetishistically venerate or revere the medium of paint, and likes to juxtapose the most contrasting media (oil and acrylic, industrial paint and ink, industrial varnish and spray paint, etc.). He does not have a puritan, absolutist conception of painting. He accepts it as much for its “grandiosity” (its history and tutelary figures) as for its “weakness” (its impurity, and even its triviality).
Noiret-Thomé takes an almost childlike delight in playing havoc with the codes, recommendations, protocols, and hierarchies attached to the medium: For him, the challenge is to follow one’s true inclinations, to be as close as one can to what makes one what one is, whatever the fashions and trends of the moment.
More than mastery, in fact, painting for Noiret-Thomé is a matter of sovereignty. The sovereignty of the painter is the affirmation that he necessarily comes along after everyone else; that his fundamental singularity is nourished by the plurality of voices, gestures, materials, and manners that went before him. And, for Xavier Noiret-Thomé, being a painter today means being a painter after photography and cinema, after Duchamp’s readymade, after Minimalism and Conceptual art; after Philip Guston and Sigmar Polke… but also after pop music; after Auschwitz and Hiroshima… But it is also to be a painter in the age of electronic music, of video games, of the Internet; in the age of globalization and the aberrations of financial capitalism.
Bernard Marcadé, 2013
Thingummy Painting I Aldebaran, 2008-10, mixed media on canvas, 250 x 200 cm
The Return of the Landscape I Modernist Episode, 2015, mixed media on canvas, 170 x 140 cm
Neapolitan Carnival, 2015, mixed media on canvas, 140 x 120 cm